Please note, this audio edition alternates between sections written and performed in the Orkney dialect, and their English translations.
Astrid is returning home from art school on Mars, looking for inspiration. Darling is fleeing a life that never fit, searching for somewhere to hide. They meet on Deep Wheel Orcadia, a distant space station struggling for survival as the pace of change threatens to leave the community behind.
Deep Wheel Orcadia is a magical first: a science-fiction verse-novel written in the Orkney dialect. This unique adventure in minority language poetry is followed by a parallel translation into playful and vivid English, so the listener will miss no nuance of the original. The rich and varied cast weaves a compelling, lyric and effortlessly readable story around place and belonging, work and economy, generation and gender politics, love and desire – all with the lightness of touch, fluency and musicality one might expect of one the most talented poets to have emerged from Scotland in recent years. Hailing from Orkney, Harry Josephine Giles is widely known as a fine poet and spellbindingly original performer of their own work; Deep Wheel Orcadia now strikes out into audacious new space.
Harry Josephine Giles is a writer and performer from Orkney, now living in Leith. She has lived on four islands, each larger than the last. She has a MA in Theatre Directing from East 15 Acting School and a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Stirling. Harry Josephine's work generally happens in the crunchy places where performance and politics get muddled up.
As a poet, Harry Josephine has toured globally, given feature sets at venues from the Bowery Poetry Club to Edinburgh’s Hogmanay, performed at festivals from the New Zealand Writers Festival to Montreal’s Metropolis Bleu. Her verse novel Deep Wheel Orcadia was published by Picador in October 2021 and received the 2022 Arthur C. Clarke Award for Science Fiction Book of the Year. Her poetry collections — Tonguit (Freight Books 2015) and The Games (Out-Spoken Press 2018) — were shortlisted for the Edwin Morgan Poetry Award (twice), the Forward Prize for Best First Collection, and the Saltire Poetry Book of the Year.
As a theatre artist, Harry Josephine has been featured in the SPILL National Platform, and at festivals including to Forest Fringe (UK), NTI (Latvia), Verb Festival (Aotearoa) and Teszt (Romania). Her one-to-one show What We Owe was listed in the Guardian’s “Best of the Edinburgh Fringe” round-up – in the “But is it art?” section. Her multimedia poetry show Drone debuted in the Made in Scotland Showcase at the 2019 Edinburgh Fringe and toured internationally.