Author story


Beatrice Colin

When I lived in America, where I worked as a journalist for The Scotsman newspaper for a couple of years, Glasgow, my hometown, became a spectre in the present. I found myself channelling the familiar into the unfamiliar to create a neighbourhood map that was topographically different but filled with emotional resonances. Court Street in Brooklyn became Byres Road as it had nice cafes and many chance meetings with friends; I imagined Atlantic Avenue as Great Western Road since it was long and straight and I never ventured to the end of it; and my homes, a series of tiny apartments...

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Alan Warner

Any understanding of home for me must be as both a province and a specific place – not a country, nor even a community, though both these abstractions do tempt me.

I grew up in the town of Oban and then in the nearby village of Connel – I walked five miles of that universe weekly. I also spent time across the ferry on Mull, the island my mother came from.

This province is a home to me, yet lodged within it lies a specific location dearer to me than all.

This unofficial province of my own concoction is a land defined by tracts of water – lochan and loch, pools and...

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Nostalgia for a Tenement by John Cairney

Nostalgia For a Tenement

John Cairney

It’s a sordid, derelict wasteland now

Where not even weeds will grow

But I did, on this very spot, many years ago.

For here, once stood a building, proud and clean and neat,

Now there’s no trace of that special place

In the rubble at my feet.

But I can still remember

Once upon a time...


What’s to remember? Please yourself:

The family Bible on the shelf,

The jawbox where I washed my feet,

After tanner-ba’ fitba’ in the street,

Old zinc bath ablow the bed

Where you kept your bike – racing red...

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I'm Going Home

Catriona Lexy Campbell

Tha mi a’ dol dhachaigh.

“Càite bheil sin?”

Tha an taigh san robh mi nam nighean bheag ann. San taigh sin, tha mi fhathast nam nighean bheag. Chan e mhàin gu bheil na cumaidhean ’s na còrnairean den taigh cho aithnichte dhomh. Tha am bolt agus am brat-ùrlar dìreach mar a chleachd cuideachd. Mo làmh-sgrìobhaidh leanabail air na ballachan a’ cuimhneachadh dhomh saoghail a bhithinn a’ cruthachadh leam fhèin nam sheòmar-caidil.  Sa phreas air cùlaibh a’ bhoilear, tha dealbh a rinn an duine chuir a-steach am boiler air a’ bhalla dheth fhèin. Bhiodh e an sin gam choimhead a h-uile...

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Aonghas Macneacail

What we recall as home may offer several dimensions, different echoes. To an infant eye, home is eternal. A tot sees a wider world, street’s length, at least, but still, that safe retreat.

First day, you trot alongside your Mum, to school. You’re led between desks: one is yours to sit at. Then, Mum leaves. You howl. Miss Brown, who’s actually Mrs Brown, the doctor’s wife, assures you mother hasn’t totally abandoned you. Atonal choir, your cacaphonic class cries out in shrill disharmony with you. Poor Mrs Brown, but she’s been here before. Her summer holiday’s a (gone-too-fast)...

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Vic Galloway

In bricks and mortar, my home has always been Scotland; a country that continually manifests itself in different ways. It morphs and mutates, it shape-shifts and surprises. On one hand it’s my mother’s lentil soup and cosy, comfy living room; my brother’s daft impressions and a pint in the local; the endless sun on the East Neuk coast or the rolling hills of East Lothian; camaraderie and friendship, laughter and love.

But in an instant it’s the howling wind and the lashing rain, inner-city knife-crime and the cold, hard, concrete neglect of the schemes. It is petty pride and...

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Kirsty Logan

we will build
we will build a house
of stone
or pine
or ice
or whatever they will let us have
whatever they do not want.

the heat between us will
melt the house
burn the house.
we will warm ourselves
on the forest floor.
we will build ourselves
on the forest floor.

when they take everything
we will have what we built.

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Monday Roast

Uuganaa Ramsay

It’s a Monday roast today. It is an emotional day remembering Billy and playing the scenes of our time with him in our heads. Four years ago today our little fairytale hero died in our arms. I called him a fairytale hero as he reminded me of the heroes in Mongolian fairytales. My grandmother used to tell us tales about a hero with golden hair and a silver bottom. Billy had Celtic red hair and Mongolian blue spots – a patch of dark blue spots often seen on the lower back when a Mongolian child is born.The little hands and tiny toes we kissed were not here anymore and the empty pram and the...

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Fuadach nan Gàidheal

Des Dillon

(for Andrew Wilson)[1]


Sitka spruce thicken yearly stealing space,

making prisoners of silences. Treetops

tipping less sky into fire roads’ whispering

caverns.  Sheep tracks tangle the moor like some

ghostly sat-nav of the fleeing chaos

from homes to the smack of Atlantic sails.

Sheep farms, dams and pylons pollute our dreams

of children lost in dark distracted streams.


Sitka branches knit.  Light of foot and flight

sit tight within this...

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