Scottish Writers' Centre Hugh McMillan: Poetry, Galloway, and Loss
Tue 5 June 2018
Galloway once operated as a powerful semi -independent state trading with other maritime nations. Now, bypassed by major roads and railways, it is largely ignored and littered with the remains of many settlements. Just as the people have gone so has language. Gaelic died out, Scots survives in pockets in the Rhinns and the Upper Nith Valley. The area is popular for second homes and retirees. The ‘Ghost Landscape’ and ‘Dark Skies’ are marketed as tourist attractions when they are actually a symbol of abandonment. The landscape and its literature, is imbued with a love of place and a sense of loss.
As a student of Galloway’s history and an English speaker whose mother spoke Gaelic and whose father’s family were Scots speaking miners Hugh McMillan feels the sense of loss of language, culture and history very keenly. Much of his work is to do with emigration, loss of history and purpose, as well as personal abandonment and loss.
Using the work of Dumfries and Galloway poets such as Willie Neill, Josephine Neill, Kirpatrick Dobbie, Derek Ross and others, as well as his own, he’ll show how this sense has evolved into a poetic tradition that is elegiac and how loss can be turned into a potent and powerful literature that commemorates as well as pleases.
Entry to this event is £5/£3 concession.