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GMB  NEWS   2007

The George Mackay Brown Writing Fellowship
First GMB Writing Fellow Appointed

Click Here for full Press release

Orkney-based writer, Pam Beasant, has been appointed to the post following significant interest from around the world.

Pam is an experienced poet and in 2006 she wrote the script for the St Magnus Festival promenade production “A Hamnavoe Man”, based on the life and work of George Mackay Brown. 

She is also the author of many non-fiction books and is working on the final edit of her first novel, set in Orkney, and a children’s opera libretto with composer Gemma McGregor.  

Contact details for interview/and or photo opportunity:  

Pam Beasant 01856 850992
Clare Gee 01856 873535




A DVD is now available of all 3 performances of
A Hamnavoe Man
Cost: £11 inc P&P

Contact Noel Thomson
01856 751303



Collected Poems of 
George Mackay Brown

paperback edition

published 15 Oct 2006 

RRP £18.99

Theatre Enigma


The Battle in the Hills


The Storm Watchers


George Mackay Brown

The production was premiered at the Scottish Storytelling Centre (Netherbow Theatre) in Edinburgh on 6 and 7 October 2006 and will tour various venues throughout Scotland.

To mark the 85th anniversary of George Mackay Brown's birth and the 10th anniversary of his death, Theatre Enigma will present a double bill; the professional premieres of The Battle in the Hills and The Storm Watchers.

”Harder to be a woman, and wait, than to be out there among the flashings and the thunders.”

The Battle in the Hills. Six women come together to a green place on the safe side of a hill. Early morning – daybreak – the day of the battle.

“Sleep on, your father's late tonight, he's out beyond where the mermaids are, and the whales, and the drowned ships.”

The Storm Watchers. A long shore. Darkness, a shut oyster. Seven women standing. Waiting.

Brown's lyrical, poetic and moving plays for women's voices explore female intuition, insights, beliefs and loss.

More info at


 Thursday 5th October (5.30-7.30pm)

The first showing of Gordon Wright's audio, film, video, still photography compilation on George Mackay Brown, entitled 'A Most Likeable Man' 
will be shown at 

The Scottish Storytelling Centre, 
High Street, 
Box Office 0131 556 9579 
Tickets £7.00/£5.00

 as part of a National Poetry Day tribute to George Mackay Brown. 

Andrew Ward
has created this new portrait of GMB as part of his project 'The Bardic Voyage'.

The project can be seen on the internet - ,or at the Royal Highland Hotel, Inverness . Opening on Friday 29 October for 10 days.

See Photo Gallery Portraits 4 for more info

Review of GMB related events at the St Magnus Festival can be found at the Highlands and Islands Arts website: 

GMB biographer Maggie Fergusson will be speaking about GMB at the Edinburgh Book Festival, 12.30pm Monday August 28th.

GMB related
Exhibitions in Orkney
Summer 2006

Twelve textile art pieces 
depicting George Mackay Brown’s poem ‘A Calendar of Kings’
the Old Ferry Terminal 
16th June - Opens till September approx


GMB exhibition in Stromness Museum

An exhibition to mark the tenth anniversary of 
George Mackay Brown's death is now open 
at the Stromness Museum.
The exhibition, Just George, tells the story of the writer's life  
through anecdotes, photographs, paintings and  personal memorabilia.
It will run from April to September.


GMB Exhibition at the Orkney Museum, 
Tankerness House, Kirkwall

Sonia Bidwell has created an interesting exhibition of multimedia wall-hangings 
based on the work of GMB. 
Her work covers many themes in George's writing, 
from Seven threads make a shroud, to the gentle Lullaby for Lucy 
and the more down to earth Hamnavoe Market.

The exhibition runs through from June to about September.

George Mackay Brown:  The Life
first approved biography
Maggie  Fergusson

Click Here to read the book cover blurb

Click Here for Events

13th April 2006

to commemorate the 10th anniversary of GMB's death
Hardback, £25.00
Paperback January 2007

John Murray Publishers Ltd
ISBN: 0719556597

‘This is an outstanding biography: deeply researched, sympathetic and full of insight into George Mackay Brown’s magical ability to make poetry out of the simple ingredients of landscape, history and faith, it brings this extraordinary man to life on every page’
Claire Tomalin

‘Clear, detailed, vigilant, droll and beautifully written, this biography achieves what only the best accounts of a life can: the scent and texture of the departed subject’s spirit, and, in this case, the spirit of a very particular place, which Maggie Fergusson conveys with the grace of the born writer’
Candia McWilliam

‘George Mackay Brown was the most elegiac and profoundly rooted of twentieth-century Scottish writers. Maggie Fergusson’s biography is a deftly written and convincingly craggy portrait of this Orcadian genius’
William Dalrymple

More Reviews
Click Here for Murrays Press Release


available now!
Click Here for Press Release

Orkney Aye
a pupil business initiative at Stromness Academy
has produced a CD to commemorate
the 10th anniversary of the death of GMB.

