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Seeing the Light: A Poetry Reading with Kenneth Steven

with Kenneth Steven

Monday, December 18, 2023

6-7pm Ireland

1-2pm Eastern

10-11am Pacific

Program Description


See him now, swathing the southern fields;
ripe in the light and alive, hands
holding the whole circle of the sun, radiant
with the rippling of the breeze. What does he need
of a world lowering itself slowly
into the building of slums for children to cry in,
and factories where sadness
will be manufactured more exactly than before?
He is free to feel: his few years measured
by the way he sees what is beautiful,
and puts everything the world considers worthless
onto canvas for the rest of time.

-from Seeing the Light: Poems by Kenneth Steven

Join us for a holy pause as we approach the solstice, with a reading from much-loved Scottish poet and dear friend of Abbey of the Arts, Kenneth Steven. Kenneth will be reading from his newest poetry collection, Seeing the Light.

This book, from Canterbury Press in London, is made up of many small moments, epiphanies: the breakfast table his child has just left, a black and white picture of a pearflisher, the moment he sees a deer outside his studio in Argyll in western Scotland. As always, the Celtic Christian stories are there too: the pure and simple moments that have the power to change our lives.


You are the one who must learn
to let a kite fly within them;
you must take them out to the hills
where the big winds tug and buffett;
it’s you who must steady hands and eyes,
tell them how the wind works
and help them into the sky that first time,
so they learn to fly themselves, tread the air,
understand what it means to see the stars.
That is all you are, mid-wife of their dreams:
stand on the ground and guide them, your voice
giving them the world you learned, but gently.
You must let them go in the end;
let go the strings of the kite
so they find and fly their own sky.

-from Seeing the Light: Poems by Kenneth Steven

We will turn on closed captioning during the live Zoom session (which you are able to turn off in your settings if you find distracting) as well as provide a video recording after the event with closed captioning available and a text transcript of the session.

The program will be recorded for those who pre-register but are unable to attend at the scheduled time or who want to view again. You will be sent a notification when this is ready to view.

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Your Guide for the Journey


Kenneth Steven

Kenneth Steven is best-known as a poet, though he’s also a writer of fiction for adults and children alike. His latest book of poems from Canterbury Press in London is Seeing the Light. Kenneth and his wife Kristina live in Argyll in Scotland, not far from the Isle of Iona. They lead a Celtic Christian retreat there each October.


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