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PICTURES: Ullapool Book Festival tickets set to go on sale tomorrow as revamped online event opens brand new chapter for acclaimed Wester Ross favourite


By Hector MacKenzie

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Fiona Mackenzie from Dingwall outside her office at Canna House.
Fiona Mackenzie from Dingwall outside her office at Canna House.

TICKETS for an eagerly anticipated Ross-shire book festival determined to overcome the shadow cast by the coronavirus crisis will go on sale tomorrow.

Bookworms disappointed by the cancellation of the physical event can look forward to extending their enjoyment over months rather than a few days.

Ullapool Book Festival will run online at 8pm every Wednesday from May 26 until August 4.

Tickets for all 11 events will go on sale on Wednesday at noon, all priced at £4.

Ticket holders will be able to view each event for seven days.

Each event will additionally be BSL signed and captioned.

A full programme of events ican be viewed on the UBF website at www.ullapoolbookfestival.co.uk

For almost every event, the festival is bringing writer and chair together for sessions professionally filmed in Ullapool, Glasgow, Skye and Lewis.

The event is funded by Creative Scotland.

British Sign Language interpretation is sponsored by Ullapool Harbour Trust.

Captioning is sponsored by The Ceilidh Place, Ullapool Bookshop, and Ullapool News.

The festival said that without the financial assistance of these local businesses "we would not have been able to make the online sessions available to the deaf and hard-of-hearing community".

Highlights from the programme

Wednesday 26 May at 8pm

Fiona J. Mackenzie is the Archivist for the National Trust for Scotland in Canna House, the home of the Campbell Collections of Folklore and Song. She edited Eilean – The Island Photography of Margaret Fay Shaw and has produced a half-hour film Solas based around Margaret Fay Shaw’s BBC broadcasts of the 1950s.

Wednesday 2 June at 8pm

Jim Carruth.
Jim Carruth.

Poet Jim Carruth grew up on his family’s farm near Kilbarchan. His most recent collection Bale Fire (2019) explores the impact of change on farming communities. Jim is the current poet laureate of Glasgow.

Wednesday 9 June at 8pm

Peter Geoghegan.
Peter Geoghegan.

Peter Geoghegan is an Irish writer, journalist and broadcaster and investigations editor at the award-winning news website openDemocracy. His latest book, due out at festival time, Democracy For Sale is the story of how money, vested interests and digital skulduggery have destroyed trust in democracy and fuelled the rise of populism in Britain and across the West.

Wednesday 16 June at 8pm

Leela Soma was born in Madras, India and now lives in Glasgow, Scotland. She has published three novels and two collections of poetry. Her latest novel Murder at the Mela is set in Glasgow.

Wednesday 23 June at 8pm

Chris Dolan.
Chris Dolan.

Chris Dolan writes for stage, page, screen and radio. In 2019 Chris travelled and busked across Spain, repeating a (failed) trip when he was 16, His new book – Everything Passes, Everything Remains: Journeys through Spain, Song and Memory – is about remembering (and mis-remembering). How we form narratives of our own lives…

Wednesday 30 June at 8pm

Linda Cracknell.
Linda Cracknell.

Linda Cracknell is a writer of fiction, non-fiction and drama for whom landscape, place and memory are key themes. Her latest book is a novella of lives linked to a Perthshire woollen mill over two centuries: The Other Side of Stone (Taproot Press, 2021).

Wednesday 6 July at 8pm

Acclaimed Scottish historian Professor Sir Tom Devine.
Acclaimed Scottish historian Professor Sir Tom Devine.

Clearance, Famine and Racism; the Western Highlands and Islands in the Victorian Era.

This event will be based on Sir Tom Devine’s recent bestselling book, The Scottish Clearances: A History of the Dispossessed , hailed by Neal Ascherson as "perhaps the most important work of history Devine has ever written".

Wednesday 14 July at 8pm

Miriam Gamble is a lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Edinburgh Her latest poetry collection is What Planet (Bloodaxe Books 2019.

Peter Mackay is from the Isle of Lewis. He is a poet and lectures in Literature at the University of St Andrews. His latest book of poetry is Nàdur De / Some Kind of (Acair 2020).

Wednesday 21 July at 8pm

There is a tradition of the first turn being made ‘sunwise’ on land or especially at sea.

Ian Stephen has arranged and linked traditions of a sunwise journey out from the Outer Hebrides, taking in St Kilda and North Rona. He retells these in collaboration with musician Mike Vass who performs a newly composed suite. Christine Morrison has made new artwork in response.

Wednesday 28 July at 8pm

Ambrose Parry is the pseudonym for a collaboration between Chris Brookmyre and Marisa Haetzman. Both of the Ambrose Parry novels – The Way of All Flesh and The Art of Dying – were finalists for the McIlvanney Prize. A third novel A Corruption of Blood is due out in August.

Wednesday, August 4 at 8pm

Donald S. Murray.
Donald S. Murray.

Donald S Murray is a Gaelic speaking poet, author and occasional dramatist. His new novel, In a Veil of Mist (Saraband) was published in March to excellent reviews.


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