Thursday, 11 April 2013

Robert Rendall, Orkney Poet

The handsome volume on the left, Robert Rendall Collected Poems, contains a unique collection of the work of Robert Rendall, one of Orkney's most interesting literary characters.

In his day job he was a draper and worked in the family shop Rendall's on the corner of Albert Street and Bridge Street in Kirkwall. (Now Grooves music shop, this is where the book was launched at the end of last year.)

But in his time off, Robert Rendall was one of those remarkable self-taught Orcadians who wrote poetry, criticism and essays; painted in watercolour; studied Orkney's shores and discovered new species. One shell he was the first to identify looks like a butter curl! I found one in Stronsay once on the Rothiesholm sands.

Orkney Book Festival has had the chance this year to celebrate and honour Robert Rendall with an event to present his poems - well known and unpublished - to a new audience and readership.

It was Brian Murray and John Flett Brown who did the painstaking work of scholarship and editing to gather all the poems together into this one volume. John Brown is away, but Brian Murray will introduce the poet and a handful of Orkney Readers will read the poems.

Brian Murray on Robert Rendall
Orkney Library & Archive
Saturday 13 April
4.00-5.00 pm

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