Navigating Home

Navigating Home reflects, its title suggests, on journeys and on the idea of home – what it is for someone who has known a place always; what it is for someone leaving or returning home; or for someone arriving to make a new home; or for someone who can make any place home.

Navigating Home

The volume includes poetry, memoir and short fiction from new and established writers. There is Ron Ferguson’s account of his arrival in Kirkwall with his family on a snowy night in December 1990. They move into their new home and he takes up his post as minister of St Magnus Cathedral, wondering what he brings to the position and the place, reimagining the arrival and nature of the welcome of other strangers in the past, in Bethlehem 2000 years ago.

Visiting writer Kevin Cadwallander writes in his poem ‘Homecoming’ of the uneasy, indefinable ‘home’ a country and nationality give, saying, 

It’s not a question of boundaries . . .

It’s not a question of landscape

Shetland writer Christie Williamson imagines home as a point to return to, a ‘place’ seen through the storm giving the ‘seafarer’ glimpses of meads or navigation points to steer on.

Morag MacInnes reacts to the question of whether Orkney still has story-tellers with a response which suggests that people’s lives, here as elsewhere – contain the material which feeds their curiosity and imaginations and is irresistible in its demand to be transformed into stories.

Here writers young and old give insights into their stories of journey and home.

Compiled and edited by Nalini Paul

First published in 2010 by The George Mackay Brown Fellowship in association with Scottish Arts Council, Orkney Islands Council and Leader.


Rosie Alexander
Amy Allan
Kate Barrett
Pamela Beasant
Callum Booth
Molly Bradley
Kevin Cadwallender
Amber Connolly
Solan Dodman
Bill Ferguson
Ron Ferguson
Alison Flett
Lucy Gibbon
Yvonne Gray

Mandy Haggith
Sarah Harper
Lesley Harrison
Sylvia Hays
Fran Flett Hollinrake
Shane Hourston
Mike Hoy
Carola Huttman
Lynn Johnson
David Lea
Anna Lipinska
LC Littlejohn
Ragnhild Ljosland

Morag MacInnes
Kirsty Macdonald
John McGill
Stefan Muir
Nalini Paul
Alistair Peebles
Rowan Pierce
Tessa Ransford
Doreen Sinclair
Margaret Storr
Sophie Sumner
Catherine Turnbull
Christie Williamson
Marianne Wood


Images by Christina Sargent

Design and layout by Iain Ashman

ISBN 978-0-9566616-0-9

Printed by The Orcadian Ltd, Hell’s Half Acre, Hatston, Kirkwall, Orkney, KW15 1DY

Price £6.00 (£7.00 including p&p))

Navigating Home

An anthology of poetry, short fiction and memoir by writers and guest writers in Orkney


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