Gordon Wright was born in Edinburgh in 1942 and has spent most of his life in the city. An only child, he lived with his parents in Blackford Glen Road which was a natural adventure playground of fields and forest around the Braid burn. He left school in 1958 and started an apprenticeship in the camera department of John Bartholomew & Sons Ltd., the Edinburgh cartographers and later on worked for the printers W & A K Johnston and Banks & Co.
In 1967 Gordon was asked by a nationalist friend, Ben Hyde if he would supply photographs for a new nationalist/literary magazine, Catalyst and this introduced him to many of the leading writers in Scotland at that time. Soon he was illustrating and designing the magazine, working with the editor, William Neill.
A keen guitarist, Gordon played in dance bands during his twenties and trained at the Dunedin weight-lifting club where he met Norman Rough. Together, they formed a partnership with David Mitchell of Dalkeith and in January 1969 they opened the Norman Rough Health Studio in Portobello.
In September 1969 William Neill was crowned bard at the Gaelic Mod in Aviemore and he asked Gordon to organise the publication of one of his long poems, Scotland’s Castle, which promptly sold out two hundred copies. This led to Gordon publishing the book Four Points of a Saltire in 1971, which featured poems by Sorley MacLean, George Campbell Hay, William Neill and Stuart MacGregor. Other books were to follow: Collected Poems by Helen B Cruickshank; The Albannach by Fionn Mac Colla; Rhymes ’n Reasons by Donald Campbell; Memo for Spring by Liz Lochhead; Blasad Gaidhlig by Donald MacLennan; Despatches Home by William Neill and A Political Speech by Hugh MacDiarmid.
What had started as a hobby was turning into a serious business, and in 1973, with the offer of a part-time appointment promoting Scotland’s literary magazines, he left the printing trade and prepared to develop his own book list.
Vol. II is filled with events and anecdotes and illustrated with 153 illustrations. It’s a fascinating insight into Scotland’s literary past.