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Research on Orkney literature and language inspires new books

Tuesday 27 October 2015

Research undertaken by Dr Ragnhild Ljosland on the literature and language of Orkney has resently inspired other writers in three new books.

The George Mackay Brown Fellowship has recently produced two books, which both contain responses to Ragnhild's research project on the Orkney writer Chrissie Costie and biography of the writer, published in 2011.

Alison Miller, for the George Mackay Brown Fellowship, put together That Bright Lifting Tide: A book introducing and celebrating a range of Orkney writers. On page 24-25 you can see its introduction to the life and works of Chrissie Costie, taken from Ragnhild's biography Chrissie's Bodle.

Spring Wark is the new book by Wirdsmit Young Writers' Group, which is part of the George Mackay Brown Fellowship, edited by Amber Conolly and Pam Beasant. The book contains stories and poetry written by young writers from across Orkney, who have taken part in workshops over the last year and written pieces in response. One of the workshops was led by Ragnhild, and the book contains poetry written in direct response to this. "Please Bring Back The Peace" is a moving poem by Megan Card, inspired by the War Memorial in Kirkwall and Ragnhild's workshop on Chrissie Costie's life in Orkney during the two World Wars and her poetry about the wars.

Also hot off the press is Ebban and Flowan by Alec Findlay, Laura Watts and Alistair Peebles: A book of poetry and photographic art inspired by Orkney’s marine environment, climate and renewable energy. Ragnhild’s input was as consultant on the many dialect words from Orkney and Shetland used in the publication, as well as words for sea, wind, tides and waves from other Nordic languages.

It is always great to see that research can inspire artistic responses!

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