Donald S. Murray comes from Ness at the northern tip of the Isle of Lewis and now lives in close proximity to ‘the Ness’ at the southern end of Shetland. He has written much about islands and the seabirds that fly around them, the gannet especially, which features in his prose account, The Guga Hunters (Birlinn, 2008), and in the poems in Praising The Guga (North Idea, 2008). These books were inspired by the men who hunt the guga (or young gannets) each year in Sulageir off the north-east coast of Lewis. Gannets also feature in his illustrated collection The Guga Stone; lies, legends and lunacies of St Kilda (Luath Press, 2013).
Murray has written about other matters in his poetry, such as growing up bilingually in Small Expectations (Two Ravens Press, 2010), and Harris tweed in Weaving Songs (Acair, 2011). He has been a recipient of both the Robert Louis Stevenson and Jessie Kesson Fellowships.
Three books appeared during the course of 2015: Psalm Boat (Roncadora Press), SY StorY: a portrait of Stornoway Harbour (Birlinn) and the non-fiction Herring Tales: how the Silver Darlings influenced human taste and history (Bloomsbury). 2018 saw a prose work on the subject of peat, and a novel based on the tragedy of the Iolaire.