‘The Rhinns At My Shoulder’ – A Poetry Walk Beyond Polmaddy – Sunday 4th Sept, 12.45pm

The Ken Words project seeks to explore how our landscape can inspire our writing and the next event this Saturday afternoon is a guided walk beyond Polmaddy, through an evocative landscape which speaks to the Glenkens’ past, present and future.  

The poet Angus Macmillan will lead a 2-hour, 3.5 km walk on the pack road from a point north of Polmaddy along to Braidenoch Hill and back. The Rhinns will have a presence throughout the walk and participants will be encouraged to examine how we come to view, understand and value landscape, not only in its spectacular forms but also in its more mundane varieties. There will be two pauses for reflection and writing and the 1 hour workshop afterwards will encourage the development of observations and field-notes into poems or short prose.

For more information, and to book your ticket, click here: https://gcat.scot/event/the-rhinns-at-my-shoulder-poetry-walking-beyond-polmaddy/.

Ken Words Project Coordinator, Jane McBeth, describes how on a poetry walk,

“We try to take in the visual landscape; feel the stone walls, the mosses, the bark of the trees; smell the grasses and the air; listen for birds, running water, wind in the leaves, the echoes. And what we experience and engage with depends very much on what we bring to it in the way of memories, understandings, imagination, and state of mind…”

Poet Angus Macmillan, who will be leading Sunday’s walk and writing workshop, speaks to these ways of sensing place in his poem ‘Long way home’, which begins:


“I took the path north

out of the deserted village


as it curved and twisted

following the earth’s affordances,


the tracks scuffed by many footsteps,

the heaviness of fears, the lightness of hopes,


as I pondered what they knew then

and what we don’t know now.”


The Ken Words project is a GCAT initiative, supported in part by the Galloway Glens Scheme.

Jan Hogarth, Galloway Glens Education & Community Engagement Officer, said:

 “I am really looking forward to joining Jane Macbeth and Angus Macmillan at this weekend’s poetry-walking event titled “The Rhinns at my shoulder— poetry-walking beyond Polmaddy.” It will be a chance to explore our relationship with this landscape through our own senses and as a community within this atmospheric and beautifully remote part of the Galloway Glens. Do join us to listen and take part in the sharing of ideas, thoughts and words inspired by this forgotten landscape.”


Beyond Sunday, there will be an exhibition – the creative culmination of three Ken Words poetry walks in the vicinity of Polmaddy – running through October in the CatStrand Gallery, New Galloway, and to which you are warmly invited:


Polmaddy and the Rhinns— our beholding eye, 3 – 29 October

‘Artists Talk and Poetry Reading’, Wednesday 5 October, 7pm




The Galloway Glens Landscape Partnership Scheme is a suite of projects happening across the catchments of the rivers Ken and Dee from 2018 to 2023. £2.7million of core funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund will be matched by a variety of partners to bring over £5million of investment into the area over the 5 years. The area stretches from the uplands behind Carsphairn in the north, through the Glenkens, past Loch Ken, through Castle Douglas and out to the sea at Kirkcudbright. 35 headline projects plus more Small Grants projects all aim to connect people with their cultural, natural and built heritage, and to support sustainable modern rural communities. For more information about the scheme, visit www.gallowayglens.org.


Glenkens Community and Arts Trust (GCAT) was set up in 2001 to advance wellbeing and sustainability through arts, culture and community engagement through fostering connections and encouraging innovation and creative opportunity for all.  CatStrand, the HQ of GCAT, is the physical cultural hub of Glenkens and the surrounding area. It is a vibrant centre for the presentation of high quality, accessible arts and creative learning opportunities. For more information see www.gcat.scot

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