Celebrate Scottish Book Week with Brian Johnstone

THE READING ROOM PRESENTS

SCOTTISH BOOK WEEK 2015

SKEABOST MEMORIAL HALL

NOVEMBER 25        7:30 PM


POETRY: JAZZ IT UP

THE WORDS AND MUSIC OF

BRIAN JOHNSTONE AND TRIO VERSO

BJohnstone_close_crdJimNock

Photo credit: Jim Nock

Brian Johnstone with Trio Verso will perform poetry and jazz improv for our Book Week Scotland celebration, which is always a good party. This is sponsored by Scottish Book Trust, so while admittance is free, the entertainment is worth hightailing it to Skeabost Memorial Hall. Take advantage of this opportunity to see Johnstone, a prolific Scottish poet, writer and performer, whose work been translated into more than a dozen European languages, while he continues to maintain a high profile in the Scottish poetry scene as founder, organizer and competition judge.


ALL WELCOME. ENTRY IS FREE.

BRING YOUR OWN BOTTLES


SPONSORED BY SCOTTISH BOOK TRUST

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SKYEREADING ROOM@YAHOO.CO.UK

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Anthology Launch: Volume 2

SKYE READING ROOM
27 OCTOBER
7:30 pm

LAUNCH OF
A STILLNESS OF MIND

Volume 2 of our ‘Words from an Island’ Anthology Series

with
THE PLAYERS
from the PLOCKTON TRADITIONAL MUSIC SCHOOL

This was Volume 1
IMG_1217What colour will volume 2 be?

Come and see!

READINGS FROM A SELECTION OF OUR CONTRIBUTORS

                                                       SKEABOST HOTEL                                

SUPPER FROM 6 PM – BAR & RESTAURANT  

OPEN TO ALL

ENTRY £5 AT THE DOOR Members & contributors free

http://www.theskyereadingroom.wordpress.com

THE READING ROOM ON FACEBOOK
skyereadingroom@yahoo.co.uk

 

St. Kilda Evening with Roger Hutchinson

Whenever I feel myself getting close to writing some tired words about an extraordinary writer, I click for the Rebelle Society, a blog of wild souls, of uninhibited women writers. After carefully perusing the long list of titles written by Roger Hutchinson, I have decided he, too, must be dubbed a wild soul, and he has been put on the top of my anticipated reads.

The Reading Room is privileged to present Roger Hutchinson at the Skeabost Hotel on Tuesday, September 29. Lucky us.

Hutchinson has a penchant for compelling subjects; hence, for the bookshop browser, his books have a good chance of being selected from curiosity as well as hope for some interesting non-fiction. The author’s profile is visible to any visitor here on Skye, as a columnist for the West Highland Free Press. Look closer and you will see his prominent ‘Calum’s Road’ displayed in every shop where books are found. Calum was the last man in North Raasay in the late ’60s and Hutchinson has made sure the story of the road he built will live poignantly in our memories.

More of his books are easy finding: Angus MacPhee, of South Uist, spent fifty years in an asylum after WWII, as ‘The Silent Weaver’ of grass art objects. The famous shipwrecked ‘Polly’ of Whisky Galore fame is exposed by Hutchinson with humour and insight – a favorite book among his readers. Lord Leverhulme’s confrontation with Hebridean Islands seamen is fascinating reading, in ‘The Soap Man’. 

His eclectic output has included books on Aleister Crowley, James Boswell and ‘Euro-Slang: The Practical Language Guide to Boozing and Bonking from Mykonos to Malaga.’ (Did I say ‘wild soul’ with sense of humour?)  By Facebook remarks and his own books on games and sports, it is easy to deduce the author is also an avid sports follower. He was awarded  ‘British Weekly’ Sportswriter 1996.

At the September 29th Reading Room meeting, Roger will be talking about the research and writing of his latest book, ‘St Kilda: A People’s History’.  He says, ‘I’m really looking forward to meeting my friends from the Reading Room again, and talking about an island community even more distant than Skye!’

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Roger Hutchinson on St. Kilda.

    The author remarks that St Kilda is the most romantic and most romanticised group of islands in Europe: ‘Soaring out of the North Atlantic Ocean like Atlantis come back to life, the islands have captured our imagination for hundreds of years.’ 
    Their inhabitants, Scottish Gaels who lived off the land, the sea and by birdcatching on St Kilda’s high and precipitous cliffs, were long considered to be the Noble Savages of the British Isles, living in a state of natural grace.
    ‘St Kilda: A People’s History’ explores and portrays the real life of the St Kildans from the Stone Age to the 20th century.
    Roger Hutchinson has 40 years experience of Hebridean islands and he digs deep into the archives to paint a vivid picture of the life and death, work and play of a small, proud and self-sufficient family.
    This book is a new and unprecedented history of the islands because it demolishes myths and shows how life really was lived in that beautiful archipelago.
    From the earliest Neolithic settlement to the voluntary evacuation in 1930, ‘St Kilda: A People’s History’ is a fascinating, funny and original account. It is the story not only of a sensational place, but also of the extraordinary people who called it home.

