Gabrielle Barnby, author and creative practitioner, Orkney.
Every day we talk, describe, ponder, gossip and imagine life outside our own experience. My passion is to creatively transform these glimpses and wonderings into poetry that moves the soul and narratives that stir the imagination. I write in a range of forms and styles and I’m sure there is something you’re going to enjoy.
The Oystercatcher Girl, is set in the wild and beautiful landscape of the remote Orkney Islands, mystery, danger and romance spill from the pages. My collection of short stories, The House with the Lilac Shutters and other stories, is set in the warm foothills of the Pyrenees and explores the secrets and passions of interconnected lives. Peace-Land commemorates the 100th anniversary of the first world war and follows the internment and scuttling of the German High Seas Fleet in Scapa Flow, Orkney. Death in April Creek is a page turning thriller set in New Zealand written under my pen name Helena Cooke.
A Way Out, And A Way In is my first poetry collection. My aim was to create a collection that was personal and accessible, something that I would find pleasurable to put together and share.
‘There are always imperfections, they are my troublesome companions on the road to insight.
I couldn’t go anywhere without them.’
When not writing I host a variety of workshops. Currently, I tutor Environmental Writing for Wellbeing for Orkney Islands Council Community Learning. These on-line and face to face sessions bring creative awareness and wellbeing through tasks and reflections based on the environment. I’m also involved in community arts events in Orkney through Stromness Writing Group and am programme leader for Wirdsmit, Orkney’s writing group for children and young people.
If you have read my work please leave a review somewhere, they are essential encouragement and they make a huge difference to small publishers.
Press and Journal April 23, 2022, ‘New public artwork takes its place in Stromness’s George Mackay Brown community garden’ Read full article here.
Fantastic to hear my participants reading their own words in this Radio Orkney feature on ‘Raindrops in the Fire’ a collection of creative conversations, memories and poetry from the Dementia Hub, Age Scotland Orkney.
Excited to be involved in this Culture Collective panel
Nourish: Health and Wellbeing
Fantastic to be celebrating Scottish Book Week and the George Mackay Brown centenary by playing my part in The Wondrous Scarf a creative writing workshop with participants from as far as Boston and across the UK.
NEW RELEASE – Beyond the Swelkie, an anthology celebrating the centenary of George Mackay Brown from Tippermuir Books. Honoured to have two new poems included, both inspired by a visit to the GMB’s grave.
Read my piece ‘The Zoo’ in New Flash Fiction Review.
I also have new writing in Pushing Out The Boat, Issue 16.
Launch Sunday 16th May.
Very happy to have a poem in the snazzy new look issue of The New Shetlander
Football and poetry – passionate bedfellows. Thrilled to have The Green Deck included in #primopoetica as part of The Hampden Collection
Pleased to see my piece on protecting creativity featuring in the very first issue of the UHI LitSoc New Beginnings magazine.
New release from Stromness Writing Group, ‘again to get up’ lockdown haiku.
The Oystercatcher Girl, excerpt in The Scotsman newspaper.
Click here for Old News
Wayfarers – new poems inspired by the George Mackay Brown centenary artwork collaboration
Magnificat – Part of the Words into Music project to celebrate the George Mackay Brown centenary.
The Tern – Inspired by the birds around the Peedie Sea.
A Countrywoman’s Diary written for The Heart and Soul of Orkney autumn Foy.
Stromness Per Mare street name acrostic
Poems written to celebrate Magnus 900.