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Review in Northwords Now by Aonghas MacNeacail of Aonghas Phadraig’s book ‘An t-Eilean’ .
I hadn’t gone far into this book when I began to feel that I was not the one who should be reviewing it. The layers of knowledge, of tradition, of the culture, that Angus Peter Campbell seemed to be able to access, left me with an ineffable, almost unbearable, sense of loss.
But, in reading on, I realised that, while he could recreate glimpses of what previous generations had taken for granted, in terms of myth and lore, he was also driven by that same sense of what we have lost. His particular gift is to be able to find something to treasure, and vividly reanimate, even in these fragments.
The conceit shaping the book is found in its sub-title (deriving its first six words from the artist Paul Klee): “Taking a line for a walk through the Isle of Skye”. The formal title, An t-Eilean (The Island), by which Skye is known, is a form of abbreviation, as the full Gaelic name is An t-Eilean Sgitheanach which I, a Skyeman, pronounce ‘Sgiathanach’. Continue reading
The Conference Programme for our forthcoming conference in Tiree is now available for download here TIREE conference programme
‘THE SECRET ISLAND’: TOWARDS A HISTORY OF TIREE
3-day conference to explore aspects of the history of this remarkable island since the 17th century
Thursday 30th May – Saturday 1st June 2013
Venue: An Talla Community Hall, Crossapol, Tiree
Conference Organiser: The Islands Book Trust in conjunction with An Iodhlann
‘THE SECRET ISLAND’: TOWARDS A HISTORY OF TIREE
Tiree is one of the most fertile Hebridean islands and has had a relatively large population since early times. One of its Gaelic names – ‘Tìr ìseal an eòrna’ (the low land of barley) – encapsulates its reputation for productive agriculture, while another – ‘Tìr bàrr fo thuinn’(the land below the waves) – illustrates its generally very low-lying nature.
And yet, strangely, Tiree is one of the few Hebridean islands without a full-length recent book published about its remarkable history. The aim of this conference is to bring together a wide range of people, from the academic world and from the local community, with knowledge of aspects of Tiree’s history from 1600 to the present day, so they can discuss their views with the ultimate objective of filling this gap. It is possible that a further book about the early history of Tiree could be contemplated at a later date.
This three day event is organised by the Islands Book Trust, based in Lewis and dedicated to furthering understanding and appreciation of the history of Scottish islands. It has been arranged in partnership with An Iodhlann, Tiree’s historical centre.
Like all Island Book Trust events, this will be much more than an ‘academic’ occasion. We pride ourselves on bringing people together from a range of different backgrounds on the principle that we can all learn from each other’s perspectives, and that a mixture of backgrounds adds to the enjoyment of the occasion. We also believe there are great advantages in holding conferences in a community setting, with active participation by local people. So most sessions will take place in An Talla Community Hall, and there will be a community ceilidh and an opportunity to visit places of historic interest in Tiree.
Meals and overnight accommodation can be arranged as part of an all-inclusive conference price for those who wish this – see booking form. Alternatively, people can come along to individual sessions on a pay-as- you- go basis. There are special reductions for Tiree residents and full-time students. For more details, please phone Alayne Barton on 01851 820946 or email email@example.com
The Carrying Stream Flows On is now available containing contributions by outstanding scholars from Scotland, Iceland, the USA, and Ireland to an International conference held in Shetland in 2011 to mark the 60th anniversary of the School of Scottish Studies at the University of Edinburgh. It includes assessments of the roles played by great figures in the history of Scotland’s 20th century cultural development such as Hamish Henderson and Calum Iain Maclean, who made pioneering contributions to the School’s unique collections of song and folklore – a treasure-house of sound recordings and photographs from Shetland to the Borders, from the Western Isles to Buchan.
The contributors demonstrate that the wonderful range of material collected, preserved, and disseminated by the School of Scottish Studies over 60 years often has the deepest local roots yet is simultaneously of national and international significance. The work of the School has helped to validate and inspire local cultures, and has also had a profound impact on Scotland’s cultural and political development.
