All items: Donny O’Rourke

As a keen member of a Boy Scouts troop, Donny O’Rourke found an early outlet for his talents as a writer and composer. Here he reflects on what the movement meant to him.

In ‘My Hero', we talk to a number of RLF writers about their personal heroes, and how those heroes have had an impact on their lives and their writing.

Donny O’Rourke visits old haunts in Dumfries and the Borders, ghosted by the bards of Scotland’s past, for the liminal Celtic festival of Samhain.

Julian Turner considers the usefulness of imagination, not just to the writer, but also to the exile and the abused child, and suggests that metaphorical thinking may be psychologically essential.

Listening as a schoolboy to the great singer-songwriters of the 1970s helped to shape Donny O’Rourke’s sense of what might be achieved in poetry. Here he pays tribute to some of the musicians who influenced him.

Donny O'Rourke takes us to Edinburgh in August, for a Lughnasadh harvest festival — but one of culture, not of crops.

Tiffany Murray flees the over-familiar, but still creatively disabling, complaints of a despondent writer, by escaping to the strange new world of Iceland and its music.

Donny O'Rourke takes in the ‘simmer dim’ in Orkney, a land of subtle greens and long histories, for the midsummer solstice festival of Litha.

Hugh Thomson splashes down in London’s famous Serpentine, where hardy and mostly convivial outdoor swimmers share a unisex changing room and run a regular gauntlet of swans.

Donny O’Rourke finds himself in the book-blessed town of Ullapool in May, celebrating the bonfires and bluebells of the Celtic Beltane festival.

Chris Arthur reflects on the inspirations of his ‘odd-object’ essays, and considers the popularity of this particular form and the most important aspect of oddness within it.

Donny O'Rourke welcomes the tentative beginnings of spring, introducing us to the Gaelic festival of Imbolc and taking us on a whistlestop tour of the coastal East Neuk of Fife.

Mavis Cheek explains how writing always came easily to her, even when schoolwork didn’t.