George Mackay Brown (1921 – 1996) was one of the greatest Scottish writers of the twentieth century. A prolific poet, admired by such fellow poets as Ted Hughes and Seamus Heaney, he was also an accomplished novelist, dramatist and a master of the short story. Bar a brief period in Edinburgh, where he associated with the ‘Rose Street’ crowd including Hugh MacDiarmid, Norman MacCaig and others, Mackay Brown spent most of his life in Orkney, and his work is saturated with references to his native islands. As Seamus Heaney wrote, in Mackay Brown’s work everything was passed ‘through the eye of the needle of Orkney’.
He died in April 1996 at the age of 74. In 2005 a memorial plaque to Brown was unveiled in the Writer’s Museum in Edinburgh, engraved with a quotation from his best-known poem, ‘Hamnavoe’:
In the fire of images
Gladly I put my hand.
The Literary Estate of George Mackay Brown is represented by Jenny.
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Selected Books by George Mackay Brown
Much of Mackay Brown’s work is available in paperback, published by Polygon (http://www.birlinn.co.uk/George-Mackay-Brown/) and as ebooks by Hachette.