Northwords Now

New writing, fresh from Scotland and the wider North
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Spring 2019

Salmon netting at Rosemarkie, summer 1988, by Stephanie Macdonald

ELIZABETH SUTHERLAND celebrated by CYNTHIA ROGERSON,  IAN STEPHEN on Lewis painter - DONALD SMITH, raptors enrapture CHRIS ARTHUR, major collections by TOM BRYAN and GEORGE GUNN reviewed by ANNE MACLEOD, BOB PEGG crafts songs, KIRSTY GUNN on the art of the essay, STEWART SANDERSON lights the Neidfire, LYDIA HARRIS gets into Orcadian grooves

PLUS Tuath supplement of new Gaelic writing, poetry in many forms and voices and stories short and longer

Editor: Kenny Taylor
Gaelic Editor: Rody Gorman


I’m always amazed at the ways that art can make connections between disparate objects, ideas, places and sensations, then shape new meaning from them. How a poet can distil a concentrated drop of experience from a single observation and a small mix of words. How one sentence within a story can make you sense that something – but you don’t know what – is going to shift in the tale, but not yet. Or how an essayist can begin in one place, then wander, pleasingly, to somewhere unexpected.

Work that does all that is held in abundance within the pages of this issue. But it’s also been good to make links across very different forms. Ian Stephen’s overview of the Lewis painter, Donald Smith, does this. You can see Donald’s work at An Lanntair this summer, and later in Aberdeen.

The same applies to the piece by veteran songwriter, storyteller and musician, Bob Pegg. There’s a song file online at our website to illustrate this article, together with audio of some of the poets from this issue reading their work.

Finally, it’s good to welcome a new publication to the northern arts scene: Art North, edited in Tongue. The scope of its visual arts coverage extends across the changing hemisphere, as I described in Northwords Now 35, to range across what the editor describes as the ‘Far North’. Here’s to new connections.

