I've been happily distracted for a couple of days creating a slideshow for my reading at Wigtown Book Festival on Wednesday 3 October when my new pamphlet from Roncadora Press, The Dark Farms, will be officially launched.
The Dark Farms focuses on the Galloway Forest Park, its depopulated glens, shrinking agriculture and extraordinarily dark skies. I worked on The Dark Farms for eight months during 2011, walking the Forest, talking to residents and reading old books and maps. I also spent quite a few hours dodging 2011’s steady rain in Newton Stewart Museum, which was where I first encountered the Bull Mask, and the Necklace of Horse's Teeth.
What emerged is poetry about very remote places; saturated stones; the ghosts of sheep; the vast night skies. I took photos of abandoned sheepfolds, farms with their windows bricked up, rotting carthorse stalls.
Award-winning publisher Roncadora Press is owned by artist Hugh Bryden, who has created a handmade ‘black book’ for The Dark Farms, complete with black edged pages, poems lit only by stars and an embossed front cover. If so moved, you can buy it at Wigtown Book Festival and then via www.hughbryden.com.
The Dark Farms is in the Main Hall in the County Buildings at 1.30pm, tickets cost £6. Please book via the Book Festival website - click here.