I drove to Calanais in the rain, looking for the stones. I found them there, standing tall in the mist, like a distant dream I had once dreamt but long forgotten, a silent memory. Did they walk this way those thousands of years ago? What gods and spirits did they dream of; what lost stories did they tell? Where do they dream now, long buried in the ground? Across Loch Ròg to Kirkibost the sleeping woman lies, and the Shining One waits in the west. Too many stories wait here, commodified even now: unreal place, resting in its unknown truth.
It was so great to be a part of the launch event for Echtrai Edition One hosted by Helen Needham last night and to hear the wonderful writing of the other contributors. ‘My Father’s Hands’ by Jeff Young is a tender portrait of a father, a husband and an honest working man: a beautiful piece of writing with universal resonance. If you haven’t read Jeff’s book Ghost Town published by Little Toller yet, then you must.
So many other wonderful contributors in this volume of new writing including poet and artist Alec Finlay and writer and editor Jon Woolcott of Little Toller; the weird and wonderful prose of novelist David Gladwin; the poetry of David Wheatley and the American composer Akira Rabelais; writing by the editors, artist Emily Hesse and academic Martyn Hudson; liminal travels on the Inca trail by travel and nature writer Louise Kenward; a haunting piece about the relics of a city in childhood memory and a never-built ‘garden city’ by Italian writer, gallery owner and antique dealer Belinda Guerriero; the wonderful artwork of Guy Dickinson, poet and artist Camilla Nelson, and the ethereal incantations of the journal’s founder and creative director Baz Nichols under his pen-name Bran Graeme Nairne, along with many other equally compelling writers and their work.
If you couldn’t make the launch which sold out, you can order a copy through AnMór Studio in the links embedded in this post.
Delighted to be taking part in the live launch event for Echtrai Edition 1, hosted by Helen Needham of BBC Radio Scotland on 09th February 2022 at 7 pm alongside some amazing company. Details for the event and tickets are available here through Eventbrite. I will be reading an extract from my piece ‘The Stones of Bourtie’.