Embracing the rural landscapes of Northeast Scotland, Star Muck Bourach explores intergenerational changes within the land and its occupants. David Ross Linklater’s fourth pamphlet documents his idealised imaginings of an agricultural childhood as it becomes progressively tainted by destruction and loss. This collection continues Linklater’s exploration of environmental issues whilst navigating an uncharted territory where ‘only the hills know where we go from here.’ It questions humanity’s inclination towards industrialisation and their effects despite their inevitably short lifespans when in comparison to nature.
From mating bees to Samuel Beckett to boats across the sea, John Duffy does not leave a corner of our earth untouched. Duffy’s latest collection A Gowpen is crammed with a myriad of imagery. The ‘gowpen’ of the title is Scots for the action of cupping your hands together. To take a gowpen of something is to allow others to share with you. From the outset, we are welcomed thus with charity and sincerity, a gesture repeated in many of the poems in this collection. There is a warmth in his admiration of the kindness that humanity can offer – perhaps a quality that is desperately needed in our current climate.