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Lead book review

Islands of inspiration: a poet’s life on Shetland

Jen Hadfield is not only spellbound by the moods of the ocean and the hectic weather but by the Shaetlan dialect itself – which ‘struck me immediately as a poetic language’

6 July 2024

9:00 AM

6 July 2024

9:00 AM

Storm Pegs: A Life Made in Shetland Jen Hadfield

Picador, pp.340, 18.99

Shetland comprises an archipelago of some 300 islands and skerries situated roughly half way between London and the Arctic Circle. Stereotyped by many outsiders as bleak and somehow ‘on the edge’, according to the poet Jen Hadfield’s stylish memoir – about her 17 years of living there – it can be more illuminating to see these places as somehow central to everything.

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