Sunday, 14 July 2019

The Poems: Green Man Rising

Title: Green Man Rising: Pamphlet no 142, Poems in Scots & English, Published by Malfranteaux Concepts, Printed by Thistle Reprographics, 55 Holburn Street, Aberdeen. The Cover Image ‘Green Man’ is by the artist Rosy Long, c. Sheena Blackhall July 2019 Price £5.00 Many of these poems were written in response to ‘The Lost Words’, by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris.Thanks are also due to Malfranteux Concepts for agreeing to publish this collection, and also to the artist Rosy Long for allowing the use of her work to provide the cover image.

Thursday, 23 May 2019

From Gweedore to Skibbereen: Irish poems, ballads and pieces by Sheena Blackhall and Tom Hubbard, with Scots translations of poems by Theo Dorgan, Paula Meehan, Gillian Clarke and Gabriel Fitzmaurice: Published by Malfranteaux Concepts, Aberdeen: Printed by Thistle Reprographics, 55 Holburn Street, Aberdeen: Cover image by Sine NicThearlaich Cost: £6.00 © Sheena Blackhall and Tom Hubbard May 2019. In 1960, when I was 13, my father booked us by car ferry to Ireland. He had a carefully planned itinerary in mind, one that took in his favourite songs ( He was a gifted tenor). And so we saw the sun go down on Galway Bay, the mountains of Mourne, the Roses of Tralee, Dublin’s fair city. I kissed the Blarney Stone with some difficulty. Danny Boy would have been impressed. On another occasion I was invited with others to a dinner hosted by Sir Duncan Rice to honour Seamus Heaney, one of my favourite poets. After, I sent him a short poem describing him as a ‘Lead Wolf’ in the poetry pack. His reply was typical of his Irish humour: it arrived on a postcard: ‘What can a lead wolf say but woof woof!’ In 2003 I was to perform at the Burns International Conference at Magee Campus, University of Ulster in Londonderry. I came down with flu once there and spent all weekend in bed, having ruined the speaker’s paper which I was due to illustrate through song. In 2015 I treated myself to a weekend in Dublin, immersing myself in the rich culture of the city. This was a much more fruitful visit. Paula Meehan was my tutor at an Arvon Creative Writing week which I attended, and I greatly enjoyed her work and that of her husband Theo Dorgan . The Welsh poet Gillian Clarke’s poem ‘Overheard in County Sligo’ is another of my cherished poems: my thanks go to those three poets for graciously allowing me to owersett their work into Scots: I’ve included Irish songs taught to me by the North East traveller John Watt Stewart. Like my father, I delight to sing them. Finally, on a whim, I sent my DNA off to Cambridge for testing. On my mother’s side I am Ashkenazi Jew. I persuaded my father’s grandson in Canada to have his DNA tested. The result of my paternal DNA? 100% the same as the indigenous Irish population!

Monday, 13 May 2019

The Poems: Neeps an Sheeps (pamphlet 140)

Title: Neeps an Sheeps Poems in Scots & English by Sheena Blackhall. Published by Malfranteaux Concepts Printed by Thistle Reprographics, 55 Holburn Street Aberdeen. The cover image is by Rosy Long, entitled ‘Neeps an Sheeps : Blackhall May 2019. Price: £5 Ghaists o Schoolhill was written in response to a suggestion given by Alfie McGuinness, Director and Head of Construction & Design at Dandara Ltd. (Currently working on the Triple Kirks project). Neeps an Sheeps was inspired by Rosy Long’s delightful picture and title. Thanks are also due to Malfranteux Concepts for agreeing to publish this collection, and to Rosy Long for agreeing to the use of her work as the cover. Neeps an Sheeps Inspired by Rosy Long’s title of her work Spring rain dreeps On neeps an sheeps In cauldrife Buchan parks Bit sheeps wi neeps Can thole the dreeps They’re weirin wooly sarks!

Thursday, 18 April 2019

The Poems: The Black Sky Blowing

Title: The Black Sky Blowing. Poems in Scots & English by Sheena Blackhall. Published by Malfranteaux Concepts Printed by Thistle Reprographics, 55 Holburn Street Aberdeen. The cover image is by Rosy Long, entitled ‘The Wind blew the Black Sky inside out’c. Blackhall 2019. Most of these poems were written in an exploratory trip to the Pennines in April, 2019. The Lion Rampant is included in the anthology ‘Scotia Extremis’ edited by Brain Johnstone & Andy Jackson, published by Luath Press ISBN 9781912147564, 2019. Còmhradh an Alltain is to be published in the May edition of the magazine of Irish & Scottish writing, Causeway/Cabhsair, pub AUP 2019. Nummers has been selected for future publication. Kinker was written after a day’s teaching Scots in the village school of Kincardine O'Neil. The Black Sky Blowing was inspired by the work of the artist Rosy Long, entitled ‘The Wind blew the Black Sky inside out’. ‘Sin I Cam By Johnshaven', was a project gathering and investigating the rhymes old and new of a coastal village and its hinterland, with an emphasis on the Doric, a three month project (January-March 2019) jointly worked on with Ewan McVicar, Sheena Blackhall, Christine Kydd and Andy Shanks, hosted by Johnshaven Museum's club for people with dementia; The Johnner Celebration song was written as a celebration of this.Thanks are also due to Malfranteux Concepts for agreeing to publish this collection.Sheena Blackhall April 2019

