Orkney

A Countrywoman’s Diary

A Countrywoman’s Diary Bessie Skea The richness and timelessness of Skea’s prose draws the reader into the Orcadian landscape, gently lifting the veil of seeing out of habit rather than looking from their eyes. Bessie takes the reader through the seasons with joy, with humour and with an eye that is determined in the act […]

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Rise

RISE This is the opening of my screenplay Rise, winner of the 2018 George Mackay Brown Writing Competition. It was inspired by two Margaret Tait poems, Queen on Horseback and Face-kicking, both from her collection The Hen and the Bees. An audio recording of Queen on Horseback is also available at at the Scottish National Poetry Library sound archive. [...]Read more of Rise...

ASLE talk

People, poems and place: Stromness an acrostic town. Gabrielle Barnby ASLE conference, 5-7th Sept, Orkney   ‘There is no skill or enchantment To make the old coat green, There can be at best, now A flung or fated pattern of patches’ Excerpt from An Old Man in July by George Mackay Brown, Northern Lights (1999)   […]

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Wonderlust

Wonderlust   Earth shell spirals galaxy on wet mornings; caution busy feet, move slow so grounded gaze can pick out delicate round snailings from angular gravel spat by road; leaving the clover and dock and vetch of safety, drawn underfoot to spring small moments of guilt from never being careful enough.   Gabrielle Barnby August, [...]Read more of Wonderlust...

Making of the Man

The Making of the Man Inspired by J Storer Clouston – front cover image for Carrington’s Cases & the title from A Lunatic at Large. In another era his face would have been less conspicuously out of place. He could have been bulbous-nosed and peeled-wally without much undue attention coming his way. even the strands [...]Read more of Making of the Man...