Faclan 2023: Lost • Caillte

The organising theme of this year’s Faclan is Lost and will feature some stellar names. Not least the winner of the 2020 Booker prize, Douglas Stuart, and the winner of the BBC’s Design Masters, Banjo Beale.

But what does lost mean? Can it be lost, even if you can see it? Within touching distance but irretrievable?  We can only call it lost if it is something that we possess, that has value. Whether a fortune, a relationship, the house keys, a shirt button.

As a standalone word it has depth. A forlorn quality. We lose our way, lose control, lose heart, our faith, our youth … the will to live. Did not Benjamin Franklin say, ‘Lost time is never found again.’

Yet we will always have words as maps and compasses, even if – in the end – we become lost in thought.