Leading writer to explore Scotland's recorded memory

Published: 12 Jan 2016

Angus Peter Campbell 

The poet, novelist, journalist and actor Angus Peter Campbell has been appointed to the third annual Dr Gavin Wallace Fellowship, to be hosted by the National Library of Scotland.

The Fellowship was inaugurated by Creative Scotland in 2013 and provides a writer with time and support to develop their work, in partnership with a host organisation. It was established in memory of Dr Wallace who committed his entire professional life to helping writers and literature organisations in Scotland.

Mr Campbell, who writes in both Gaelic and English, will be invited to explore — and be inspired by — the ways in which the Library's collections reflect Scotland's past and present.

He said he was delighted to be appointed to the role. "I loved and admired Dr Gavin Wallace as a generous man who encouraged writers because he knew that literature is – to quote Italo Calvino — 'the promised land of language.' I am particularly pleased that Gavin's family support this Fellowship and my thanks to Creative Scotland who fund it as an appropriate tribute to him. It's an honour to follow the two previous Fellows who have had this award — those wonderful writers Kirsty Logan and Jen Hadfield.

"I am especially delighted that the Fellowship is to be based at another national treasure of ours — the National Library of Scotland. I feel like a child about to be let loose in Charlie's Chocolate factory: the theme of the Fellowship is 'the recorded memory of Scotland', and I look forward to the surprises that are in store for me as I delve into the manuscripts, tapes, books, maps, letters, audio and visual and digital recordings which the people of Scotland have left for all of us.

"My task will be to make creative use of these treasures during, and after, the year-long Fellowship. I will try and not be like Long John Silver who kept the pieces-of-eight to himself! Instead, we'll share them, through the marvels of digital technology and the greater marvel of writing.

Mr Campbell was born on South Uist and is a politics and history graduate from the University of Edinburgh. He has published four collections of poetry and six Gaelic novels. The acclaimed Scottish Gaelic poet Sorley MacLean once said of him: 'I have no doubts that Angus Peter Campbell is one of the few really significant living poets in Scotland, writing in any language.'

National Librarian, Dr John Scally, said staff looked forward to introducing Mr Campbell to the collections and helping him to make best use of them. "This is an exciting partnership that chimes very well with our commitment to promote the wide use of our collections and to make the Library a place of research and creativity."

Kaite Welsh, Literature Officer at Creative Scotland, said: "Angus Peter Campbell is one of Scotland's finest poets, and we are delighted that he will be taking up residence at the National Library as the 2015/16 Dr Gavin Wallace Fellow. His poetry captures Scottish life in precise brushstrokes, and the fluidity of his prose in both English and Gaelic is a joy to read. What better writer to explore Scotland's recorded memory?"


For more information visit http://www.nls.uk/