Category Archives: Writing

Good news from the front line

(Also available as a podcast here) Front lines are on all our minds right now. I think of poetry as language’s front line, the place where things can at once be at their most considered and their most intense, raw … Continue reading

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Making sense

You can now listen to each new post, including this one, as a podcast. I am also gradually adding selected posts from the archive. Click here. If we look for milestones to prompt reflection and personal stocktaking, few come better … Continue reading

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The company of wolves

Twenty-five years ago I published a novel called The Mapmaker. Set in 1349, the year the Black Death reached England, it tells the story of two young men who are driven from their village and find themselves following a mysterious … Continue reading

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Seeing what I say

Next week I’m going to Moniack Mhor, the Scottish writing centre in Inverness-shire. It will be the twelfth time I’ve been since 2005 when we ran what was the second-ever Dark Angels course there, and the first one I took … Continue reading

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Mellow fruitfulness

First frost this morning. The trees on Birnam Hill are starting to turn—though not, curiously, as dramatically as they were in the Lot-et-Garonne where we were last week. There the oaks that mantle the vast Quercy forest had taken on … Continue reading

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Affairs of the heart

A friend wrote to me this week to let me know that a novel I had read for her a couple of years ago is starting to make waves. She has the interest of both a good Scottish publisher and … Continue reading

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Don Roberto and Me

For the last few months I’ve found it almost impossible to keep current events from my mind for very long. There’s a morbid fascination in the catastrophe that is British politics. Each time I think it couldn’t get any worse, … Continue reading

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