Tag Archives: library


  Inside the great temple of books, readers and authors, we found home.

That journey took time in itself. 

Launched virtually on Amazon to let it fly to readers’ hands on 30 March, as if to break a curse (that of losing my grandmother to whom Compass Head is dedicated, among two other generations of mothers) my wish to celebrate it with some very special guests took place on the twentieth day of the fifth month.

And they all answered present.

Local poet, friend & mentor when it comes to the dialect, Laureen Johnson, to whom I feel grateful to put my work in the limelight as early as 2004 inside the New Shetlander, would grace the floor; James Andrew Sinclair, with whom I read, wrote and performed over over a decade; but also a string of weavers of sounds in the names of Alan McKay, Suzanne Briggs, Lewis Hall, and – last but not least – Donald Anderson, singer songwriter & former Literature Development Officer at Shetland Arts. We share a creative story.

They are my compagnons de voyage. 

What a great night we gave the audience at the Shetland Library. A total of seventy folk came to the Hillhead. I felt overwhelmed at some stage, and so humble.

 From the back, it looked like this…

 From the side it looked like that. 

Marghie Thompson West, one of our Hillhead librarians, turned mistress of ceremony.

One by one – or in two’s, as Suzanne and Alan joined up to delight us with two classics, La mer,  and Les feuilles mortes (Jacques Prévert) or as Alan & Donald duetted with their respective guitars – we entertained with flair and grace.

That’s when time turned irrelevant (for a moment)… 

On this occasion, I wish to thank you, who came to listen to us all; you, who contributed to a fabulous celebration – our Shetland librarians, who homed it, your hospitality, smiles and joie de vivre added to your first-class service. To Margaret for a very special cake that left me breathless (on top of all other goodies you prepared with love). 

To Marsaly Taylor for your glowing review in the Shetland Times the week before; to Jane Moncrieff from BBC Radio Shetland (Scotland) & Lawrence Tulloch (Give us a Tune, BBC Radio Shetland) for airing it on the air waves. To Aneta, for your presence, keeping me smiling & hospitality in Lerwick. 🙂 

And there is more to come. 🙂

Compass Head is travelling and reaching so many headlands. It is beautiful. Am ever so thankful to my Norway-based publishing house, Nordland Publishing, and James Andrew Murray, their second poet, for believing in my work in the very first place.

Compass Head, as part of the Songs of the North. 


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Come along and enjoy. We will be delighted to have you on the night. Bring a friend or a loved one 🙂

There will be a kaleidoscope of voices, with live music, at our Home of books – and a few nibbles too 🙂 

And bring your own copy for me to sign on the night! 

We are looking forward to see you.

See you there! 


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compass head

Four weeks away from the book launch at the Shetland Library in Lerwick, and heaving a memorable night of celebration, reading and signing on Friday 20 May 2016. Our librarians are fantastic!

There will be special guests, some poets, others, artists (or poets with an instrument).

nordicblackbird | the roost now duly updated, both home and writer’s corner pages.

Excitement begins to mount…



enjoy Compass Head, and please please please do not forget to bring your copy on 20 May, as I will be more than happy and honoured to sign it at the end of the event.

And if you don’t have it yet, do not delay!

get it HERE!

More to come 🙂

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trowie night



It really felt as if we had been still through time.
I would not dare saying “jinxed”, but we just spent a wonderful night out at the Shetland Library celebrating Marsali’s book launch.
The Trowie Mound Murders
Yes, it was all about magical creatures we can encounter through our isles,
And we had it all,
warm welcome from our librarians, bubbly apple juice (if not fermented grapes sealed inside green glass…) words, smiles, more words – either poetry or prose, from The Westside Writers… Spoken, but also sung, with Donald 🙂
What a fantastic night!
Thank you to all present tonight. It was great to see you in Lerwick tonight.
With renewed thanks to our hosts 🙂









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There are moments of pleasure in one’s life. Now, what would you take with you as desert island reads? This was exactly what our local island library asked us last month, and, considering our great cauldron of voices. I had no doubt this would turn out to be a fantastic night among friends, words and voices.
Classic kaleidoscope where time vanished in between lines & smiles, Karen Fraser gave all present one of those delectable moments.
Folk just shared their selected prose and/or verse whilst others came to simply listen. Linguistic twangs allow imagination to travel, as they ranged from native Germany, England to Shetland, via Orkney, Scotland, France & the US. Very geopoetical all in all. The very fabric of our community 🙂

What a fantastic night we had! With renewed thanks to our very dynamic & nurturing team at The Shetland Library. It was a case of fabulous desert island reads!

















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Your Library, your home


When librarians get together and open the great hall of books to celebrate the spoken word,
my county library comes alive.
On this occasion, the theme read “ageing creatively”.
So we gathered at the Hillhead, and read our favourite poems, when not our own.
Great night out!

Donald provided da music

Mary read Stella Sutherland & Laureen Johnson;

James read his own

Debbie played the pirate (!)

Christian illuminated the night with “Bird of Paradise” (short prose in the first half) and poetry after the interval.

After the interval, Donald restarted with music. Librarians Catherine & Louise read selected verse,



I chose to read Atlantic Canadian poet Joe Blades’ Storefront Poem 24, followed by newly written material for the event – a triptych of micropoetry, followed by “Sophie”, a stand alone piece.

However, members of the audience added their own marks through different readings & performances, including young Elvin, followed by his mum.
Our chief host,Marghie, closed the night as she opened it, with flair and smiles.

All in all, a brilliant night. Thank you, dear librarians & Shetland Library for such a great event.
Their website is to be checked for the myriad of events held by our spirited gang of librarians 😀

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