New Work in Southlight Magazine

Happy to have work back in Southlight magazine having contributed to two previous issues. There will be a live reading event at The Yellow Door Gallery in Dumfries on June 11th at 6.00pm with actual people! Sadly I won’t be able to make it, but I hope anyone in the Dumfries area will call in and listen to the work of the other contributors present; and please do pick up a copy, either on the day or through Southlight’s own website. The issue is full of great writing by some well-known Scottish writers including the prolific Margaret Elphinstone and writer and poet Hugh McMillan along with many others, and a forward by editor Vivien Jones. My own contribution is an essay with accompanying images which continues an exploration of Lewis stemming from my residency with Island Darkroom in February and first appeared in abridged form in Elsewhere: A Journal of Place.

Deep Wheel Aberdonia

I’m looking forward to taking part in this symposium on the 04th May at the University of Aberdeen:

Deep Wheel Aberdonia is an event celebrating writing from and about Scottish islands with special guest Harry Josephine Giles, author of recently published verse novel Deep Wheel Orcadia, in which Orkney and its language are taken on a strange science-fiction journey, carving out a radical new space for Scottish writing.

The event will be chaired by Centre co-director Professor David Wheatley and also feature Orcadian poet Ingrid Leonard, who will read from her recently-published pamphlet Rammo in Stenness (Abersee Press). I will be sharing work stemming from my residency at Island Darkroom which explores how Lewis has helped to shape the work of poets Donald MacAulay, Iain Crichton Smith and Derick Thomson.

More details can be found here.

New Piece on Lewis Published.

‘No land barer; and yet the moor was filled with untapped memory and story, locked away like the carbon stored within the peat…’

Very pleased to have a new piece of writing feature on Paul Scraton’s online blog Elsewhere: A Journal of Place. It has come out of wider work stemming from my recent residency on Lewis with Island Darkroom, and explores the legacy of the island through its impact on the work of poet Iain Crichton Smith. Click on the image above to read.

On Gallow’s Down

I had to share the latest post on The Clearing by Nicola Chester, introducing a what looks to be a really interesting and thought provoking series of responses to the themes of her book On Gallow’s Down, which I haven’t read but now must, having read Nicola’s introduction. This feels particularly important right now, encompassing themes that have been the preoccupations of my own work: belonging without exclusion, the meaning of home and place, and our relationship with the landscape and the natural world. I hope you’ll check it out, with some wonderful writers engaging with this series.

Place, Protest and Belonging – Nicola Chester.

Wind and Tide

I looped round Harris before another storm blew through, chasing echoes from the past: old saints and their stories; old places filled with memory, fleeting shadows from another time. Losgaintir shone with a cold brilliance against its ancient hills. Time slept, dreaming the ocean, its voice lost to the wind without echo or meaning. I drove back through a landscape of splintered rock as old as the earth, leaving the beach and its impossible confluence behind.