Monday 4 March 2024
 6.6°C   SSE Fresh Breeze
Ocean Kinetics - The Engineering Experts

Arts / Plenty of endorsements for local authors

Donald S Murray. Photo: Shetland News

SANDWICK-based writer and poet Donald S Murray said he was “chuffed” after learning that one of his plays is set to become a standard school text for both English Higher and National 5.

First published in 2014, Sequamur – Latin for ‘let us follow’ – is the motto of the Nicolson Institute in Stornoway, which is central to the story.

The play centres on the speech the school’s rector William Gibson made when unveiling the plaque for the 148 former pupils who were killed in World War One.

In the play, Gibson, an enlightened figure for his time, expressed his doubts about his own actions when encouraging his pupils to sign up for the war.

Murray said the play had been used in class by English teachers in Lanarkshire for some years and has now been recommended as a school text across Scotland.

Living in Shetland but mainly writing about his native Lewis, Murray described it as an “encouraging sign” that more Scottish text is being added to the national curriculum.

The author is also one of two writers with Shetland links in a list of ten Scottish poets that feature in the autumn edition of the leading American literary magazine Poetry East. The other is Christine De Luca.

“A number of Christine’s poems are inspired by Shetland, including In Your Face and Off the Wall. Discontinuity is a dialect poem,” he said.

“Mine are all part of Weaving Songs (Acair) and inspired by Harris Tweed. My own father was a weaver.”

Meanwhile, John Goodlad’s latest book The Salt Roads received a “somewhat unexpected endorsement” from Scottish author Alexander McCall Smith in the New Statesman’s review of best books of 2023.

McCall Smith listed The Salt Roads as one of his two favourite reads of the year, saying of the book that “you feel the wind, taste the salt: a quiet triumph”.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

Shetland News is asking its many readers to consider start paying for their dose of the latest local news delivered straight to their PC, tablet or mobile phone.

Journalism comes at a price and because that price is not being paid in today’s rapidly changing media world, most publishers - national and local - struggle financially despite very healthy audience figures.

Most online publishers have started charging for access to their websites, others have chosen a different route. Shetland News currently has  over 600 supporters  who are all making small voluntary financial contributions. All funds go towards covering our cost and improving the service further.

Your contribution will ensure Shetland News can: -

  • Bring you the headlines as they happen;
  • Stay editorially independent;
  • Give a voice to the community;
  • Grow site traffic further;
  • Research and publish more in-depth news, including more Shetland Lives features.

If you appreciate what we do and feel strongly about impartial local journalism, then please become a supporter of Shetland News by either making a single payment or monthly subscription.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.



Subscribe to a selection of different newsletters from Shetland News, varying from breaking news delivered on the minute, to a weekly round-up of the opinion posts. All delivered straight to your inbox.

Daily Briefing Newsletter Weekly Highlights Newsletter Opinion Newsletter Life in Shetland Newsletter

JavaScript Required

We're sorry, but Shetland News isn't fully functional without JavaScript enabled.
Head over to the help page for instructions on how to enable JavaScript on your browser.

Your Privacy

We use cookies on our site to improve your experience.
By using our service, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy.

Browser is out-of-date

Shetland News isn't fully functional with this version of .
Head over to the help page for instructions on updating your browser for more security, improved speed and the best overall experience on this site.

Interested in Notifications?

Get notifications from Shetland News for important and breaking news.
You can unsubscribe at any time.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

We're committed to ensuring everyone has equitable access to impartial, open and quality local journalism that benefits all residents.

By supporting Shetland News, you play a vital role in ensuring we remain a pivotal resource in supporting the community.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.