Scottish Review of Books Funding

May 22, 2019

It is with the greatest regret that the Board of Scottish Review of Books Limited announce a break in regular publication of the PRINT edition of the quarterly magazine. Our latest funding application has been turned down by Creative Scotland, part-funder of the magazine for the last 15 years. We hope...

In Search of Seamus

May 20, 2019
by Alan Taylor

The village of Bellaghy has become a place of pilgrimage not for martyrs but for poetry lovers who come to pay homage to Seamus Heaney who died in 2013, aged 73. The grave and its simple headstone are a modest tribute to a writer who is credited with unifying his country and who remained faithful to...

Iolaire

May 20, 2019
by Ian Stephen

  THERE is already a strong body of responses, in oral literature, song, story, drama, fiction and non-fiction to the loss of 201 lives within yards of Holm shore at the entrance to Stornoway harbour on the first morning of 1919. It took the combination of oral language and melody for the grieving...

For the Good Times

May 20, 2019
by Alasdair McKillop

  ‘FUCKING Glasgow, my friend, it’s just like Belfast, the same rivalries, the same segregated pubs, the same halls, the same murals, the same fucking teams; a friendly city once you get to know it. Plus you’re just as likely to get stabbed for your colours as you are back home, so as you...

Underland

May 20, 2019
by Peter Ross

  ROBERT Macfarlane, whose career has been in steep ascent since 2003, began with a book about mountains – their fatal, perhaps even natal allure; in such places one can meet one’s death yet also feel reborn. He is known as a prose-poet of high places, ‘north-minded’ as he once called himself,...

Second Thoughts

May 20, 2019
by Nick Major

  IN the reviewing trade, a new book can drop through the letterbox at nine o’clock one morning, and be read, reviewed and put on a shelf, or in the charity box, by six the following evening. As Norman Mailer once pointed out, ‘the underlying force in book reviewing is journalism’. It is...

Hearths and Homes: An Essay

May 20, 2019
by Zoë Strachan

  ONCE at Bay of Skaill on the west coast of Orkney, I saw a ring of wave-beaten stones, each one large enough to sit on, enclosing a pile of charred driftwood. Years later, on the beach at Maidens, not so far from where I grew up in Ayrshire, I caught the last shock of flame in a smaller stone...

New Poems

May 20, 2019
by Hayden Murphy

  2. In the ages of Owls his companions Were the bipeds with hands. No beak, No plumage, round shaped feet, no talons, No hunting skills, No talent Apart from words. Ancestor Owl learnt from Cousin Kestrel To understand, to calibrate the edge That borders celebration in their gift of tongues. That...

Stone Voices

May 20, 2019
by David Black

  STATUES may be inert and silent, but they can rouse passions. Consider Oxford’s Cecil Rhodes, or Monument Avenue in Richmond, Virginia, creepily weaponized to goad liberal sentiment with defiant representations of Robert E Lee and Jefferson Davies. Edinburgh’s civic monuments cause little...

Remembering WS Graham

May 20, 2019
by Brian Morton

  FOR Sydney Graham, a poem was a pebble tossed into a pond. We can use the image with reasonable but limited confidence, for though it was not the poet’s own, he once approved it with a tight nod and the faintest of smiles. The pond was, of course, language, to which Sydney himself usually attributed...

Blog / Discussion

In Search of Seamus

by Alan Taylor

Iolaire

by Ian Stephen

For the Good Times

by Alasdair McKillop

Underland

by Peter Ross