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This poem is taken from Donald S Murray's collection "Weaving Songs".
Donald spent his childhood in Ness at the northern tip of the Isle of Lewis and now lives near the 'Ness' at the southern tip of the mainland of Shetland. An English teacher, he has been employed in various island locations, such as the Nicolson Institute in Stornoway, Sgoil Lionacleit in Benbecula and Sandwick Junior High School in Shetland.
In his spare time, he has always written; his work appearing in outlets ranging from literary magazines to BBC Radio, national newspapers to national anthologies. His collection of short stories 'Special Deliverance' was shortlisted for a Saltire Award in 1998 while his poetry pamphlet 'Westcoasters' was in the running for the Calum MacDonald Memorial Award a few years later.
Described as 'one of the most innovative writers in contemporary Scottish Literature', Donald's work has been widely praised. His book 'The Guga Hunters' about the gannet-hunters of his native Ness was commended by Will Self in the 'Daily Telegraph'. It has also led to several TV appearances, including the moment when he was transformed into Sir David Attenburgh on BBC 4's 'Birds Britannia'.
Similar acclaim has also been given to his later books. These include 'And On This Rock' about the Italian Chapel in Orkney and 'Small Expectations', an eclectic collection of verse and prose inspired by both the words of Charles Dickens and the lyrics of the Clash.
His latest book, 'Weaving Songs' has also met with approval. A collection of verse and prose pieces, it was published to mark the centenary of the Orb, the Harris Tweed trademark. It has its beginnings in Donald's early life, as his father was employed as a weaver for many years.
As opposed to creating that rigorous cloth, there is little doubt that Donald's talent is for 'weaving words'.
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