Poems and stories 
some read by GMB himself


Jessica Side or Kirstie Davidson
Marketing Directors
Orkney Aye
Stromness Academy
Tel: 01856 850606
Or visit

Order Form

Orkney Aye was formed by a group of pupils at Stromness Academy under the auspices of Young Enterprise Scotland [YES]


Congratulations, Orkney Aye!

Stromness Academy's Orkney Aye were named winners of the Orkney Young Enterprise competition at a ceremony in Kirkwall last night.

Orkney Aye came out on top after each group gave a presentation to judge Chris Van Der Kuyl, chairman of Young Enterprise Scotland.

Orkney Aye will now compete in the Scottish finals.




The long awaited
Collected Poems
of GMB

published 20 June 2005
John Murray Publishers Ltd.

"The poems of one of Scotland's finest poets published in one volume for the first time."

from John Murray:

"The editors of this volume are uniquely qualified:
Archie Bevan is GMB's literary executor
Brian Murray is co-author of Interrogation of Silence, a critical study of the works of GMB."


"George Mackay Brown has added uniquely and steadfastly to the riches of poetry in English: his sense of the world and his way with words are powerfully at one with each other."
Seamus Heaney

Price £35

Click Here for the Orcadian's Review

Click Here for other Reviews
including Poetry Scotland's Sally Evans' Review

Opportunity to hear GMB
reading his own poems

Now Online!

The Poetry Archive is the world’s premier online collection of poets reading their own work. It's free of charge, featuring contemporary poets and voices of poets of the past.

[click here for Archive]





For news about 
New Editions
of old favourites
turn to Page 2

       Memorial Plaque

On 6th October 2005  GMB was honoured when a memorial  plaque was unveiled in the Makar's Court at the Writers' Museum, Royal Mile, Edinburgh. The plaque is engraved with words from George's poem Hamnavoe:

In the fire of images
Gladly I put my hand

a reference to writing the poem in memory of  his father, John Brown. It continues: 

To save that day for him.

The cost of the plaque was raised from Stromness Community Council, the Orkney Heritage Society and more especially by donations from the public. A small contingent from Orkney attended the opening ceremony.


The Writers’ Museum
Lady Stair's Close, Lawnmarket, Royal Mile Tel: 0131 529 4901

Situated in Lady Stair's House, built in 1622, The Writers' Museum is dedicated to the lives and work of Scotland 's great literary figures, in particular Robert Burns (1759 - 1796), Sir Walter Scott (1771 - 1832) and Robert Louis Stevenson (1850 - 1894).

The courtyard immediately outside The Writers' Museum has been designated as Makers' Court. Here you can find inscriptions commemorating famous Scottish writers, from the 14th century to the present.

Interrogation of Silence

A new book about the writings of GMB
by Rowena Murray and Brian Murray
 published by
John Murray/Hodder Headline
2nd August 2004

ISBN: 0719559294
£25.00 RRP Hardback

The book was profiled at the Edinburgh International Book Fair on Sunday
15th August 2004

Reviews of this book

Read the Orcadian Review Here

A piece of music was specially
commissioned for the launch of
'The Interrogation of Silence.'


On Sale Now!
previously unpublished story by GMB


The Poor Man in his Castle
with lino-cuts by
Rosemary Roberts

GMB was working on this story, the last Christmas story he wrote, in October 1995 six months before his death.

The writing is full of symbolism, and is set in an island community where strange things happen at Yuletide.

Limited edition of 135 copies, numbered and signed by the artist.

ISBN 0 948261 95 1
£40 [multiple copies £35]
Post free UK, overseas £5 p&p

More details from
  01751 417298
fax 01751 417739

October 2004


Re-issued by popular demand:

Orkney:  Pictures and Poems

poems by George Mackay Brown
based on beautiful photographs  
by Gunnie Moberg

Available now in hardback 
at the old price of £20 
plus £5 p&p from:

Stromness Books and Prints
1 Graham Place
KW161 3BY
01856 850 565

Click Here
for more about Gunnie Moberg
and Pictures and Poems



June 2004



a literary based arts journal based in North Wales
Editor: Malcolm Bradley

will publish an essay on GMB
in the April 2006 edition
"GMB: a hero's journey"

Visit the Quattrocento website


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