That Bright Lifting Tide

Around 1200 AD an unknown writer gathered the exploits of the earls of Orkney and published them in Orkneyinga Saga. One of the Earls, Rognvald, was a poet as well as ruler. Since then, we have had many writers depicting these islands and the world beyond. Remarkably, for such a small place, some have achieved international significance. This book introduces twelve of these Orkney writers with brief life stories, extracts of their work and an exploration of the connections between them.

Compiled and edited by Alison Miller with a foreword by Liz Lochhead


First published in 2015 with a grant from the Clore Duffield Foundation; reprinted in 2017 with support from local organisations and businesses: Braga Press; European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC); Kirkness & Gorie; The Kristin Linklater Voice Centre; The Orcadian; The Orphir Community Council; S & J D Robertson Group Ltd; Sanday Development Trust; Sheila Fleet; Stromness Books & Prints; Stromness Community Council; The Wheeling Steen Gallery

Design by Iain Ashman

ISBN 978-0-9566616-4-7

Printed by The Orcadian Ltd, Hell’s Half Acre, Hatston, Kirkwall, Orkney, KW15 1DY

Price £6

The twelve writers

Mary Brunton
Walter Traill Dennison
J. Storer Clouston
Edwin Muir
Robert Rendall
Eric Linklater

Christina Costie
Ann Scott-Moncrieff
Ernest Marwick
Margaret Tait
George Mackay Brown
Bessie Skea