Past & Present
In our Past & Present sessions, contemporary speakers give a personal response to favourite past poets. As part of our Heights of Poetry theme and our accompanying focus on geoheritage, our final Past & Present session for 2017 will offer an insight into poets Hugh Miller and Pablo Neruda.
Hugh Miller was a self-taught Scottish geologist and writer from the nineteenth century. The poet, novelist and publisher James Robertson has edited modern editions of Hugh Miller’s books. He will speak about Miller’s great skill in bringing science and geology to life through his energetic and vivid writing, and also about Miller’s love of poetry. Miller himself wrote biographical sketches of two major Scottish poets, Burns and Fergusson.
Meanwhile Aonghas MacNeacaill will discuss the Chilean poet Pablo Neruda, with reference to poets closer to home such as Sorley MacLean. Dubbed the "people's poet", the politically engaged Neruda was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1971. MacNeacaill will focus on Neruda’s book length poem ‘The Heights of Macchu Picchu’, which was inspired by the poet’s experience on visiting Machu Picchu, a 15th-century Inca citadel located on a mountain ridge.