‘Burdlife’ by Kevin Reid

It’s perhaps unsurprising that the editor of a journal of short poems (none more than nine lines long) should publish a micro pamphlet of positively minute verse.

Kevin Reid, whose Nutshells & Nuggets has been appearing sporadically since 2014, is an interesting chap. A former librarian from Ayrshire, Kevin took a huge leap into the unknown a couple of years ago by qualifying as an English language teacher and working first in Toledo (Spain) and now Athens (Greece). He posts wonderful street photography on his two Instagram feeds and writes poetry, often in Scots, which is unmistakably his.

Kevin Reid

Kevin Reid (Instagram)

The micro pamphlet I mentioned just now is Burdlife, a small but perfectly formed piece in a limited run of 90 hand-numbered copies from Scottish publisher Tapsalteerie (also Scots, meaning ‘topsy-turvy’). Its 9 poems were inspired as much by Kevin’s admiration of Ivor Cutler’s work as they were by a prompt in Jo Bell’s 52 group where poets were invited to write about birdsong.

Here’s one of them, to give you a flavour:

Av git a hangower


sair heid feel seek
ah wiz foo a wiz foo
nae luck pair yoo

sair heid feel seek
aa ma ain daein
never again

aye right!

Kevin’s feathered friends fledge, bicker and scrap, compete for worms and fly into windows. His inventive use of colloquial language and form complement his subject matter beautifully, turning the dawn chorus into a veritable soap opera.


It’s a great wee (148mm x 98mm) 12pp book which features an eye-catching cover (a detail from a woodcut by Ernst Ludwig Kirchener) and it’s set sympathetically in Freight Text Pro Book font. An absolute steal at £3 – you can get a copy here.

Kevin’s followed Burdlife up with Androgyny, a pamphlet from new independent press 4word which is due out on 1st May.

If you’d like to find out more about Kevin and his work, head over to https://eyeosphere.com



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