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.
I would never consider myself a serious poet, but I do like to dabble now and then, and I am very happy to have my short poem ‘Planets’ included in Poetry Scotland Issue 103.
The magazine has a long and distinguished history, summed up here from the Poetry Scotland website:
“Poetry Scotland began in the 1940s when Maurice Lindsay started publishing books and anthologies of new poetry under this title. There were three issues of Poetry Scotland and a series of slim hardback books by poets of the day, including Hugh MacDiarmid. Then there followed a hiatus until 1997 when, with Maurice Lindsay’s support, Sally Evans and Ian King of Diehard Press began to publish Poetry Scotland as a broadsheet, aiming from the first to be inclusive, encouraging women, minority languages and people from country airts.”
Now under the editorship of Andy Jackson and Judy Taylor, it publishes poems from across the UK, twice-yearly in the A4 broadsheet format of its previous incarnation. You can subscribe and purchase individual issues on the Poetry Scotland website.
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.
‘I become only breath; movement; the sound of my feet crunching along the trail, vaguely aware of the dawn chasing behind me.’
Along with Elsewhere: A Journal of Place, a publication that I have followed and admired for a long time is The Clearing edited by Jon Woolcott of Little Toller Books, an online journal of nature, landscape and place and a natural home for my interests, so I’m really pleased to have a piece feature. ‘Sacred Mountain’ explores an iconic hill that defines my local landscape, exploring notions of the sacred and what it might mean to us through a walk to the summit of the hill to watch the Autumn Equinox sunrise. You can read ‘Sacred Mountain’ HERE.
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’.