Manx poet Simon Maddrell launches his fourth book next month.

After the success of Throatbone and Queerfella in 2020, Simon’s Isle of Sin was published by Polari Press in March 2023 exploring Manx queer history and celebrating the life of Manx actor, singer, dancer and magician Dursley McLinden who dies of AIDS-related illness in 1995.

The all-new poems in The Whole Island return to his more holistic explorations of Throatbone - family and folklore, history and language, and nature and wildlife.

Simon told Island Life: ‘I think The Whole Island is my best work to date, I am very excited to have secured its publication with the support of Culture Vannin as part of their 40th-year celebrations.

‘Whilst the UK publication date is July 5, for obvious reasons, I wanted the Isle of Man to have a chance to see, hear and buy it first, so I am going to be wandering the whole island for 10 days from June 9 to 19 reading the book to anyone who wants to listen.

‘Whether you are a school or workplace, poetry night or coffee morning, I’ll happily visit and share some of the poems from my book - please do contact me as soon as you can.’

Simon explains that in The Whole Island, the island is navigated as a body, the body as an island.

The Whole Island frequently uses his cherished isle as an allegory for the nature of his own queerness, and the queerness of nature.

He also explores species and environmental threat through wildlife, folklore and place.

From Cronk Meayll to Crosh Cuirn, Port e Vullen to Port Erin, The Whole Island recalls puffins, Manx shearwater and hen harriers.

Scattered with Manx Gaelic and dialect, the book is unapologetically Manx but welcomes readers with open arms and translations into its complicated and conflicted world.

The Whole Island is published by Valley Press and will be available through all good bookshops, including Bridge Bookshop in Port Erin, Ramsey and online, as well as The Manx Museum, in Douglas.

Simon, who lives in Brighton & Hove, is the founder and executive director (2002-2017) of the island and UK charity, Sand Dams Worldwide, which supports rural communities with soil and water conservation and sustainable farming.

Since 2019, Simon has been published in 16 anthologies including The Sixty-Four: Best Poets of 2019 and The Best New British & Irish Poets 2019-2021.

He is also published in over 80 publications including AMBIT, Butcher’s Dog, Ink Sweat & Tears and Long Poem Magazine.

Throatbone was the joint winner of The Rialto Open Pamphlet Competition.

Nine Pens Press published Simon’s collaborative anthologies with Vasiliki Albedo and Mary Mulholland, All About Our Mothers in 2022 and All About Our Fathers in April.

If you’d like to hear Simon reading poems from The Whole Island during his visit email him: [email protected] or contact 07753 826 804.