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“My mountains had been giving me some trouble lately; one of them had moved. When I stand on the high ground above my house here in the village of Kemnay and look from north-west to south-west, the line of hills I see is: Bennachie, Millstone Hill, Pitfichie, Cairn William. Or so I thought.”

David Wheatley, from 'The Wandering Mountains'

The Wandering Mountains

by David Wheatley


We are pleased to launch the first of our occasional series of essays by poets with The Wandering Mountains by the poet-critic David Wheatley. Wheatley’s lyrical observation of landscape, borders and language is dedicated to the artist and cartographer Tim Robinson, whose own work focusing on the Aran Islands and Connemara, has become seminal in the writings of place. Wheatley’s essay is set in his adopted landscape of rural Aberdeenshire, where he has arrived by way of Dublin, via England, and so one aspect of the work is focused on displacement, belonging and naming.


Written during the Covid-19 lockdown, his essay also explores ideas of enclosure and isolation, what it is to be living in a place of great beauty and solitude in a time of immense disquiet.


Wheatley’s text is accompanied by his own photographs of the terrain he inhabits.


Praise for David Wheatley

“Wheatley’s is a poetry of displacement, uncertainty and sheer possibility… Stimulating, resourceful and often very funny”

The Guardian

David Wheatley
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