Northwords Now

New writing, fresh from Scotland and the wider North
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Autumn-Winter 2020

Front cover image Loch Avon from Cairn Gorm, Cairngorms National Park by  Antonia Kearton

ZOE STRACHAN mines the mythic, CHRIS POWICI and friends go multilingual, KEVIN MACNEIL and LORETTA MULHOLLAND find Japanese inspiration, CHRISTOPHER WHYTE talks Gaelic without limits with JENNIFER MORAG HENDERSON, SIMON HALL surveys the work of ROBERT ALAN JAMIESON, writers respond to C-World, PLUS stories, poems and reviews in harvest plenty

Sgrìobhadh ùr Gàidhlig le Maoilios Caimbeul, Màrtainn Mac an t-Saoir, Lodaidh MacFhionghain, Fearghas MacFhionnlaigh, Caoimhin MacNèill, Deborah Moffatt agus Eòghan Stiùbhart.

New Gaelic writing from Myles Campbell, Fearghas MacFhionnlaigh, Martin MacIntyre, Lewis MacKinnon, Kevin MacNeil, Deborah Moffat and Eoghan Stewart.

Editor: Kenny Taylor
Gaelic Editor: Rody Gorman


For the second time in a row, most of you will be reading this issue online, rather than in print. As with the wider world right now, the situation’s not ideal.

But the good news is: we’re still here; still making plans that will allow us to adapt to ever-changing circumstances; still attracting interest and warm support from writers and readers across Scotland and the wider north; still supported by our funders, who value the breadth of our reach in both language and geographical coverage. Advice from staff in Creative Scotland’s Literature and Creative Industries teams has been an invaluable aspect of that support in recent months.

The diversity of voices and content in this issue gives a sense of vigour. That’s reflected both in how we’ve grown from 32 pages to 40, plus the spring ‘Tuath’ supplement, in 2020, and in the energy of the work included. In turn, that reveals the current strength of new writing across the Scottish literary community.

I hope that what’s gathered here will give you pleasure and inspiration now that winter has passed and spring days are lengthening. With a hard-working Northwords board, a community valuing the publication both on- and offline and vital support and advice from our funders, Northwords Now is still flourishing. Enjoy this harvest from last autumn, and look out for the new shoots of spring from us in May, when Issue 41 will be unveiled.