Everyone is welcome to attend our evening event, which will begin at 7:30 p.m., with ‘Glimpses of Hirta’ – a poem in two voices, by Linda Henderson.  
Our special guest, Roger Hutchinson, will take the floor immediately following Linda’s reading.
Please join us at Skeabost Hotel from 6 p.m., for supper in the dining rooms, or a light meal or snacks in the pub, before the event.
There will be a charge of £5 per head for non-members. Annual membership, which supports the work that we do throughout the year, is available on the door.

Skye Book Festival This Week

This is a grand opportunity to enjoy some of our favourite authors and the people whose talents embellish the books we read. 

FÈIS LEABHRAICHEAN AN EILEIN SKYE BOOK FESTIVAL

and  PBFA ANTIQUARIAN BOOK FAIR

3 – 5 SEPTEMBER 2015

FESTIVAL AT A GLANCE 

THURSDAY 3RD SEPTEMBER

  • ANNE MCALPINE ‘The Silver Locket’, Kilmuir Primary School 2pm FREE
  • RODY GORMAN ‘Sweeney: An Intertonguing’, Aros Auditorium 2pm £5 | £3.50
  • IAN G MACDONALD Launch of ‘Memories of a Portree Kid’, Aros Auditorium 3.30pm £5 | £3.50
  • DOUGLAS ROBERTSON Illustrations: ‘Herring Tales’, Aros Auditorium 7.30pm £5 £3.50
  • DONALD S MURRAY Launch of  ‘Herring Tales’, Aros Auditorium 8.30pm £5 | £3.50
  • FRIDAY 4TH SEPTEMBER
  • BOOK BINDING Hand-sewn Book Aros 10am-4pm £45
  • GAELIC IN THE LANDSCAPE Launch of ‘Place-names of Strath’, Skye Aros Auditorium 2pm £5 | £3.50
  • J MACLENNAN Launch of ‘Frozen to Life’, Aros Auditorium 3.30pm £5 | £3.50
  • MICHAEL RUSSELL ‘Lie of the Land’, Aros Auditorium 7.30pm £5 | £3.50
  • VAL MCDERMID Launch of ‘Splinter the Silence’, Aros Auditorium 8.30pm £5 | £3.50
  • SATURDAY 5TH SEPTEMBER
  • BOOK BINDING Coptic Book, Aros 10am-4pm £45
  • THERESA BRESLIN ‘Scottish Mythical Creatures’, Aros Auditorium 11am £3 | £1.50
  • POETRY WALK Historical and cultural event, Portree Square 2pm FREE
  • PARA HANDY ‘A Highland Voyage’, Aros Auditorium 7.30pm £12 | £10 | £8
  • PBFA BOOK FAIR Thurs 12noon-5.30pm FREE, Fri 9am-5.30pm FREE, Sat 9am-4.30pm FREE

BOOK YOUR TICKETS on 01478 613750 OR WWW.SKYEBOOKFESTIVAL.CO.UK

 

LOUISE WELSH: Everything I Know About Crime Writing in Two Hours!

Louise Welsh photo

Photo credit: Steve Lindbridge

Six successful crime novels – the seventh, Death is a Welcome Guest just launched, musical collaborations, plays and non-fiction radio features, recipient of numerous awards and fellowships…the Reading Room is excited to present author Louise Welsh for afternoon and evening events, on Tuesday, July 28, at Skeabost Hotel.

Welsh will hold a Crime Writing Workshop from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m., where she will impart ‘all I know about crime writing in two hours’. The author has an impish sense of humor and admits to enjoying messing with people’s heads in her fiction, tweaking the reader’s trust in a character. With what appears to be a ceaseless and almost impossible schedule of writing and projects, she may really be capable of zapping our brains in those two hours.

There is a £5 per head fee for the two-hour workshop. Please book online at – skyereadingroom@yahoo.co.uk or via Reading Room Facebook page.

An Evening with Louise Welsh begins at 7.30 p.m. There is no entry fee and all are welcomeR:  138 G:  255 B:  154 X:54188 Y:    0 S:    0 Z:  143 F:  130.

The Skeabost Hotel offers fine dining and a casual menu is also available, serving afternoon teas and light bites throughout the day, plus an interesting and varied wine list, and large range of Malt whiskies and vast selection of Scottish Gins; there is something to suit all tastes. Be sure to visit the cozy pub while enjoying the ambiance of this historic hotel. 

Directions: Once on the outskirts of the village of Portree, take the Dunvegan Road A 850 and travel about seven miles to Skeabost, remembering to fork left at the junction for Dunvegan/Uig.   Skeabost is two miles from this junction, situated on the right hand side of the road beside the sea. Travelling from the west, the hotel is 18 miles east of Dunvegan on the A850.

It’s all about the ‘ring of language’

As a recap of our June 30th fun with author, poet and mad storyteller, Ian Stephen, here are some photos from the day.

