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***Words from the West | Saturday 9 May | 7.30pm ***
The 16th Ullapool Book Festival should have started today. Though we’re heart sore that we couldn’t go ahead, we are very happy to bring you our virtual festival, Words from the West.
Words from the West is two hours long and features author sessions, poetry and music. It’s free to watch and we are not asking for donations, just that you tune in and enjoy a glimpse of what might have been. Please help spread the word.

***HOW TO WATCH***
There are three ways to watch:
1 – on the Ullapool Book Festival Facebook page
3 – on a smart TV go to YouTube and search Words from the West
If you use the YouTube link beforehand, you will see a testcard showing Ruth Wishart and Kerry Hudson (as shown below). There is a countdown to the start, and you’ll be able to subscribe and sign up for a reminder.

***THE PROGRAMME***
Saturday 9 May | 7.30pm – 9.30pm
1. Welcome.
2. George Gunn reads his new poem, Lockdown.
3. Kerry Hudson chaired by Ruth Wishart. Kerry’s latest book and memoir Lowborn takes her back to the towns of her childhood as she investigates her own past and what it means to be poor in Britain today.
4. Charlie Grey & Joseph Peach share two tracks from their album Waves Rise from Quiet Water ??
5. Donald S Murray reads his new poem, Shetland 14 April 2020.
6. Chris Dolan in conversation with Moira Leven. Chris ’s new book ‘Everything Passes, Everything Remains – Freewheeling through Spain, Song and Memory’ (due to be published in the autumn) is a travelogue of 45 years’ obsession with Spain, pedalling through some less well known parts of that country.
7. Charlie Grey & Joseph Peach share two tracks from their album Waves Rise from Quiet Water ??
8. Jim Carruth reads his new poem, the long bench.
9. Donald S Murray chaired by Mark Wringe. Donald’s book, As The Women Lay Dreaming, was inspired by the effects of the Iolaire disaster on 1st January 1919.
As everyone was working with the technology they had available at home, the programme will be a mix of audio and film. Huge thanks to the writers and chairs taking part and very special thanks to Martin Gilligan and to Joan Michael, Chair of UBF, without whom Words from the West could not have happened. They’ve both put in a massive amount of work and it’s fair to say they didn’t know quite what they were taking on. The words steep and learning curve come to mind. (NB Joan didn’t write this. She’s the last person to give herself a pat on the back, but she certainly deserves it).
All that’s left to say is pour yourself a glass of whatever you fancy, tune in and enjoy.
Words from the West | Live on YouTube and UBF Facebook page | Saturday 9 May | 7.30pm - 9.30pm
Since 2005 we have been selling copies of Tales and Legends of Lochbroom with the profits being set aside for any emergency. And that time has arrived! They will fund our online Words from the West on Saturday 9 May at 7.30pm.
So now (with local bookshops shut) we are selling Tales and Legends of Lochbroom online. They were written down around 1900 by Roderick Mackenzie (1850-1930). A local guide book in 1903 described him as 'our local senachie' from the Gaelic seanchaidh, a reciter or recorder of tales. Roderick (Rory Robb as he was known) married the widow next door and brought up her daughter Johan whose father had died 4 months before she was born. Johan was grandmother of our chair, Joan. More details about how this came to being published (initially for Ullapool's Bicentenary in1988) is in the introduction.
It is for sale for £6 including first class postage. If you live in Ullapool (not Braes or north of Vyner!)and have a letterbox £5 will get it hand delivered on a committee member's daily walk. To buy a copy email info@ullapoolbookfestival.co.uk and find out how to pay by bank transfer.
Like so many other events and festivals our 16th festival due, on 8-10 May, has been cancelled. So we thought we would bring a two hour taster of what might have been and on Saturday 9 May at 7.30pm Words from the West will be ‘live’ on our Facebook page  (Ullapool Book Festival).

Chris Dolan’s new book ‘Everything Passes, Everything Remains – Freewheeling through Spain, Song and Memory’ is a kind of travelogue of 45 years’ obsession with Spain, pedalling through some less well known parts of that country. Chris will be in conversation with Moira Leven from their home in Glasgow.

Kerry Hudson’s latest book and memoir Lowborn was a Radio 4 Book of the Week and Guardian and Independent Book of the Year. It was shortlisted for the Saltire Scottish Non-Fiction Book of the Year.  Lowborn takes her back to the towns of her childhood as she investigates her own past and what it means to be poor in Britain today.  She will be speaking from Prague to the journalist Ruth Wishart in Scotland.

Donald S Murray’s novel As the Women Lay Dreaming, inspired by the effects of the Iolaire disaster of 1st January 1919, was the subject of a documentary on BBC Alba and featured on BBC Radio 4’s Open Book. On Hogmanay 1918 many waited at Stornoway harbour to bring their men home from serving in WW1. They had boarded the MV Sheila eager to get home. 202 men and crew did not make it when the overcrowded yacht hit rocks known as The Beasts of Holm, within sight of the harbour. He will be speaking from his home in Shetland to Mark Wringe, presenter of BBC Radio nan Gaidheal’s book programme, in Skye.
You will hear three new poems read by their writers – George Gunn, Jim Carruth and Donald S Murray.
We will also be joined, via tracks from their album Waves Rise over Quiet Water, by two of Scotland’s finest young traditional musicians Joseph Peach (Achiltibuie) and Charlie Grey (Fort Augustus).
We are so grateful to all the writers and musicians taking part in this piece of Ullapool Book Festival. And special thanks to Martin Gilligan for all things technical!
Ullapool Book Festival had a committee meeting this morning. And it is with sore hearts we have to inform you that, in light of the spread of Coronavirus, we have taken the very hard decision to cancel the festival in May. The situation is constantly changing and we felt that we have to act now rather than nearer the festival. We are devastated at having to do this but the safety of our writers, musicians and chairs, the audience members, UBF volunteers and indeed our community really has to take precedence. We may be able to have two or three events later in the year but just can’t say at the moment. In the meantime we hope you will buy the books of the writers who would have been here. And we will be back in 2021 –our 16th festival has just been postponed for a year.

Refunds will be organised for those of you who bought early bird tickets
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Ullapool Book Festival
33 Seaforth Road,
Ullapool,
IV26 2UY

info@ullapoolbookfestival.co.uk

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