Malachy Tallack, Alycia Pirmohamed & Christina Riley
In the poems of Edwin Morgan Award winner Alycia Pirmohamed, waters become mirrors and vehicles for identity, and inner and external transformation. As a life-long angler, Malachy Tallack keeps returning to the river, for its excitement but also its balance; its freedom and sense of wonder.
Arriving from two very different perspectives, in the varying forms of poetry and prose, these two writers share stories about their relationship to liquid environments, and how water has followed them through the years, shaping their lives as creators and community members.
Here is an illumination of how water (and other natural environments) speak to the very basic elements inside us all.
This conversation will be chaired by writer and artist Christina Riley.
Our speakers and chair:
Alycia Pirmohamed is the author of Another Way to Split Water, forthcoming with YesYes Books and Polygon Books in 2022. Her chapbooks include Hinge (ignitionpress), Faces that Fled the Wind (BOAAT Press), and the collaborative essay 'Second Memory', co-authored by Pratyusha (Guillemot Press and Baseline Press). Alycia is currently a postdoctoral fellow at IASH, University of Edinburgh, and she previously studied creative writing at the University of Oregon and the University of Edinburgh. She is the co-founder of the Scottish BPOC Writers Network and a co-organiser of the Ledbury Poetry Critics Program. In 2020, she won the Edwin Morgan Poetry Award. Find her online at alycia-pirmohamed.com and on twitter @a_pirmohamed.
Malachy Tallack’s new book is Illuminated by Water. Combining personal recollection, nature writing and cultural history, it explores the complicated pleasures of fishing. Why is it that what seems such a simple act – of casting a line and hoping – can feel so rich in mystery and in wonder? Malachy is the award-winning author of three previous books, most recently a novel, The Valley at the Centre of the World (Canongate), which was shortlisted for the Highland Book Prize and longlisted for the Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize. His first book, Sixty Degrees North (2015), was a BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week, and his second, The Un-Discovered Islands (2016), was named Illustrated Book of the Year at the Edward Stanford Travel Writing Awards. Malachy has received both a New Writers Award and the Robert Louis Stevenson Fellowship from the Scottish Book Trust. He is from Shetland, and currently lives in Dunblane.
Christina Riley is an artist and writer based in Ayrshire. Born in Miami and inspired by the essential connections between art, literature and science, her work draws attention to the natural world with a particular focus on the Atlantic coasts of Scotland and North America. Christina’s essays have been published by Little Toller’s The Clearing, Caught by the River, Elsewhere, Minding Nature, Gold Flake Paint and others, and her book The Beach Today—a photographic diary documenting marine objects collected over three months of daily beach walks in spring 2020—was published by Guillemot Press in summer 2021. Christina was longlisted for the 2019 Nan Shepherd Prize for Nature Writing, before later that year starting The Nature Library, a travelling library bringing books about nature and the environment to public spaces. She is currently exploring works which focus on women’s lives by the coast and the role of literature in times of climate crisis.