The Islands Book Trust, dedicated to furthering understanding and appreciation of the history and culture of Scottish islands, have today announced their programme of events for 2013.
Geographically, the events range from Tiree to Stroma, and there is a full range of walks, boat trips, conferences, and evening talks on offer throughout the Outer Hebrides and in Skye.
The highlight is a 3-day conference in Tiree from 30th May-1st June, the first time the Book Trust have organised an event on this island, bringing together outstanding speakers such as Professor Donald Meek and Dr Margaret Mackay with local people with a view to preparing the first ever full length history of the island.
There will also be a 2-day event in Lewis on 21st-22nd June to discuss the development of ‘Slighe Chaluim Chille’ to mark the early links between the Hebrides and Ireland established by St Columba.
Boat trips will be organised in the summer months to Ronay, Wiay, Berneray (Barra Head), Mealista Island, the deserted settlements of Southern Pairc, and Stroma, and there will be a walk to Molinginish in Harris.
And islands further afield are celebrated through talks to mark the 50th anniversary of the re-settlement of Tristan da Cunha, the world’s most isolated community.
Evening talks will be given by well-known speakers such as Donald Martin, Bill Lawson, John Love, and Margaret Bennett.
Commenting on the programme, Chairman of the Book Trust, John Randall, said: ‘We look forward, as do our growing number of members, to another full and exciting programme in 2013, the Year of Natural Scotland. There is something here for everyone interested in the human and natural history of Scottish islands, and I would encourage people to come along and join us, whatever your background. Our events offer a chance to deepen your knowledge of special places and to meet some remarkable people.’
Full details of the 2013 programme (attached), the Book Trust’s other activities, and how to join the Book Trust, are on www.theislandsbooktrust.com or by phoning 01851 820946 or 01851 880737.
10th December 2012
We are launching our latest book An T-Eilean – Taking a Line for a Walk Through the Island of Skye by Angus Peter Campbell with photographs by Cailean Maclean at the Aros Centre, Portree on Saturday 8th December at 2.00pm. All welcome
This lates book is an account in words and pictures of a walk taken through Skye by the award-winning writer Angus Peter Campbell and his friend the photographer Cailean Maclean. Both were brought up in South Uist, so the journey here extends well beyond Skye to their pre-electric upbringing in the Outer Hebrides: a beautifully written and photographed memoir of people, places and times.
Tha iomadach seud taisgte anns an leabhar bhriathran is dhealbhan seo. Chan e a-mhàin cunntas air cuairt tron Eilean Sgitheanach, ach cuimhneachain air daoine, àiteachan agus amannan. Am measg nan ulaidhean a gheibh sibh an seo tha briathrachas mu àiteachan a dh’fhàg Dòmhnall Angaidh MacIlleathain nach maireann aig Aonghas Phàdraig, a-bharrachd air deagh iomradh air faclan a thog KC Craig ann an Uibist-a-Deas.
The Island’s greatest export -
A personal exploration of spiritual values. Alasdair McIntosh at An Lanntair on Tuesday 2nd October at 7.30pm
The Outer Hebrides often get caricatured for their religiosity. But, even amongst island residents who are not religious, there is an applied spirituality of community and communion which makes the people and place special, and exemplifies values needed by the wider troubled world today. In this lecture, the Lochs-raised Quaker thinker and writer, Alastair McIntosh, will explore the theme of island spirituality.Poster
The Butt of Lewis lighthouse, the famous landmark at the northern extremity of Lewis, was first lit on 15th October 1862.
To mark the 150th anniversary of this historic occasion, the Islands Book Trust have arranged a special One-day event, including illustrated talks by knowledgeable speakers and a visit to the lighthouse on Saturday 20th October starting at 10.30 am. The day has been organised in conjunction with Comunn Eachdraidh Nis and with the support of Urras Oighreachd Ghabhsainn, to both of whom we are most grateful. See the programme and further details BUTT-POSTER