What We’re Made Of: On Water and Connection


After a few years’ hiatus, Edinburgh’s free, bookshop-run, independent literary festival is back!

From Aug 5th – 12th, Lighthouse Books will be hosting a feast of lunchtime conversations focusing on nature writing, climate justice, place & belonging, language, legacies, all rooted in anti-racist, feminist and environmentalist politics.

What We’re Made Of: On Water and Connection, with Alycia Pirmohamed &Malachy Tallack

In the poems of Edwin Morgan Award winner Alycia Pirmohamed, waters become mirrors and vehicles for identity, and inner and external transformation. As a life-long angler, Malachy Tallack keeps returning to the river, for its excitement but also its balance; its freedom and sense of wonder.

Arriving from two very different perspectives, in the varying forms of poetry and prose, these two writers share stories about their relationship to liquid environments, and how water has followed them through the years, shaping their lives as creators and community members.

Here is an illumination of how water (and other natural environments) speak to the very basic elements inside us all.

Alycia Pirmohamed is the author of Another Way to Split Water, forthcoming with YesYes Books and Polygon Books in 2022. Her chapbooks include Hinge (ignitionpress), Faces that Fled the Wind (BOAAT Press), and the collaborative essay ‘Second Memory’, co-authored by Pratyusha (Guillemot Press and Baseline Press). Alycia is currently a postdoctoral fellow at IASH, University of Edinburgh, and she previously studied creative writing at the University of Oregon and the University of Edinburgh. She is the co-founder of the Scottish BPOC Writers Networkand a co-organiser of the Ledbury Poetry Critics Program. In 2020, she won the Edwin Morgan Poetry Award. Find her online at and on twitter @a_pirmohamed.

Malachy Tallack’s new book is Illuminated by Water. Combining personal recollection, nature writing and cultural history, it explores the complicated pleasures of fishing. Why is it that what seems such a simple act – of casting a line and hoping – can feel so rich in mystery and in wonder? Malachy is the award-winning author of three previous books, most recently a novel, The Valley at the Centre of the World (Canongate), which was shortlisted for the Highland Book Prize and longlisted for the Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize. ​His first book, Sixty Degrees North (2015), was a BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week, and his second, The Un-Discovered Islands (2016), was named Illustrated Book of the Year at the Edward Stanford Travel Writing Awards. Malachy has received both a New Writers Award and the Robert Louis Stevenson Fellowship from the Scottish Book Trust. ​He is from Shetland, and currently lives in Dunblane.

This event is a part of Book Fringe 2022: PoliNations Edition series. Click to view more from this festival.

09.08.2022 : 12:00 – 13:00
Lighthouse Bookshop Garden, off West Nicolson Street, Edinburgh EH8 9DB
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Tuesday 09 Aug 2022
Lighthouse Bookshop, Edinburgh. United Kingdom