CAIR: George Gunn


George Gunn is a renowned poet and playwright from Thurso. Having also ran Grey Coast Theatre Company for 20 years, he has run many community projects across the Highlands. In (2021) he will publish his 10th book of poems “Chronicles of The First Light” (Drunk Muse Press).


George’s project called ‘Words on the Wind’ will be a series of poems about specific places, performed by local people and recorded on film. The idea is to create and record a series of poems which would present Caithness as a poetic landscape and the result would be one big poem of Caithness.


George will be our Caithness Makar, working across the county with several community partners, delivering writing workshops and developing ‘Words on the Wind’.


George is looking for local people to submit their photos, videos, films and poems on what they find inspiring about Caithness. To read more about the project and to submit your content, please click here.





George has been compiling a list of people who want to participate in his Words on The Wind film project, looking at places where they could be filmed and trying to work out a schedule with Steven Gunn who will be filming it. He hopes to get out and about after the 5th of April. He has about a dozen participants but will pick up more along the way.


George has also been working with LAC’s Helen Moore on the Caithness Craiters schools project. So far they have had a workshop with P1/2 of Castletown and have others planned in the coming weeks. They will also be working with P4/5 of Castletown after Easter.


Some of the kids drawings of Caithness Craiters


George said “We are finding our feet as to the best way to work with the bairns on line and once we have a tried and trusted method we will roll the workshop programme out across a couple of more schools so that we can have an exhibition come August. I’ve been writing some poems for the children to read and hear with bits that they can join in with. This works well with the peedie ones who are just starting out on their journey with language.”


George has also been busy writing a novel called ‘The Vinegar Wind’ which is set in 1847/8 and takes place on Dunnet Beach. The novel involves quite a lot of research into the Highland Tattie Famine of 1856/7/8 and the Disruption of 1843, as well as the year of revolutions in Europe which was in 1848. It’s a local setting but a European story.


As Caithness Makar, he has also have been talking to various groups on line about the residency and all things Caithness and cultural, and performing some poems on an Irish poetry forum, Lime Square Poets as well as on-line tutoring the Ravenskald Writers’ Workshop.