Northwords Now

New writing, fresh from Scotland and the wider North
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Spring-Summer 2023

EN HADFIELD goes from Papa Stour to the Universe and back, TONY DAVIDSON talks art and writing with CYNTHIA ROGERSON, RODY GORMAN intertongues SWEENEY, JENNIFER MORAG HENDERSON deep dives in archives, HIGHLAND BOOK PRIZE readers consider the current shortlist, PLUS many more stories, poems, news, reviews and a reader offer.

Editor: Kenny Taylor
Gaelic Editor: Marcas Mac an Tuairneir


As many of you will have noticed, there’s been a pause in production of Northwords Now between last summer and the spring of 2023.This doesn’t reflect any waning of enthusiasm in Scotland’s literary community and beyond. Indeed, support is robust, from writers in different genres, from readers who relish our content and accessibility and from funders who have been positive in their encouragement.

The temporary blip arose from a shift in how Northwords Now is administered, through a move away from a cumbersome company structure to a simpler business model. Such shifts take time, but we’ve now arrived in a new place. Thanks are due to the many people, since early in this millennium, who supported Northwords Now through giving their time as Board members. Some of these folk are still very active in the unfolding work, including as writers and advisers.

As part of the next step forward, I hope that the contents of this issue will give you as much pleasure as a reader as we’ve had as editors. There’s a broad range of work here, both from writers whose names will be weel-kent by many and some who never before will have dinged your literary radar. That’s part of our ethos – to showcase good writing from the north and to encourage fresh talent. With that in mind, parts of this issue could give some useful tips to people wanting to take first steps in researching a story (cf. Jennifer Morag Henderson’s archives feature), publishing a book (Tony Davidson in conversation with Cynthis Rogerson) or communicating their poetry in both print and performance.

The latter is a strong aspect of Anne MacLeod’s ‘Introducing’ feature, in conversation with Cáit O’Neill McCulloch, who has been prolific in her writing, sharing, collaborations and encouragement of others in the recent past. That Cáit’s first published poem was in Northwords Now just a couple of years ago is a very pleasing demonstration of the power and the potential of our ethos. n