Kenny Taylor, Editor

Issue 40 Index
Hats off to AdrianArticle by Kenny Taylor
A Pat on the Back for The Dark HorseArticle by Kenny Taylor
Spirit: Autobiography – Call for StoriesArticle by Kenny Taylor
Northwords Now online and in social mediaArticle by Kenny Taylor
MythopraxisArticle by Zoe Strachan
Am Bìdeadh air AisPoem by Maoilios Caimbeul
Às Dèidh na CàisgePoem by Maoilios Caimbeul
Bròn Bodach an StòrrPoem by Maoilios Caimbeul
Cò a sheinneas an t-altachadh-beatha?Poem by Lodaidh Macfhiongain
Do Phîhtokahanapiwiyin Poundmaker on Chinneach Ghàidhealach an Albainn NuaidhPoem by Lodaidh Macfhiongain
Marbh-bheòPoem by Lodaidh Macfhiongain
Trì ChuideimPoem by Lodaidh Macfhiongain
An Aon ChuairtealPoem by Lodaidh Macfhiongain
An aon chuairtealPoem by Lodaidh Macfhiongain
DrystonePoem by Chris Powici
FallsPoem by Chris Powici
Claonaig FerryPoem by Chris Powici
The Quick RainPoem by Chris Powici
Coastal TownPoem by Chris Powici
449Poem by Ingrid Leonard
In AppreciationPoem by Ingrid Leonard
The Story of the Black SquareStory by Mark Ryan Smith
DiefenbakerStory by Fearghas MacFhionnlaigh
Together, Lit UpPoem by Paula Jennings
These TimesPoem by Paula Jennings
The Name of the VirusPoem by Paula Jennings
Permitted Daily Exercise 1Poem by Paula Jennings
On the Hall FloorPoem by Paula Jennings
HandsPoem by Paula Jennings
Permitted Daily Exercise 2Poem by Paula Jennings
Hard DayPoem by Paula Jennings
Permitted Daily Exercise 3Poem by Paula Jennings
This Is Not A BeachPoem by Gail Brown
EpicentreStory by Ian Tallach
CawStory by Alistair Lawrie
Japan PoemsPoem by Kevin MacNeil
The Box is Only TemporaryStory by Anne Elizabeth Edwards
Wild Things AreStory by Adam Boggon
Plana Ùr GàidhligPoem by Fearghas MacFhionnlaigh
Aiteal Bhom RotharPoem by Fearghas MacFhionnlaigh
An t-EarrachPoem by Fearghas MacFhionnlaigh
Am FogharPoem by Fearghas MacFhionnlaigh
A’ Ghràineag ‘s an Sgòth Dhorch’Poem by Fearghas MacFhionnlaigh
Fiodh-cladaich EalantaPoem by Fearghas MacFhionnlaigh
Leum an CatPoem by Fearghas MacFhionnlaigh
Tobar Gun ChumanPoem by Fearghas MacFhionnlaigh
JokerPoem by Fearghas MacFhionnlaigh
ÌmPoem by Fearghas MacFhionnlaigh
Ceistean EascaiteòlachPoem by Fearghas MacFhionnlaigh
Banais GhalltaPoem by Deborah Moffatt
Eadar na BeàrnanPoem by Deborah Moffatt
A’ ChuileagPoem by Màrtainn Mac an t-Saoir
The lantern bearerPoem by Richie McCaffery
RoutinePoem by Richie McCaffery
ErrataPoem by Richie McCaffery
Old friendsPoem by Richie McCaffery
Time, PleasePoem by Richie McCaffery
Two poems from CoronaworldPoem by Graham Fulton
To find The Tinkers’ HeartPoem by Robin Munro
SettlementPoem by Robin Munro
Scottish GeologyPoem by Robin Munro
The BoxPoem by Antonia Kearton
SightPoem by Kenneth Steven
NecropolisPoem by Kenneth Steven
Ceum air Cheum / Step by StepInterview by Jennifer Morag Henderson
EasterlyPoem by Mandy Haggith
Bow-head whalePoem by Mandy Haggith
Ice floePoem by Mandy Haggith
You wouldn’t want to wrestle with a walrusPoem by Mandy Haggith
StrathcononPoem by Ian Olson
Have You Lost Your Tongue?Poem by Karen Lesley MacDonald
The Wye Athin ChyngesPoem by Edith Harper
Lorna MoonPoem by Kay Clive
In Answer To Your Question About PoetryPoem by Sharon Black
Soul MatesPoem by Sharon Black
Wee Tam and Roy RogersStory by Duncan MacInnes
OvertimeStory by Mark Edwards
Marguerite D'ÉcossePoem by Hugh McMillan
The New Old AgePoem by Hugh McMillan
Public Safety Advice oan the Brent-New Pestilence o 1348Poem by Hugh McMillan
What if there was a visitor to Tong in Lewis in 1929? Story by Hugh McMillan
Uisgeachan CealgaireachPoem by Deborah Moffatt
FamhanPoem by Deborah Moffatt
PeallagPoem by Eòghan Stiùbhart
Cèilidhean MòraPoem by Eòghan Stiùbhart
Àm-stòiridhPoem by Eòghan Stiùbhart
The SeerStory by Alison Bell
Zen and the Art of Lady BirdStory by Loretta M Mulholland
Lemon Groves, MurciaPoem by Jon Miller
Copenhagen BicyclesPoem by Jon Miller
Over the HillPoem by Jon Miller
WoodcutPoem by Joanna Wright
Truck-stop, UmbriaPoem by Juliet Antill
a time of gracePoem by Juliet Antill
Heavy WeatherPoem by Leonie Charlton
The Whirler StonePoem by Leonie Charlton
John the fishermanPoem by Mark Vernon Thomas
Haibun for the end of LockdownPoem by Simon Berry
Plague Clothes, macCloud Falls and the wider work of Robert Alan Jamieson.Review by Simon Wilson Hall
Til GjogvPoem by Robert Alan Jamieson
RebirthPoem by Helen Allison
A Day Like Any Other - Isla Dewar - Polygon (2020)Review by Cynthia Rogerson
Incunabulum -Carol McKay - The PotHole Press (2020)Review by Valerie Beattie
Quines: Poems in tribute to women of Scotland - Gerda StevensonReview by Becs Boyd
Northern Alchemy - Christine De LucaReview by Anne MacLeod
Facing the Persians - Ian A. OlsonReview by Anne MacLeod
Florilegium -Molly VogelReview by Lydia Harris
Poetry Reviewed by Ian Stephen - Autumn 2020Review by Ian Stephen
New kinds of wildReview by Kenny Taylor
McPhee’s Day Trip Story by John Robertson Nicoll
Bog CottonPoem by Angus Martin
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