Author details

Mark O. Goodwin


*Please note, due to no longer living in Scotland Mark is no longer available for Live Literature events*

I was born in Devon in 1960, went to the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth, where I encountered Anglo-Welsh poetry for the first time, tried out city life in London for a while and became interested in the curatorial practices of museum and galleries. I took an MA in Museum and Gallery Administration at the Department of Arts Policy and Management, City University. It was during that time that I became fascinated with the history of the Victoria and Albert Museum and the career of Sir Henry Cole. In 1994 I moved to Skye and started to write again. I was also also lucky enough to combine my literary activities with working at the gallery An Tuireann, where I was appointed Literary Development Officer shortly before its closure.

About writer's work

I think it is the landscape of Skye that led me back to poetry. Many of my poems are about place and how it is inhabited psychologically and physically – a kind of journey to the end and edge of things, to the borderlands of history and the self. And I think literature and art have often been mutual companions in the discussion about how a landscape is lived. I have also written poems about bereavement and I am interested in how it can be possible to tackle a subject like this, to make something which is not wholly confessional in its outlook. I am also happy to talk about poetic collaboration, especially in connection with the book I co-authored with Maoilios Caimbeul/Myles Campbell, which embraced two different cultural backgrounds and two languages. Recently, I have worked with documentary film students exploring aspects of landscape, politics and social history on the Isle of Skye and the Isle of Raasay.

Websites featuring the author

Mark O. Goodwin's websiteStAnza websiteScottish PEN JournalTwo Ravens Press: profileScottish Poetry Library: Poet

Other work

In 2004 I self-published a book of poems, Scrap. A fragment of one of the poems in the collection was used in an art work, Hurried Water, by Caroline Dear in 2008. I have also worked with the Eòghann MacColla who contributed the pencil drawings for The Two Sides of the Pass/Dà Thaobh a’ Bhealaich. A few words were used in Paul Mounsey’s City of Walls album for the track ‘Taking back the Land’.

The poem Skye was selected for the Scottish Poetry Library’s Best Scottish Poems 2009, and in 2013 the poem After the Wave, based on Joan Eardley’s painting The Wave, was awarded special merit in the National Galleries of Scotland ‘Inspired? Get Writing’ poetry competition. A set of poems are to be published by the Canadian magazine Event later in the year.


Words from an Island, Skye Reading Room – Seòmar Leughaidh Anthology, Number One, Island Life,2013, edited by Meg Bateman.

Scottish Pen, New Writing online PENning Steps, 2011.

These Islands, We Sing: An Anthology of Scottish Islands Poetry, edited by Kevin MacNeil, Polygon, 2011.

Scottish Poetry Library, Best Scottish Poems 2009, ‘a scuttleful of modern poetry’, edited by Andrew Greig.                                                                         


Contact details

Photo credit: Yahn Jeannot.


Local authority where they are based


Local authorities where they can work

Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Angus, Argyll and Bute, Clackmannanshire, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (Western Isles), Dumfries and Galloway, Dundee, East Ayrshire, East Dunbartonshire, East Lothian, East Renfrewshire, Edinburgh, Falkirk, Fife, Glasgow, Highland, Inverclyde, Midlothian, Moray, North Ayrshire, North Lanarkshire, Orkney, Other1, Outer Hebrides, Perth and Kinross, Renfrewshire, Scottish Borders, Shetland, South Ayrshire, South Lanarkshire, Stirling, West Dunbartonshire, West Lothian

Age groups


LL funded


BRAW network


Author type




Books written


Author(s): Mark O. Goodwin
Bereavement, loss and love. Self-published book where landscape and loss entwine. (Oysterbed Press).

The Two Sides of the Pass/Dà Thaobh a’ Bhealaich

A unique, fully bilingual poetic dialogue between two poets who literally and figuratively inhabit two sides of a mountain pass.