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.

Roddy Murray

Founding Director, Head of Visual Arts & Literature

Thank you

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.

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