Nat Hall: “Poet, pirate, visual artist, maritimer, nomadic soul par excellence”

Nat Hall is a Norman born, Shetland-based poet, writer & visual artist, educated on French & British shores, in Aix-en-Provence and Oxford via La Sainte Union College of Higher Education, Southampton. If teaching has been her daily bread in southern England [1993-2001], her poetic craft was kept behind curtains. Her nomadic heart, eye and pen led her to 60N where she and her husband-friend-musician David elected home.

In Shetland, she reconnected with her ancestral roots; she found both needed space and sense of place to live closer to earth – to breathe and write away from the fever of the cities. As if her cultural & linguistic duality were not enough, she added the Shetlandic element as a third creative means of expression to her bow.

She is a member of Shetland Arts & the Canadian Poetry Association, as a world poet as well as an Assistant Editor/Consultant at River Bones Press, based in Moncton, NB, (Canada). Selected works have featured in anthologies, The Pull Of The Moon or Bicycle Dreams, [Shetland], Expressions [USA] and in Al Purdy’s A-Frame Anthology [Canada] as well as in other literary places – Shetland Life, the New Shetlander, NorthWords Now, The Poetry of Scotland, Poésie française, suckingmud, Poetry Scotland – The Battered Suitcase, Cella Round Trip [USA] and Poemata, Canada. She is currently working on two distinctive literary projects – a bilingual verse collection celebrating her North Atlantic connection with Canadian poet Donna Allard as well as her very first own one. She was recently introduced to Geopoetics by Poet & fellow Atlantic riverain Norman Bissell and discovered with delight the world of Kenneth White, where it all makes sense.

She holds a First Class Honours Degree in Combined Studies, French & History & a Postgraduate Certificate in (Secondary) Education. She currently works with ASN pupils at the Anderson High School in Lerwick & with tourists as a Shetland Guide outside school time. Her interests are deeply rooted in people, natural history, photography, painting, linguistics, aboriginal cultures, fishing & cooking. She is also a Founder-Member of Shetland ForWirds, the archipelago’s Dialect Group and Garden2Garden with Australian artist Lissa-Kathe.

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This world, either secret or exposed, depicted in words, pixels, pigments

By Nat Hall

My work evolves within a kaleidoscope of visual sky-sea-land scapes – physical, emotional, real, imaginary – either executed through the pen, lens or paint brush. Whatever tool I choose to use, I celebrate our homeworld, undeterred by cultural or geophysical barriers. My two main instruments, (pen & camera), follow me more or less everywhere, wherever my nomadic heart or intellect chooses to go.

Writing, painting without frontiers – being at one with the world.

Inspiration usually emanates from a moment encapsulated in a single glance, a scent, a sound (either natural or man-made), a dream, a story heard or read or even a photograph found by accident in a magazine. Since childhood, my imagination has notably been fashioned by authors & artists who made me listen to wolf cries, whale, blackbird songs, waves crushing at wooden bows… People who shared the colours & textures of the world – folk who generated dreams. Whether I paint with words in poetry or flash fiction, pixels or with pigments, I attempt to adhere to two favourite ancient precepts of wisdom: accepting the kinship of all creatures and acknowledging unity within the universe.


we have aligned to sun & moon,

what does it mean to the shalder?

bright calishang,

cockiloorie instead of ice,

linties & waap,

feverish song of the blackbird,

wings slashing through a lavish sky,

patchworks of matrimonial cotton grass

where men and birds share same hillsides, where peat turns into pyramids.

ever ending,

over-saturated sense of life –

flick of feathers, twisting below this industrious horizon,

fishermen, birds, as if tradition never dies…

that perpetual canvas of blue in defiance to hands of time,

like a gigantic bonfire, we look through the eye of the sun