White, Kenneth (2013) Latitudes and Longitudes: Poems, Aberdeen: Reseach Institute of Irish and Scottish Studies, pp.139 + xii. ISBN: 978-1-906108-16-8
Kenneth White has been living and working in France since 1968. The founder of the International Institute of Geopoetics and, from 1983 to 1996, Professor of Modern Poetry at the Sorbonne, his poetry, essays and travel writings, published in both French and English, and translated into a wide range of other languages, have won many distinguished prizes.
His work has always been global in scale and local in concentration and in this new book of poems, his first since his collected poems, Open World (2003), he travels out from Scotland across Europe to traverse the Americas and Asia before coming back to Armorica, the northern French coast where he now has his home. Populated by intellectual nomads like himself, from the medieval philosopher Erigena by way of David Hume to Edmund Husserl, Latitudes & Longitudes charts alternative paths through the cultural inheritance of both West and East, in order to recover a fundamental earth-poetics.
Hailed by many as Scotland’s most important poet-thinker since Hugh MacDiarmid, and by many others as one of the most significant writers working anywhere today, Kenneth White’s poetry co-ordinates the intensity of immediate responsiveness to the natural world with a perspective on universal history which mounts a powerful challenge to the values of modernity.