Welcome to the Spring 2014 Issue!

The literary critic Raymond Williams once remarked that ‘nature’ is the most complex word in the English language. He may have a point but for my money ‘home’ runs it pretty close. To write about home is to explore somewhere familiar, personal, intimate – a sense of place that takes root in the heart. But home can also be a site of fear, regret and trepidation or an impossible dream, somewhere yearned for but never attained.

The entries for The Skye Reading Room’s Baker Prize and the Highland Literary Salon writing competition evoke the complexity of home and I’m pleased to publish some of the best of these entries in this issue of Northwords Now. They explore ‘the strangeness’ of home, the longing and regret that suffuses our need to belong, and the pain of exile.

Of course, in this referendum year, a sense of a ‘homeland’ is central to the political debate. One way or another, the question of Scotland what was, what it is now and what it may look in the future is exercising the intellects and imaginations of poets, novelists and essay writers. In this issue you’ll find our reviewers getting to grips with these various visions of Scotland. Thinking about home has rarely seemed so necessary. The upcoming vote may settle a crucial political question about the constitutional status of Scotland but you can be sure that its writers will continue to explore the nature of the country, and its peoples, for many, many years to come. It’s no less than we deserve. Over the years Northwords Now has proved itself a welcoming home for various visions of Scotland, from the laugh-out loud funny to the sombre and serious. I’m looking forward to continuing that tradition.

Chris Powici, Editor

Northwords Now has been published in various formats and intends to give a voice to new writing from the Highlands. The idea of north suggests to many people isolation, the margins, far from the centre of things political and cultural - but it depends on where you think the centre is: from up here Glasgow is remote and London even more so. And there are distinctive, passionate voices in this North - in Gaelic, Scots and English so we publish poetry & fiction, articles & essays, reviews in all these voices, and more, and hope to stimulate, intrigue and act as a focal point of cultural discussion in the Highlands...oh and did we mention that this is all FREE?

Also, from issue 21, Northwords Now is available for Amazon Kindle!

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Where to find a FREE Northwords Now

Northwords thanks all the locations below for their support in distributing Northwords Now. Especial thanks go to all the librarians who put us on display.


W H Smith, High St.
Costa Coffee, Waterstone's, Eastgate Centre
Blythswood Bookmark, Academy St.
Eden Court Theatre
Leakeys Bookshop, Church St
Inverness College, Longman Road & Midmills
Hootananny, Church St
Visit Scotland, Castle Wynd
Inverness Museum & Art Gallery
Waterstone's, Eastgate Centre
Highland Area

Highland Libraries & Communiity Centres
Dornoch Bookshop
Highland Folk Museums: Kingussie & Newtonmore
The Nairn Bookshop, High St, Nairn
Findhorn Foundation, by Forres
Moray Libraries
North Highland College, Thurso
The Ceilidh Place, Ullapool
Ullapool Bookshop, Quay St.
Loch Croispol Bookshop, Balnakeil, Durness
Achins Bookshop, Lochinver
Village Green, Lochinver
Swanson Gallery, Thurso Library
Cornerstone, Gairloch
Solas Gallery, Gairloch
Islands, West & North

Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, Slèite, Isle of Skye
Café Arriba, Portree, Skye
Portree Learning Centre
An Lanntair, Kenneth St, Stornoway
Western Isles Libraries, Stornoway
Hebridean Jewellery & Bookshop, Stornoway
The Islands Book Trust, Isle of Lewis
Shetland Libraries
Orkney Libraries
Shetland Arts Trust, Lerwick

Aberdeenshire Libraries
Aberdeen City Libraries
Books & Beans, Belmont St, Abdn.
The Lemon Tree, West North St, Abdn.
Blackwell's, Old Aberdeen
Woodend Barn, Banchory
Yeadons of Banchory
Milton Studio, Milton of Crathes
Newton Dee Café, Bieldside

Diehard Books, Callander
Dundee Contemporary Arts, Nethergate, Dundee
Kesley's Bookshop, Haddington, East Lothian
Midlothian Council Libraries
Stirling Libraries
East Lothian Libraries
Ewart Libraries, Dumfries
Gracefield Arts Centre, Dumfries
Byre Theatre, St Andrews
The Forest Bookstore, Selkirk

Blackwells Bookshop, South Bridge
Scottish Poetry Library, Crichtons Close
Bongo Club, Holyrood Rd.
Oxfam Bookshop, Raeburn Place
Elephant House Café, George IV Bridge
The Village, S. Fort Street, Leith
Filmhouse, Lothian Road
The Forest, Bristo Place

Centre for Contemporary Arts, Sauchiehall St.
Mitchell Library, North St.
Òran Mòr, Great Western Road
The Piping Centre, McPhater St.
Caledonia Books, Gt. Western Rd
Tchai Ovna Teahouses, Otago Lane
Oxfam Books, Byres Road & Victoria Rd.
Mono, King's Court, King St, Glasgow
Gallery of Modern Art, Royal Exchange Sq.
Glasgow Film Theatre, Videodrome, Rose St.