Deception Island



About Deception Island

Welcome to Deception Island, a tiny Volcanic caldera in the Antarctic Ocean. Here the rusting remains of industrial whaling and a seabed littered with whalebones testify to mankind’s greed and brutality. But the island is also an outpost of scientific exploration, witness to human attentiveness and fortitude.

As the ship carrying the author’s father edges through the basalt cliffs into the calmer waters of Deception Island, the island’s many voices, human and non-human, begin to speak.

Deception Island is published to coincide with the launch of our brand new audio-visual poetry installation. See the installation here.

This book also includes an extract from Years on Ice: Life in Antarctica by A.G. Lewis, an author afterward, and reflections by Jean McNeill and Ieuan Hopkins from British Antarctic Survey.


Advance Praise

‘With myth-making flair and scientific precision Elizabeth Lewis Williams conjures the Antarctic in this richly orchestrated poem for voices. Deception Island is a work of great scope. It impresses and delights.’
Moniza Alvi

‘An ingenious and linguistically rich re-imagining of the whaling industry and the Antarctic landscape, that gives voices to the whales, birds and whalers, to the scientists of the British Antarctic Survey, and to the rocks and glaciers of Deception Island. A poetic tour de force!’
Anna Crowe

‘An adventure in language and form. This choric, crystalline poem crackles and glitters like the icy, hazardous landscapes it summons and celebrates.’
Tiffany Atkinson


About the Author

Elizabeth Lewis Williams is a Norwich based writer and teacher.  Currently Writer in Residence at the British Antarctic Survey, and part of the team bringing ‘Deception Island’ to life as an immersive installation in a replica Antarctic hut, She is an advocate for the importance of writing and storytelling in education, and for the way in which an understanding of human engagement in Antarctica can deepen our understanding of our place on the planet. After many years spent teaching in schools, she completed an MA, followed by a PhD, in Creative Writing at the UEA where she is currently an Associate Tutor; she is also engaged in a variety of outreach projects.  ‘Deception Island’ is her first book length publication.

Instagram: elizabethlewiswilliams
Twitter: @elewiswilliams

Book Details

Paperback ISBN: 9781912665204
Ebook ISBN: 9781912665211
Published by Story Machine
Paperback Original
Images are reproduced courtesy of the British Antarctic Survey Archives Service


Planet Positive Publishing

Story Machine is committed to putting the environment first. This book is printed using processes that are:

Planet Positive Printing means that our books are a little more expensive than they would otherwise be. We believe that this is a small price to pay for the future of our planet.

Additional information

Weight 0.140 kg
Dimensions 21 × 21 × .5 cm


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