Richard Demarco - 70 Years of Book Festival

27 September 2017

Two years have passed since I last contributed to my favourite book festival, when I was in a conversation with two Russian writers on the Russian poet, Mikhail Lermontov. At the 2013 Festival, I was in conversation with Stuart Kelly. However, in the last two years, Luath Press has published two new books I have written. One is in collaboration with the Scottish Storytelling Centre, together with the Italian Cultural Institute in Scotland. This was a bi-lingual publication in English and Italian, entitled ‘The Road to Meikle Seggie’. It was published together with an exhibition at the Storytelling Centre of my illustrations inspired by nodal points on a drovers road through the Ochil Hills towards Perthshire leading to the fabled Road to the Isles. The second Luath book was published in relation to the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art’s exhibition in 2016 entitled ‘Richard Demarco and Joseph Beuys: A Unique Partnership’.


Luath Press has now commissioned me to write my personal experience of every Edinburgh Festival since 1947. This has inspired me to write my memoirs considering the fact that this year I celebrated my 87th birthday. My memoirs will be devoted to the ways in which I have been fortunate to collaborate with artists who have shaped the cultural life of Scotland in relation to that of Europe. They are not limited to the visual arts. They will have to include the likes of Sean Connery, Bill Forsyth, Helena Kennedy, Jimmy Logan, Hugh MacDairmid, George Mackay Brown, Hamish Henderson, Sorley Maclean, Cordelia and George Oliver, Margaret Tait, Murray and Barbara Grigor, George and Daphne Wyllie. They, of course, became involved in the lives of Tadeusz Kantor, Marina Abramovic, Magdalena Abakanowicz, and Dorothy Walker.