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The Road North

the road north is a word-map of Scotland, composed by Alec Finlay & Ken Cockburn as they travel through their homeland, guided by the Japanese poet Basho, whose Osu-no-Hosomichi (Narrow Road to the Deep North) is one of the masterpieces of travel literature. Ken and Alec left Edo (Edinburgh) on May 16, 2010 - the very same date that basho and his companion Sora departed in 1689 - and on their return, on May 16, 2011, they published 53 collaborative audio & visual poems describing the landscapes they had seen and the people they had met.
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About the Author

Ken Cockburn (1960 - ) is a poet and translator based in Edinburgh. After studying French and German at Aberdeen University, and Theatre Studies at University College Cardiff, he worked for several years with touring theatre companies in Wales. He later worked as Fieldworker for the Scottish Poetry Library, taking the library van to schools, libraries and community centres across Scotland. He and Alec Finlay established and ran pocketbooks, publishing 16 books taking a 'contemporary and generalist view of Scottish culture' (1999-2002). He has worked freelance since 2004, regularly collab-orating with visual artists including Mary Bourne, David Faithfull and Andrew MacKenzie. His published translations include poems by Christine Marendon, Arne Rautenberg and Thomas Rosenlocher. Recent publications include Ink, with artists ~in the fields (2011), and Overheard Overlooked: Found Poems (2012). Alec Finlay (1966 - ), artist and poet, lives and works in Edinburgh. Working across a wide range of media and forms, from microtonal sculpture, mapping and journeys, book and print works, to audio-visual and new technology, much of Finlay's work considers how we as a culture, or cultures, relate to landscape and ecology. He was the first AiR at BALTIC, and has exhibited at the Sydney Biennale. Recent artist projects include Sweeney's Bothy, an artist-residency hut for the Isle of Eigg, and taigh, Scotland's national memorial for organ and tissue donors, installed in Edinburgh's Royal Botanic Garden. Among his recent poetry collections are Be My Reader (2012), A Company of Mountains (2013), today today today (2013), and a-ga (2014). He is represented by Ingleby Gallery and publishes artist blogs at

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