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Alistair Moffat: Islands of the Evening

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Winter Words Festival 2023

Sunday 12 February

12.30 – 1.30pm


Fourteen centuries ago, Irish saints brought the Word of God to the Hebrides and Scotland’s Atlantic shore. They sought solitude in remote places where they could move closer to an understanding of God. Columba was the most famous of these pioneers who rowed their curraghs towards danger and uncertainty in a pagan land, but the many others are now largely forgotten.

In his book Alistair Moffat travels by foot, boat and ferry in search of these elusive men and the world they inhabited; from the barren Garvellachs and the ‘great garden’ of Lismore to the haunting calm of Iona and the grandeur of Applecross. He finds their traces not so much in tangible remains as in the spirit and memory of places that lay at what was then regarded as the very edge of the world.

Alistair Moffat was born and bred in the Scottish Borders. A former Director of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Director of Programmes at Scottish Television and founder of the Borders Book Festival, he is also the author of a number of highly acclaimed books. From 2011 he was Rector of the University of St Andrews. His previous books include The Reivers, The Borders, Scotland: A History from Earliest Times and To the Island of Tides.


We are thrilled to share our 19th Winter Words Festival, featuring an exciting lineup of well-known, and well-loved authors, playwrights, poets, adventurers, broadcasters, and TV personalities from around Scotland and further afield for a celebration of all things artistic and literary.

This is just one of the many events on offer. If you’re interested in more, why not buy our Winter Words Multibuy Package*, where you can access four fantastic talks for the price of three!  Just add your events to the basket, and we will discount before you pay.

*Makings of a Murderer and Banff Film Festival is not included in the Multibuy package.

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