Kevin MacNeil is a Scottish novelist, poet and playwright born and raised in the Outer Hebrides. His latest novel, "The Brilliant & Forever", was published by Polygon in March 2016. MacNeil's previous novels, A Method Actor's Guide to Jekyll and Hyde (Polygon, 2011) and best-selling debut, The Stornoway Way (Hamish Hamilton, 2005), were both published to widespread critical acclaim. MacNeil’s first book, the poetry collection Love and Zen in the Outer Hebrides (Canongate, 1998), won the Tivoli Europa Giovani International Poetry Prize for best poetry collection published in Europe by a writer under 35. He is also the author of Be Wise Be Otherwise (Canongate) and the plays Sweetness, an adaptation of a novel by Swedish author Torgny Lindgren, and The Callanish Stoned (Theatre Hebrides), and his short stories have been published extensively. MacNeil's anthology of poetry from the Scottish islands, These Islands, We Sing, was published by Polygon in June 2011.
He often collaborates with visual artists and musicians. The album Kevin MacNeil and Willie Campbell Are Visible From Space (An Lanntair) was released to acclaim in 2011. A single taken from the album, Local Man Ruins Everything (Fantastic Plastic) was formerly Single of the Week in The Guardian, in The List and on Steve Lamacq's BBC Radio 6 show.
MacNeil was the inaugural Iain Crichton Smith Bilingual Writing Fellow and has held further prestigious writing residencies in Sweden (Uppsala University), Bavaria (Villa Concordia) and a number of other places, including lecturing on the Creative Writing MSc at Edinburgh University. He has recently become an honorary writer in residence at Kingston University.
MacNeil is also a keen cyclist, and in September 2009 cycled 1300 km of the Danube, from source to Budapest, on a fixed-gear track bike, for two cancer charities; the BBC filmed a documentary about him and his bike ride which took just a dozen cycling days. In 2012, he cycled from Ness, in the north of the Isle of Lewis, to Leverburgh, in the south of Harris, on a fixed gear bike, to raise money for local hospice Bethesda, where his late mother was cared for in her final months.