Kenny Taylor, Editor

Issue 37 Index
Rosemarkie Scribe: Elizabeth SutherlandArticle by Cynthia Rogerson
Tracing the Lines Exhibition Tankerness House Poem by Lydia Harris
As PrayerPoem by Lydia Harris
Folk Tapped PotsPoem by Lydia Harris
How I know youPoem by Lydia Harris
She that will have a pot out of the clayPoem by Lydia Harris
'Energy is an attribute of objects'Poem by Lydia Harris
The Words of the Pot to the SwallowPoem by Lydia Harris
Pots StillPoem by Lydia Harris
Snowdrops in a StormStory by Anne Elizabeth Edwards
Stac PollaidhPoem by Alison Seller
we are full of star-fallPoem by Alison Seller
TrasanaPoem by Seth Crook
IneffablePoem by Seth Crook
Storm PetrelPoem by Martin Malone
The Loony DookPoem by Seth Crook
PictishPoem by Stewart Sanderson
NeidfirePoem by Stewart Sanderson
UnlandPoem by Stewart Sanderson
AlcludPoem by Stewart Sanderson
Meeting Po Chu-iPoem by Ian Aitken
TappingPoem by Mary Anne Spence
Sparrowhawk TheologyEssay by Chris Arthur
The SacrificeStory by Willie Orr
Skitin oan Thin IceStory by Gillian Shearer
UninvitedPoem by Liz McKibben
A PuzzlePoem by Derek Crook
The FoxPoem by Anna Macfie
Hill ChasingPoem by Alisdair Hodgson
Pandora’s BoxStory by Amanda Gilmour
FallingStory by Ian Tallach
Funky toothpickerPoem by Phil Baarda
Plot and BashPoem by Lydia Popowich
On Visiting John O’GroatsPoem by Lydia Popowich
FamiliarPoem by Lydia Popowich
Winter untyingPoem by Catharine Eunson
From the Lealt Shales at ElgolPoem by Catharine Eunson
Hebridean GeologyPoem by Sharon Black
BohemianPoem by Sonya MacDonald
ArgyllPoem by Sonya MacDonald
MadgePoem by Richard Myers
Cold War NostalgiaPoem by Stephen Barnaby
50 Words from Thurso Cinema, Late 1970sPoem by Stephen Barnaby
AliensPoem by Stephen Barnaby
Losing my ControlPoem by Simon Berry
Chance TakenPoem by Simon Berry
Nor Any Drop To DrinkStory by Olga Wotjas
Lady of the LakeStory by Brenda McHale
NetmendersArticle by Ian Stephen
To my mother in old agePoem by Meg Bateman
Do mo mháthair ina seanaoisPoem by Meg Bateman
13th November; Air 3.5°, Water 6.3°Poem by Beth McDonough
StungPoem by Beth McDonough
Taking RisksPoem by Andy Allan
Peterhead in WinterPoem by Alistair Lawrie
At InvernessPoem by Erin McGregor
The Ink MachinePoem by David Mark Williams
WatchingStory by Heather Beaton
Loss, Moods, WeatherStory by Peter Leslie Watson
DormitoryPoem by Jon Miller
EdithPoem by Jonathan Drew
BraceletPoem by Greg Michaelson
MigrationPoem by Hamish Myers
Morgan’s DeclarationPoem by Ruth Gilchrist
NewPoem by Sarah Jessen
The guid Scots watherPoem by Hamish Scott
The Snail’s OngaePoem by Hamish Scott
RecognitionStory by Alistair Lawrie
An Audience with the Monarch Story by Chris Madej
On The Roadside Before Glen StrathfarrarStory by Leonie Charlton
Daft WulliePoem by Peter Burrows
On the Streets of MontrealPoem by Brian Gourley
Tam's GrannyStory by Barry Graham
Shared Stories: A Year in the CairngormsArticle by Merryn Glover
Age, doing its best to wither Poem by Grahaeme Barrasford Young
Rowing a St. Ayles SkiffPoem by Ian Crockatt
SongwritingArticle by Bob Pegg
The Last WolfAudio by Bob Pegg
Time Taking Flight: the art of essaysReview by Kirsty Gunn
Effie’s War by Philip ParisReview by Cynthia Rogerson
Start by Graham MorganReview by Cynthia Rogerson
Coffee, cake and adrenalineArticle by Kenny Taylor
Tom Bryan – Collected and SelectedReview by Anne MacLeod
After the Rain New and Selected Poems 1991-2016 by George GunnReview by Anne MacLeod
Na PharasaichPoem by Aonghas Pàdraig Caimbeul
Teann a-nall ’s thoir dhomh do làmhPoem by Aonghas Pàdraig Caimbeul
Gràs nan DathanPoem by Maoilios Caimbeul
Ruith na searbhaigePoem by Dàibhidh Eyre
Aig ochd bliadhn’ deugPoem by Màrtainn Mac an t-Saoir
At EighteenPoem by Màrtainn Mac an t-Saoir
Claisneachd Ri CluaisPoem by Màrtainn Mac an t-Saoir
Cloc gun ChlìPoem by Màrtainn Mac an t-Saoir
Gun idir a shireadhPoem by Màrtainn Mac an t-Saoir
Òran Eile do Joilìn*Poem by Màrtainn Mac an t-Saoir
Nollaig san EighealaichPoem by Màrtainn Mac an t-Saoir
Cathair Naomh PheadairPoem by Fearghas MacFhionnlaigh
Port-adhair GhlaschuPoem by Fearghas MacFhionnlaigh
Guth air a' GhaoithPoem by Fearghas MacFhionnlaigh
Cladh Iùdhach GhlaschuPoem by Fearghas MacFhionnlaigh
Stiùbhart ann an Nua-EabhracPoem by Fearghas MacFhionnlaigh
Lomaire-feòirPoem by Fearghas MacFhionnlaigh
Am Baton-brèigePoem by Fearghas MacFhionnlaigh
Chuir mi mo cheannPoem by Fearghas MacFhionnlaigh
Air AisPoem by Fearghas MacFhionnlaigh
EunlaithPoem by Fearghas MacFhionnlaigh
air an latha seoPoem by Aonghas MacNeacail
on this dayPoem by Aonghas MacNeacail
Na GeòidhPoem by Greg Macthòmais
RèitePoem by Deborah Moffatt
Air Tòir a’ ChuilithinnPoem by Maggie Rabatski
SmiorPoem by Maggie Rabatski
Cha Tig An Aois…Poem by Maggie Rabatski
Seòmar-feitheimhPoem by Julian Ronay
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