We cannot think of a time that is oceanless
Or of an ocean not littered with wastage
Or of a future that is not liable
Like the past, to have no destination.
T S Eliot
Welcome to Faclan 2016: The Hebridean Book Festival.
Faclan was founded in 2006 and now takes place during the celtic festival of samhain – ‘beyond the equinox, the cusp of winter’.
Faclan – Cuan Siar: North Atlantic
An ataireachd bhuan The eternal surge of the sea
Cluinn fuaim na h-ataireachd Hear the sound of the high-swelling waves
Tha torunn a’chuain The ocean’s thunder
Mar chualas leams’ e nam phàisd As heard when I was a child
Gun mhùthadh, gun truas Unchanging, pitiless
A’ sluaisreadh gainneamh na tràghad Beating the sands on the shore
(Òran Gàidhlig) Domhnall MacIomhair (Gaelic song) Donald Maciver
In Gaelic it is An Cuan Siar (The Western Ocean) or An Cuan Mòr (simply The Great Sea or The Ocean). And this year, perhaps inevitably, the theme for Faclan is North Atlantic. Its depth, drift, surge, span and volume determine the Islands’ limits, weather, aspect and character. It surrounds, sustains and lays siege to the land; a fluid yet permanent context. And it signifies a vastness and isolation that defines and challenges, but also embraces and nourishes. So we welcome acclaimed, award-winning writers to explore, navigate and expound upon these open waters.
Founding Director, Head of Visual Arts & Literature
Faclan only happens as a result of the hard work and commitment of the An Lanntair team and our network of partners and supporters. We are particularly grateful this year for the support and funding from Creative Scotland and Comhairle nan Eilean Siar. Thanks also to Acair Books and the Islands Book Trust for their input and involvement in this year’s programme. The support of all these individuals and organisations has helped us create this year’s extraordinarily diverse and innovative programme. Thank you.