Wildness, nature, eco-criticism, cityscapes, landscape, poetry walks…
How does nature and wildness inspire your writing? How does place inspire creativity? How do you write about a place you’ve never visited? What’s your favourite Scottish place? Are landscape and place limiting to creativity?
Join writer Peter Mackay, best-selling novelist Sara Sheridan, and Reader Development Co-ordinator Claire Stewart from the Scottish Book Trust, poet Ken Cockburn and others, to debate and discuss wildness and writing.
Sara Sheridan is an Edinburgh-based historical novelist who writes two different kinds of books. One is a series of cosy crime noir mysteries set in Brighton in the 1950s – Brighton Belle – and the other is a set of novels based on the real-life stories of late Georgian and early Victorian explorers and adventurers set in exotic locations (1820 -1845) – The Secret Mandarin and Secret of the Sands. Tipped in Company and GQ, she has been nominated for a Young Achiever Award. She received a Scottish Library Award for Truth or Dare, her first novel, and was shortlisted for the Saltire Book Prize.
An occasional journalist and blogger, Sara appears on BBC Radio 4’s From Our Own Correspondent and blogs for the Guardian and the London Review of Books. She is a twitter evangelist and a self-confessed swot. Sara sits on the Committee of the Society of Authors in Scotland where she lives and also on the board of the UK-wide writers’ collective ’26’ and took part in the acclaimed 26 Treasures project in 2010 at the V&A, in 2011 at National Museum of Scotland and in 2012 at the Children’s Museum, Bethnal Green.
Sara is a member of the Historical Writers Association and the Crime Writers Association. Sara also mentors for the Scottish Book Trust.
Claire Stewart is Reader Development Co-ordinator at the Scottish Book Trust. Scottish Book Trust is the leading agency for the promotion of literature, reading and writing in Scotland. It develops innovative projects to encourage adults and children to read and write, supports professional writers with a range of projects including skills development and awards, funds a variety of literature events and promotes Scottish writing to over 10 million people worldwide.
The Scottish Book Trust and BBC Scotland have launched an exciting new writing project to encourage people to write about the place in Scotland that they love the most.
My Favourite Place in Scotland runs from 19th March to 31st August 2012, and in that time Scottish Book Trust wants to involve everyone in Scotland in building a written picture of Scotland’s best-loved places.
Dr Peter Mackay/Pàdraig MacAoidh is Writer-in-Residence at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, Skye, and a freelance Writer and Journalist. He was Seamus Heaney Centre Research Fellow attached to the AHRC Centre for Irish and Scottish Studies. Educated at the Nicolson Institute, Glasgow University and Trinity College, Dublin, his PhD was on ‘The Influence of William Wordsworth on Seamus Heaney’. He is currently working on an anthology of Gaelic transgressive verse.
Peter’s pamphlet of poems From Another Island was published by Clutag Press in 2010; he has also written a monograph, Sorley MacLean (RIISS, 2010) and co-edited Modern Irish and Scottish Poetry (Cambridge University Press, 2011). His poems have been widely published in Scotland, England and Ireland. He has also worked as a Broadcast Journalist for BBC Alba.
Ken Cockburn is a poet, editor, translator, and writing tutor. He was Fieldworker and Assistant Director of the Scottish Poetry Library (1996-2004), Project Co-ordinator of the Edwin Morgan Library there (2008-09) and held a residency in the John Murray Archive at the NLS. Awarded a Creative Scotland Vital Sparks award in 2010-2011, in collaboration with Alec Finlay and others, he undertook The Road North: a year-long journey through the Scottish landscape composing a contemporary word-map of Scotland in a journey that recalled the journey made by the seventeenth-century poet Basho, whose Oku-no- Hosomichi [Narrow Road to the Deep North] is considered one of the masterpieces of travel literature.
Ken has published two poetry collections, Souvenirs and Homelands (1998) and On the flyleaf (2007), as well as a collection of translations of German poets, Feathers & Lime (2007). With Alec Finlay he ran pocketbooks, an award-winning series of books of poetry and visual art (1999-2002) and has edited several anthologies, including, The Order of Things: an anthology of Scottish sound, pattern and concrete poems (2001) and Tweed Rivers (2005). Recent publications include a collaboration with artists ~in the fields, Ink, and Overheard Overlooked: Found Poems (both 2011).