Alastair McIntosh (Scotland) has been described by BBC TV as “one of the world’s leading environmental campaigners.” A pioneer of modern land reform in Scotland, he helped bring the Isle of Eigg into community ownership. On the Isle of Harris he negotiated withdrawal of the world’s biggest cement company (Lafarge) from a devastating “superquarry” plan, then agreed to serve (unpaid) on that company’s Sustainability Stakeholders Panel for 10 years. Alastair guest lectures at military staff colleges, most notably the UK Defence Academy, on nonviolence. His books include Soil and Soul: People versus Corporate Power (Aurum), Hell and High Water: Climate Change, Hope and the Human Condition (Birlinn), Rekindling Community (Green Books) and Spiritual Activism: Leadership as Service (Green Books). His most recent major work is Poacher’s Pilgrimage: an Island Journey (Birlinn 2016, due in USA from Cascade 2018). He is a fellow of the School of Divinity at the University of Edinburgh and a visiting professor at the College of Social Sciences, University of Glasgow.
Donald S. Murray comes from Ness at the northern tip of the Isle of Lewis and now lives in close proximity to ‘the Ness’ at the southern end of Shetland. His poetry and prose is often about islands and the wildlife on and around them. The Gannet features strongly in his prose accounts, The Guga Hunters and Praising The Guga, books inspired by the men who hunt the guga (or young Gannets) each year on Sulasgeir, which is off the north-east coast of Lewis. Gannets also feature in his wonderfully eclectic collection of prose and poems, The Guga Stone; Lies, Legends And Lunacies Of St Kilda, illustrated by his friend and collaborator, Doug Robertson. The Guga Stone was shortlisted as one of The Guardian’s nature books of the year in 2013.
All sessions by Alastair McIntosh and Donald S Murray