Western Isles writers at Ullapool Book Festival

Performing at this year's Ullapool Book Festival (May 10th to 12th) is Criunn (l-r) Rachel Walker; Fiona Mackenzie; James Graham, and Brian O'hEadhra.

Performing at this year's Ullapool Book Festival (May 10th to 12th) is Criunn (l-r) Rachel Walker; Fiona Mackenzie; James Graham, and Brian O'hEadhra.

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Western Isles talent is presented at this year’s Ullapool Book Festival (May 10th to 12th) with several island writers featuring on the literary line-up.

Catriona Lexy Campbell, from Lewis, and Mary Ann Macdonald, who was brought up in South Uist and now lives in Berneray, Harris, are to host a Gaelic session.

Non-Gaelic speakers won’t miss out however, as there will be simultaneous translation into English through indiviudal headsets.

Catriona Lexy has worked extensively as a writer, poet, actor and theatre artist, working predominantly in her native Gaelic; and has just finished her term as the first Gaelic Associate Artist for the National Theatre of Scotland.

In January this year she began her placement as Sabhal Mor Ostaig Writer in Residence and has two new novels coming out this year, ‘Cluicheadaran’ (Aiteal) and ‘An t-Ionnsachadh Boidheach’ (Acair); as well as currently working on new plays for Oran Mor, the BBC, and Rural Nations.

Mary Ann, who perviously worked at BBC Radio nan Gaidheal, is now freelance and spends her time writing, translating and occasionally broadcasting – most notably in Aibisidh, the Gaelic quiz show on BBC Alba.

She has written three children’s books and one for adults – Cleas Sgathain (Clar, 2008).

Also taking part at the festival is Donald S Murray, who is originally from Lewis, but now lives in Shetland.

A poet, author and teacher, Donald is also a Gaelic speaker whose work has been praised by a number of critics and writers, including Will Self.

He was recently awarded a Robert Louis Stevenson Fellowship and is the current holder of the Jessie Kesson Writing Fellowship for 2013.

Donald’s publications include: ‘The Guga Hunters’ (Birlinn); ‘Small Expectations’ (Two Ravens Press); ‘And On The Rock: The Italian Chapel: Orkney’ (Birlinn), and ‘Weaving Songs’ (Acair).

And Gaelic music is set to feature at the Book Festival also as Highland based quartet Criunn brings together four of Scotland’s premier Gaelic singers – James Graham; Fiona Mackenzie (Lewis); Brian O’hEadhra and Rachel Walker.

Each highly regarded in their own right, as Cruinn they perform traditional and contemporary Gaelic song with beautiful harmonies and arrangements.

To find out more visit www.ullapoolbookfestival.co.uk