Our February guest for the Skye Reading Room is poet Mark O. Goodwin. He will be reading a selection of his work written over the last fifteen years.
His standout publication is Dà Thaobh a’ Bhealaich / The Two Sides of the Pass (Ravens Press, 2009), a collaboration with poet Maoilios Caimbeul. This unique book is a bilingual poetic conversation that takes place from the two sides of Skye’s Trotternish peninsula, with an exchange between two cultures, English-speaking and Gaelic-speaking. It is about the places to which you belong, families and kinship, and ties to the land.
In a 2009 interview, Goodwin stated that one thing that struck him was the great sadness in the Skye landscape and he wanted to find out why. This is interesting, because the poem selected by the Scottish Poetry Library from this book to be included as one of the best of Scottish poetry in 2009, is a delightful, humorous and ironic poem, titled Skye. In it, the narrator is having a relationship with the Isle of Skye:
Skye, are we falling out or is it
that we are spending too much time
in each other’s company…
Tha thu gam chur às no chiall. You’re driving me nuts.
The poet said he tried to make (Skye) ‘a lived and loved place with all the confusions that an incomer might have, especially when feeling a Gaelic word or two in the mouth for the first time’.
Mark O. Goodwin’s poems have appeared in various anthologies, including the Reading Room’s first anthology, Words from an Island. His work has been published in Northwords Now; Literal World Magazine; The Eildon Tree; and Nerve Magazine. He has received numerous special awards and performed at StAnza festivals and others throughout Scotland.
Our Tuesday, February 23rd meeting will convene from 7:00 p.m., at Tigh na Sgire, on Park Lane, in Portree, next to the Community Center.
All are welcome. Entry is free for members; £5 for non-members. Teas and coffees will be available and our Book Stall will offer a variety of good reads for sale.
Mark O. Goodwin’s appearance is partly funded by Live Literature via Scottish Book Trust.