Saturday, 6 April 2019

The Gods of Grayfriar's Lane: The e-books

THE GODS OF GRAYFRIAR'S LANE :SB SHEENA BLACKHALL Publishing, Aberdeen. A Novella by SHEENA BLACKHALL BSc (Hons, Psych), Dip.Ed, M.Litt (Distinction), MUniv (Abdn) Edited for E-Book by PAUL J. DONALD BMus (Hons), DLITE PGDE (Primary) E-Book (Second) Edition: © 2019 Sheena Blackhall. Edited for E-Book by Paul J. Donald. Published by Sheena Blackhall Publishing, Aberdeen. Distributed via Smashwords (www.smashwords.com). THE PUBLISHERS AND AUTHOR HAVE DONE THEIR BEST TO ENSURE THE ACCURACY AND CURRENCY OF ALL INFORMATION IN ‘THE GODS OF GRAYFRIAR’S LANE – A NOVELLA BY SHEENA BLACKHALL’; HOWEVER, THEY CAN ACCEPT NO RESPONSIBILITY FOR ANY LOSS OR INCONVENIENCE SUSTAINED BY ANY READER AS A RESULT OF ITS INFORMATION OR ADVICE. NO PART OF THIS E-BOOK MAY BE REPRODUCED IN ANY FORM WITHOUT PERMISSION FROM THE PUBLISHER EXCEPT FOR THE QUOTATION OF BRIEF PASSAGES IN REVIEWS OR EDUCATIONAL ASSIGNMNETS OR THESIS.

Monday, 25 March 2019

Ten Ballads: The Songs

This book has been produced with the assistance of the Elphinstone Institute at the University of Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire Council through a Capacity Grant and The Barn in Banchory. The ballads in this buikie were scrievit bi Sheena Blackhall as pairt o the Elphinstone Institute's project Celebratin Sheena. Sheena is the vyce o North-East Scotland. Een o Scotland's maist rare an - ingyne scriever, she is a makar fa wyves intriguin tales, poems, an sangs aboot the deepest walls of oor experience. Born in 1947, bit, as she says hersel, brocht up in the nineteenth century, Sheena wis immersed in the expressive Doric tongue an culture o her faimily's native Deeside, wi a wee puckle Latin lernt fae her granmither, Amo amas I luved a lass an she wis tall an slender Amas amat she caad me flat an dang me ower the fender Sheena's tireless insicht, swak wi linguistic ken, and depth, his vrocht-forrit mair nor 100 poetry chapbuiks, 5 novels, mony short story collections, twa televised plays, in Doric alang wi a pucklie in English tee, an winnerfu excursions intae ither cultures throw her owresettins o warld poetry intae the Doric. The day, Sheena hauds an honours degree in Psychology, an a Maister's in the Socio-linguistics o Deeside Doric. We wis fair trickit tae hae Sheena wirkin wi us at the Elphinstone Institute for five year, side bi side wi the late Stanley Robertson. Weel, we aught tae hae hid the room buggit bi MI5 for there wis aa or North-East culture - the tongue, sang, story, an music - in ae office. The air wis fu wi anecdote, folktale, aul an new tradeetions, siccan a proof o the warth an relevance o deep tradition an present- day creativity tae this nation. Inspired bi a lang-term relationship with Buddhist teachins, Sheena's wark is deeply human an represents a by-ordinar range o achievement. She can scrieve a bonnie love poem, spik o the heartache o parentin, sing a centuries-aul ballat, or or mak an inspirin sang for bairns aboot the technical side o Doric in saiven wee verses. Sheena can reach onyb'dy, wi a pitch-pairfect sense o fit wey tae mak sense tae sma bairnies or tae aul fowk, incomer or local, aa wi muckle ease. North-East an Scots-tongue writers are aye pigeonholed, bit Sheena, as makar Joy Hendry scrievit, "knows unerringly how to send that couthy, earthy tongue to the furthest of stars." Fyles influenced bi great figures the like o Dickens an Saki, Calvino, Hughes an Heaney, Sheena his vrocht her ain vyce, mixin classic influences wi Scots balladry an a tradition that she cries "that fey an ither-worldly zone o the weird an the supernaitural". Sheena has raxxed the boundaries o Doric, expandin its literary range fae poetry an sang intae novels an short stories, an brocht it, alangside Les Wheeler, intae the digital age wi the Elphinstone Kist, a wab-based resource for dominies an pupils. For mony, Doric is a tongue o hame an hearth, or o humour, an it's affa gweed at that, bit Sheena shows us that it can dae onything, an she's taen it tae skweels, varsities, theatres, television studios, an even untae the hert o Washinton, D.C. wi clean and thrawn assurance. Sheena his a cultural confidence an self-esteem that gies vyce tae thoosans o North-East fowk fa lang tae hear their ain vyces refleckit back in aa wakks o life. Fit Sheena dis, fyles it's gey important tae literature, are thus o far wider significance nor at. She represents the best o North- East identity an dis it wi style, confidence, perception, an grace. Dr Thomas A. McKean,Director o the Elphinstone Institute, Varsity o Aiberdeen, March 2019 ,

Friday, 8 March 2019

The Poems: Forehooied

Title: Forehooied. Poems & Tales in Scots & English by Sheena Blackhall. Published by Malfranteaux Concepts Aberdeen. Printed by Thistle Reprographics, 55 Holburn Street Aberdeen. The cover image is ‘Guided, Guarded by the spirits of Dead Suns’ by William T. Horton (1864-1919)Cost: £3.00. Copyright: S. Blackhall March 2019 Horton’s illustration appeared in H. Rider Haggard’s book ‘The Mahatma & the Hare, a Dream Story (1911). ‘The Puggie’s Hairt’ was published online , at Eiks an Eyns.Thanks are due to the encouragement of Malfranteaux Concepts, in agreeing to publish this collection. Copyright Sheena Blackhall March 2019