‘I want to celebrate the physical space of libraries and take my work back into places that have given me so much.’
Simon Armitage, the Poet Laureate, plans to visit the Uist mobile library, Lachaidh, as it provides borrowers with books at Carinish and other stops on North Uist as part of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar’s mobile library service
Simon’s visit will be the finale to the second stage of the Laureate’s Library Tour, a decade-long adventure to visit libraries across the UK during one week each spring, from the flagship libraries of the big cities to smaller or mobile libraries serving rural areas. Using the alphabet as a compass, Simon’s journey will celebrate the library as one of the great and necessary institutions.
Following his visit to the Uist Mobile Library, Simon will give a reading at Taigh Chearsabhagh with his special guest leading Hebridean writer and poet Kevin MacNeil.
Simon will read his poetry written in English and Kevin will share some of his work written in Scottish Gaelic.
You can join us for this special event in two ways. If you want to come along to Taigh Chearsabhagh and be part of the live audience, book a free ticket below on this page. If you’re staying home, you can receive the whole reading live-streamed but you must register via the separate Crowdcast webpage shown here. This event will be live-streamed for free but not available for later viewing.
Refreshments will be provided by Taigh Chearsabhagh in our café space. If you are coming along for the live show, the doors will be open from 7.15pm so everyone can be comfortable and settled in time for the 7.30pm start.
Tour Audience Advisory: Age 11+ (may contain strong language)
Tips for using Crowdcast: check here
Live Captions (English only) can be enabled for Crowdcast events via Settings in the latest version of Chrome browser.
With special thanks to Eilidh MacLean, Kathleen Milne, and Western Isles Libraries for all their hard work in bringing this event to Uist. The C to D Libraries Tour 2022 is kindly supported by T.S. Eliot Foundation, Mark Pigott KBE, Faber & Faber and using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.
Poet Laureate Simon Armitage was born and grew up in West Yorkshire. He is the recipient of numerous prizes and awards, including the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry and the PEN Prize for Translation. He has published over a dozen poetry collections, including Magnetic Field, and acclaimed medieval translations of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and The Owl and the Nightingale. He is the author of two novels and three non-fiction bestsellers: All Points North, Walking Home and Walking Away. A regular broadcaster, Armitage presents the popular BBC Radio 4’s series The Poet Laureate has Gone to his Shed. He writes extensively for television and radio, most recently for BBC 2’s Where Did The World Go, A Pandemic Poem. An award-winning dramatist, his play The Last Days of Troy was performed at Shakespear’s Globe. He writes, records and performs with the band LYR and has received an Ivor Novello Award for his song writing. Armitage is Professor of Poetry at the University of Leeds. His critical book A Vertical Art brings together the vibrant and engaging lectures from his tenure as Oxford Professor of Poetry (2015-2019). www.simonarmitage.com
Kevin MacNeil is a leading Scottish novelist, poet, playwright, and screenwriter, born and raised in the Outer Hebrides. His most recent novel, The Brilliant & Forever, was published to critical acclaim and was shortlisted for the Saltire Fiction of the Year Award. Kevin recently edited Robert Louis Stevenson: An Anthology, Selected by Jorge Luis Borges and Adolfo Bioy Casares. Kevin has won a number of prestigious literary awards, including the Tivoli Europa Giovani International Poetry Prize and a JB Priestley Award. He has read his work and taught creative writing workshops in numerous countries, from Colombia to Japan. Kevin MacNeil is a Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Stirling.