Kenny Taylor, Editor

Issue 44 Index
What's New in the NorthArticle by Kenny Taylor
Introducing… Cáit O’Neill McCullaghInterview by Anne MacLeod
By the LightStory by Donald S Murray
if you lose the stone what will happenPoem by Lydia Harris
Stone's first day at schoolPoem by Lydia Harris
Standing StonePoem by Lydia Harris
How to pray the stone beadsPoem by Lydia Harris
The Quoybirse stone blunders into the housePoem by Lydia Harris
Sentinel StonePoem by Lydia Harris
Archives in WritingArticle by Jennifer Morag Henderson
CursePoem by Rody Gorman
Cuckoo!Poem by Rody Gorman
Young MenPoem by Rody Gorman
My Night In KildervilaPoem by Rody Gorman
Myself and YourselfPoem by Rody Gorman
Fatal ShotPoem by Rody Gorman
Madman of the GlenPoem by Rody Gorman
Hag of the MillPoem by Rody Gorman
MoylinneyPoem by Rody Gorman
TherePoem by Rody Gorman
In BattlePoem by Rody Gorman
Bás Gan SagartPoem by Rody Gorman
Dear to mePoem by Rody Gorman
Confessions of a Highland Art DealerInterview by Cynthia Rogerson
Cromarty Firth KrakenStory by Shug Hanlan
The RigPoem by Peter Burrows
The Pair who used to Play Pool with the Pair who are HerePoem by Hugh McMillan
Learning about the Religious Wars,Wigtown Book Festival 2022Poem by Hugh McMillan
MythosPoem by Hugh McMillan
LeavingPoem by Hugh McMillan
Portrait of My Mother as a TeapotPoem by Sharon Black
Study of a Woman Alone in her Marital BedPoem by Sharon Black
LampPoem by
Seed BallsPoem by Sharon Black
If I knowPoem by Judith Taylor
The GlassPoem by Judith Taylor
Flying CrookedStory by Heather F Reid
Swimming, Loch GartenPoem by Antonia Kearton
Talking to PersephonePoem by Antonia Kearton
The Wreck of the Annie JanePoem by Cindy Stevens
HammerstonePoem by Geoff Daniel
& the rest is silencePoem by Geoff Daniel
RawStory by Ian Tallach
Recovering GroundPoem by Leonie Charlton
BonhogaEssay by Jen Hadfield
Borders and StoriesArticle by Ian Stephen
The BikkoStory by Gabrielle Barnby
The Story of DeirdreStory by Kenneth Steven
The Impatience of AngelsPoem by Beth McDonough
Ghjattu-Volpe changes places December 2021Poem by Beth McDonough
Who Killed the Carolina Parakeet?Poem by Dilys Rose
Drought in OrkneyPoem by Julie-Ann Rowell
I know I should not trust the seaPoem by Stephanie Green
Inside the Whale MuseumPoem by Stephanie Green
Reading the BonesPoem by Stephanie Green
TouchPoem by Stephanie Green
If Not These HillsPoem by Stephen Keeler
MorningPoem by Stephen Keeler
Something to CelebratePoem by Stephen Keeler
An Imagined LifePoem by Stephen Keeler
RestlessPoem by Stephen Keeler
Case Study by Graeme Macrae BurnetReview by Ian Stephen
God’s Teeth and Other Phenomena by James KelmanPoem by Duncan McLean
The Call of the Cormorant by Donald S. MurrayReview by Jennifer Morag Henderson
The Projectionist by Kirsti WishartReview by David Newman
For Thy Great Pain, Have Mercy on My Little Pain by Victoria MacKenzieReview by Cynthia Rogerson
Dinna Mess wi the Po Po Edited by Richard Bennett and David NorthcroftReview by Alistair Lawrie
Objects for Private Devotion...Review by Mandy Haggith
The songs I sing are sisters by Cáit o’Neill McCulloch and Sinéad McClureReview by Anne MacLeod
Norlan Lichts by Lesley Benzie, Sheena Blackhall and Sheila TempletonReview by Alistair Lawrie
Modren Makars: Yin...Review by Jim C Mackintosh
Bield, The Carryin, Swimming Between Islands...Review by Kenny Taylor
The Last Witch of Scotland by Philip ParisReview by Cynthia Rogerson
Cor gu CòraicheanPoem by Màiri NicGumaraid
Condition to RightsPoem by Màiri NicGumaraid
DannsaPoem by Victoria NicÌomhair
RiaghailteanPoem by Victoria NicÌomhair
A’ ChlachStory by Sheena Amos
Am BriseadhPoem by Seonaidh Charity
Toll an LochainPoem by Seonaidh Charity
An SealladhPoem by Iain Stiùbhart Moireach
Cha Robh Gàidhlig Ann!Poem by Iain Stiùbhart Moireach
FògarraichStory by Alistair Paul
Cumha na Cloinne-NigheanPoem by Deborah Moffatt
Innis TìlePoem by Deborah Moffatt
CàirdeasPoem by Deborah Moffatt
PuthaideanPoem by Marcas Mac an Tuairneir
Bian an t-SionnaichPoem by Marcas Mac an Tuairneir
CàrnPoem by Marcas Mac an Tuairneir
Home / DachaighPoem by Lana Pheutan
Cùm Cuimhne Orm a GhràidhPoem by Fearghas MacFhionnlaigh
Meas NeònachPoem by Fearghas MacFhionnlaigh
Is Mis’ An Rathad MòrPoem by Fearghas MacFhionnlaigh
An Cèir-Ìocan Dearg Poem by Fearghas MacFhionnlaigh
Club nam Balach is ClichéStory by Marcas Mac an Tuairneir
Remembering – and celebrating - Elizabeth SutherlandObituary by Cynthia Rogerson and Lizzie McDougall
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