Lachlan MacKinnon's fourth collection opens with a gathering of lyrics and descriptive poems: observing rites of passage (elegies, wedding poems), offering nuanced accounts of places and their patchwork afterlives (the Midlands, a Suffolk sketchbook), or meditations on historical figures introspectively at odds with their time (King Canute, Edward Thomas). This preoccupation with contingency - personal and historical - opens onto The Book of Emma: a long poem of fifty-four sections, written mostly in prose, which address a lost friend and contemporary in terms which seem laconically factual, but which draw their power from archaic conventions (Egyptian, Celtic) of talking to the dead.
Lachlan Mackinnon was born in 1956 and educated at Charterhouse and Christ Church, Oxford. He teaches at Winchester College. He is the author of two critical studies and a biography; he has reviewed regularly for the national press. Small Hours is his fourth collection of poems.