A “Strictly Local” Faclan

  • Published on: 11th November 2020
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This year, like everything else on the planet, Faclan: The Hebridean Book Festival has had to be rethought, rescheduled, retooled. It will still declare a presence though, albeit mostly online.

In recognition of lockdown, quarantine, self-isolation and with a nod to the odd choreography of the times, the theme is Strictly Local: Writers, speakers and subject matter.

Poets in Place, hosted by Ian Stephen, will feature mentored writers from An Lanntair’s development programme, an event twinned with a discussion with Ian and a reading by one of the brightest stars in the contemporary poetry firmament Niall Campbell from Uist. UHI Lecturer on Gaelic folklore Catriona Murray, will talk on the Strangely Familiar, shining a torch into the dark corners of the supernatural in Lewis, while the glorious richness of place will be celebrated by Comunn Eachdraidh Nis with the launch of their History with Heart and Soul on the place names of North Lewis.

Seldom has anyone dug as deep into local history as UHI Professor Frank Rennie whose new Highland Book Prize-listed book The Changing Outer Hebrides has the village of Galson at its core. The Changing Outer Hebrides is published by Acair Books, who is a key partner with An Lanntair for Faclan 2020.  More broadly, photographer Alex Boyd revisits The Isle of Rust aka Lewis & Harris and R M Murray’s debut episodic memoir Bleak: The Mundane Comedy is a sardonic and dry take on life in a wet place.

Festival Director Roddy Murray said “First plans were abandoned, then postponed, then reconsidered as the situation mutated and evolved. It is true and relevant to the present time and what it has lost in terms of range and – obviously – live audiences, it has gained in focus. And if nothing else it stands to remind people that Faclan has not and is not going away.”

To find out more and to book events, visit: https://lanntair.com/creative-programme/faclan-2020/


An Lanntair is a hub for creativity and the arts in the Outer Hebrides. Its work stretches across a national and international platform, with a mission ‘to connect and inspire people in producing extraordinary, creative programmes, uniquely rooted in the place and reflecting the arts and ideas of our time’.

We are supported by Creative Scotland, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and Point & Sandwick Trust.

For more on An Lanntair visit www.lanntair.com or contact Anna Maree Paget, Marketing & Administrative Assistant, at 01851708480 / anna@anlanntair.com