Growing up in Fraserburgh has strong influence on storyteller's memoir

Celebrated storyteller David Campbell reflects on a life spent in the company of words in his new memoir ‘Minstrel Heart: A Life in Story’.

Friday, 11th June 2021, 6:00 am
Updated Friday, 11th June 2021, 9:23 am
David Campbell’s memoir ‘Minstrel Heart: A Life in Story’ is now on sale.

Spanning over eight decades from his childhood in Fraserburgh through his time as a producer with the BBC, the conception of Fort Knox – the first ever multi-arts complex on the Edinburgh Festival Fringe – to present day in Edinburgh as a storyteller, David recalls time spent in all corners of the world, from teaching in Scotland and Germany to Israel with the BBC and Australia.

David said: “When I reflect over the eight decades of my life, I can see from my earliest years a boy in love with words and with stories, with poetry, with people – loves which were to connect me with singers, poets, writers, actors; with writing and performing myself.”

Peppered with poems (both quoted and David’s own creations), anecdotes and diary entries, what emerges is a lyrical narrative woven with the skill only a seasoned storyteller can lend his own life story.

David’s storytelling was influenced by his childhood in Fraserburgh.

At the heart are the people he has met along the way, Brendan Bracken, Duncan Williamson, Hugh MacDiarmid, Dolina MacLennan, Norman MacCaig and Sorley MacLean among them, tying their stories into his with tales of love found, enjoyed and sometimes lost.

Donald Smith, director of the Scottish Storytelling Centre, said: “David’s journey takes us through the story of Scotland’s rebirth in all its subversive energy.”

Minstrel Heart: A Life in Story by David Campbell is available from Central Books.