In the same way as oral recollections, written words can often bring a place to life. Poetry can be a useful source of place names which might not even be on any map.
The theme for Shetland Arts 2006 Shetland Writing Prize was a poem featuring Shetland place names. The competition, which ran in partnership with the Shetland Place Names Project, attracted 32 entries, 17 written in dialect, with the writers employing a range of methods to incorporate place names.
The competition confirmed the need to widen the scope of place name recording even further and highlighted and the way in which the poets considered the names in terms of their meaning, and painted a picture through the name and its interpretation.
The overall winners, Christine De Luca's 'Seeing Baith Sides', considering places in South Cunningsburgh, and Tom Childs' 'Living Legends', set in Troswick, were published in The New Shetlander, Winter 2006. (available at Shetland Archives)