Friday 26th February will see the launch of “Small Expectations” the latest book by Donald S Murray, published by Two Ravens Press. This unique event will be held simultaneously in Lerwick (at Shetland College), Inverness (UHI MIllenium Institute), Stornoway (Lewis Castle College), Kirkwall (Northern College), and Skye (Sabhal Mor Ostaig) via the video network of the University of the Highlands and Islands and will begin at 4.15pm.
The art work for “Small Expectations” was created by Douglas Robertson who will also launch the book at the Bedales Gallery in Hampshire where he is holding a private viewing of “The Net Mender” his latest exhibition of specially commissioned box constructions and drawings, which includes the original art work for the book. Douglas is himself no stranger to Shetland having exhibited and run workshops here in the past. Nor is he a stranger to collaborating with poets, having worked with, amongst others, Jen Hadfield, Christine de Luca, Andrew Phillip and Kevin MacNeil. Speaking about the launch he said, “I thought Donald’s idea of the simultaneous event and readings was an excellent way to launch the book, particularly as it will include superb readers and singers from several islands. I am very pleased and privileged to be able to play a part in the launch by exhibiting the original cover artwork as part of my exhibition”
As well as the launch of “Small Expectations”, the event will also be a celebration of the languages of the Islands of Scotland’s edge and will feature readings in Gaelic, Shetland Dialect and Orkney Dialect, by writers such as Myles Campbell from Skye, Morag MacInnes from Orkney, John Murray from Lewis and James Sinclair from Lerwick. The launch will include a performance by Donald Anderson of two songs co-written with Donald S Murray. There will also be Gaelic songs contributed by Ryno Morrison and the renowned traditional Gaelic singer, Mairi Smith.
Murray will read a selection of poems and stories from “Small Expectations”, his fourth book, which has already garnered some excellent reviews and has been hailed by no less a commentator than James Robertson (author of “The Testament of Gideon Mack” and “The Fanatic”), as “…fine, assured writing, full of contradictions, dichotomies and ironies.”
Speaking about the launch, Mr Murray from the Port of Ness in the Butt of Lewis, now a resident of Shetland said, “ I am delighted to have been given the opportunity to launch this book in so many places at once, and I would especially like to thank the UHI and especially the technical staff of Shetland College, The Millennium Institute in Inverness, Lewis Castle College in Stornoway, Orkney College in Kirkwall and Sabhal Mor Ostaig in Skye for their support. I think that it is great that people from different areas around the edges of Scotland, who nevertheless have so much in common in terms of their experiences and culture should be enabled in coming together to celebrate both their commonality and their diversity.”