I went along to The Crichton where indefatigable Dumfries poetry campaigner Dave Borthwick had arranged no less than the launch of Archipelago 5, from Clutag Press. Bending my flexi-time at work quite elastically, I managed to get there to hear Andrew McNeillie deliver a really interesting talk about the origins of this creamy, slow-paced, textured publication. Apparently Archipelago was born after a liquid lunch in Barcelona, which is quite a pleasing thought in itself, but I really enjoyed Andrew's descriptions of his early life in Wales, and his sense of his destiny across the Irish Sea to Galloway, and the lost wonder of North Clutag, the family farm in Galloway. He talked then about spending time as a young man on the Aran Islands, and waved around a book or two, which I will track down.
We all went off with a back number of Archipelago, which I have enjoyed so much I've actually bought the next one off the website http://www.clutag-archipelago.com/ Beautiful artwork by Norman Ackroyd, Stac Lee and Stac Armin, and more. Some satisfying essays, strange, edge of the horizon poetry from Peter Mackay and John Burnside.