Poets Beverly Mann and Norma Walker getting a taste of Ian’s sense of humor.

Writer, Kevyn Smith…it’s the effect Ian has on people.

The Skeabost House Hotel was a-buzz with the things that the Reading Room is all about – language and the reading, writing and sharing of it. In our afternoon workshop, Ian focused on recipe poems, which involved the writing and then the editing, which magically turned sketchy or wordy stuff into surprises.

There was a lot of literary metamorphosing going on in Lachlan MacDonald’s original wood-panelled chapel turned billiard room. Ian reminded the poets that claritas was a great classical virtue but, as we chopped and re-arranged, he asked, ‘Is there a risk in giving too much away?’ He was especially interested in Kevyn’s willingness to kick out what he liked best.

The evening began in our new location, the stately dining room cum literary salon, with open mike readings by A.S. DeWitt Angel, Kevyn Smith, Norma Walker, Francis Mitchell and Morag Henriksen.

 

Ian Stephen and Francis Mitchell.

Morag Henriksen reads sequel to ‘Scenery of Dreams’.

Himself becoming a legendary maritime storyteller, Ian’s tales come bounding out of his gills (as I see it!) and we were treated to a couple of his funny stories right away. After a cocktail break, Morag delighted all with a reading from her humorous, in-process sequel to Scenery of Dreams, and Ian re-took the floor to read from his first novel, A Book of Death and Fish. 

Fish we understand, with Ian, but ‘why death?’ someone asked. The author explained that the stories had been compiled over many years and to turn the chain into a novel meant it had to have something cohesive, something special. Referring to how theatre is developed, he said his protagonist/narrator’s character changes with each story…and there is a death in every story.

We look forward to watching Ian Stephen’s star rising, and though he seems like a fireball on a stage, it is evident the webcams will be catching him for a long time. 

R:  128 G:  255 B:  179 X:54188 Y:    0 S:  546 Z:  141 F:  138

We are happy to announce that award-winning author, Louise Welsh, will be our special guest on Tuesday, July 28, at the Skeabost House Hotel, for an afternoon workshop and evening reading.

 

 

An Evening with Ian Stephen

THE READING ROOM PRESENTS AN AFTERNOON POETRY WORKSHOP AND EVENING EVENT WITH IAN STEPHEN. OPEN MIKE FOLLOWS

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Scottish Writing Centre in-process master class with Ian Stephen, at Glasgow’s  Centre for Contemporary Arts. Photo credit: Pat Morrissey

IanStephenBookYou are invited to join the Reading Room in welcoming writer, artist and sailor, Ian Stephen, on Tuesday, June 30, at Skeabost Country House Hotel, Isle of Skye.

Ian Stephen, an Isle of Lewis man, has the reputation of being an adventuresome sailor, a passionate performer and workshop leader and a master storyteller.

His poetry and stories are published in many countries and have been translated into German, French and Czech.

Stephen’s first novel,  ‘A Book of Death and Fish’ (Saraband, 2014), has received excellent reviews as a brilliant and mesmerizing story, evocative of the rich life and characters found in the outer Hebrides.

His ‘Western Isles Folk Tales’ (illustrated by Christine Morrison, 2014) was described by Canadian storyteller, Dawn MacFarlane, as ‘brilliant and compelling historical artistry in word and illustration’.

We are excited to be able to present this talented man to the community and look Ian S Western Isles Folk Talesforward to surprises, tales and a completely enjoyable evening, which begins at 7:30 p.m.

Plan on making a night of it. There are two dining options at Skeabost. A fine Dining menu is served in the Dining Room, with its oak panelled walls. There is also Sonas, the contemporary, casual bistro outlet, serving an a la carte menu. Both menus use the freshest of local produce sourced from around the island. The cozy pub is also a favorite pre-event option.

The author will also head a 2-hour afternoon workshop for poets. He has used the device of the recipe-poem in several publications, as a way into the short stories in Mackerel and Creamola (Polygon\pocketbooks) and worked into the text of his novel, A Book of Death and Fish.

In this workshop, he will introduce some examples and propose the recipe-poem as a starting point. This can be developed in a practical or completely impractical way but the aim is to let the imagination loose and play with language.
Bring a copy of one of your poems. There is a £5 fee for the workshop. Sign up for the workshop by emailing the RR at skyereadingroom@yahoo.co.uk. Limited to eight participants, to allow close reading and feedback. The workshop begins at 3:30 p.m.

Included in the evening is our Open Mike session which is filling up, so if you want to do a reading, get in touch by sending a short sample of a poem or prose piece to skyereadingroom@yahoo.co.uk. No Facebook sign-ups, please.

Currently, there is room for single poems or very short prose. All writers are welcome. 

All June 30 events will take place at Skeabost Country House Hotel, situated on Loch Snizort Beag, in north Skye, 7 miles from Portree, on the Portree/Dunvegan road. There is no charge for the evening event with Ian Stephen. Supportive donations are always welcome and memberships are available. Our selection of used books offers a variety of good reads at bargain prices, so be sure to  the book table.