My heart’s in the Highlands

Bullers of Buchan








My ancestry’s firmly grounded in the North-East of Scotland, specifically in Buchan, Moray and the Black Isle. To some, the definition of ‘The Highlands’ excludes these rural, agricultural borders of the Highland mountains, but that doesn’t really bother me. I feel at home here, in the big triangle that includes Aberdeenshire, Banffshire, Moray and Nairn.

In the past two years, as the Scottish Poetry Library’s Poet Partner with Moray Libraries, I’ve come here often to conduct workshops, give readings, and to do other things to raise the profile of poetry in Moray. It’s been terrific, and I’m grateful to SPL, to Moray Libraries and their staff, and to the Paul Hamlyn Foundation. The partnership now only has two further sessions to go, and these are being organised at the moment, but it won’t be the end of my connections with the people, the libraries, the landscapes and the poetry of the area – how could it be?

So this weekend DunbarJane and I are making a Grand Tour of the area, to the places I’ve worked in – Lossiemouth, Elgin, Forres, Buckie, Cullen, and the places in between. We’re taking the scenic route, via the Cairngorms and passing through the distillery towns of the Speyside Whisky Trail.

Incidentally, the title of this posting is a Burns song.


About sunnydunny

Poet, publisher, gardener
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4 Responses to My heart’s in the Highlands

  1. Rachel Fox says:

    There’s a lovely version of that song by Karine Polwart. You probably already know that.

  2. Burns title then stolen by Dylan for his own song called “Highlands.”

  3. sunnydunny says:

    The strangest version of the song, and one which I find strangely compelling, is one by the composer Arvo Part. But I love Karine’s version more.

  4. Gordon says:

    Fit lyke/Hi,
    I read this article and thought id let you know about my wee web page of Doric Scots and Poems!
    I write in Doric Scots’ if you would like to see some of my work go on youtube and type in kintakintyea and you should reach my page’ Thanks!
    “Lang Meiy Yer Lum Reek!!

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