Released on 28 February 2013.

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Hill of Doors

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2014 Short-listed

T. S. Eliot Prize

2014 Short-listed

Costa Poetry Award


Charged with strangeness and beauty, Hill of Doors is a haunted and haunting book, where each successive poem seems a shape conjured from the shadows, and where the uncanny is made physically present. The collection sees the return of some familiar members of the Robertson company, including Strindberg – heading, as usual, towards calamity – and the shape-shifter Dionysus. Four loose retellings of stories of the Greek god form pillars for the book, alongside four short Ovid versions. Threaded through these are a series of pieces about the poet’s childhood on the north-east coast, his fascination with the sea and the islands of Scotland. However, the reader will also discover a distinct new note in Robertson’s austere but ravishing poetry: towards the possibility of contentment – a house, a door, a key – finding, at last, a ‘happiness of the hand and heart’. Magisterial in its command and range, indelibly moving and memorable in its speech, Hill of Doors is Robin Robertson’s most powerful book to date.

In the media

packed with fine individual poems, highly varied in form, theme and style . . . outstanding . . . superb . . . The more you read, the more connections emerge, and the more one poem lights up the depths of another.
The North Magazine
Keys of all kinds loom large in a collection that mixes pin-sharp childhood memories in Scotland with re-workings of Greek
Sunday Telegraph
Thematically, Hill of Doors is of a piece with Robertson's superb 2010 collection The Wrecking Light, which was shortlisted for the big three prizes ... There are similar dreamscapes, abandoned houses, echoes of an extinguished human presence reclaimed by nature, and a similarly flinty beauty to the imagery'