Alan Riach is a poet and occupies the Chair of Scottish Literature at Glasgow University.
Island identities throughout history have generated some great poems and paintings, and the relationships between islands – the archipelago of ideas that arise from them – have informed some of the greatest works of Scottish literature. This talk will propose, discuss and illustrate with readings some of these great poems, and consider their relation to the islands they represent. We will also consider what they might have to say about national identity and power, in the twenty-first century. Poets and artists to be considered include St Columba, Walter Scott, Hugh MacDiarmid, Edwin Morgan, George Mackay Brown, Iain Crichton Smith, W.S. Graham, McTaggart, Cadell, Peploe, John Cunningham and Michael Clark.