Tuesday, 21 August 2007

The Poems: The Dragon's Vertebrae

The Dragon's Vertebrae (Malfranteaux Concepts, 2007) is a collection of poems and tales in Scots and English, some of which have appeared in various magazines and journals.

'The Thorn Buss' was shortlisted for the McCash Poetry Prize in 2007. 'Reflections of a Minotaur' features in the Forward Press anthology Scottish, Irish and Welsh Verses (2007). 'Latte: Books n' Beans' has been published in There's a Poem in My Soup (Koo Press).

The short story 'Beelzebub' was published in Lallans 2007 and won the William Gilchrist Graham Award for best story in Scots.
'Jingle Bells' appeared in Immersed in Imagination (New Fiction, 2007).

The Poems: The Pierrot's Narrative

The Pierrot's Narrative (Malfranteaux Concepts, 2007) includes some poems written and performed during Aberdeen University Word Festival, 2007. Many were inspired by work exhibited at the Aberdeen Artists' 73rd Exhibition. Sheena Blackhall is an ordinary member of the Aberdeen Artists' Society under her maiden name of Middleton. She illustrates books as Sìne NicTheàrlaich.

Other poems in this collection were written during a week's retreat at the Buddhist Centre of Dhanakosa, in Balquhidder.

Monday, 28 May 2007

The Novellas: The Quarry

Launched at the Word Festival,
The Quarry (Lochlands, 2007) is a novella in Scots. In four parts, it centres on a granite quarry in the town of Meikleburgh spanning the years 2010 to 3000. A short story 'The Yalla Idol' also features in the book.

Sheena dedicated the novella to the late Sir Cyril Lucas, the Director of Fisheries Research for Scotland based at the Marine Laboratory, Aberdeen. She writes, "For over forty years he was my parents' next door neighbour. After the bells rang in each Hogmanay, he would first foot us. As a sleepy child struggling to stay awake to greet the New Year, I remember a conversation he once had with my father on the subject of the Future... Dr Lucas argued convincingly that cities would eventually be built under the sea to conserve land."

Monday, 7 May 2007

The Poems: On Brigid's Day

On Brigid's Day (Malfranteaux, 2007) contains a number of poems written while Sheena was a Creative Writing Tutor at the Research Institute of Irish and Scottish Studies, University of Aberdeen in Spring 2007.

'The Herdboy' is included in Poppy Fields 2007 (Poetry Now), while others have been published in Pushing Out the Boat. 'The Deliverance Sang' was performed at the Deliberately Thirsty Fringe Event at the 2006 Edinburgh Festival.

'An Auld Sang/A New Sang' was written specifically to work with children during workshops for primary schools at Aberdeen's Central Library to mark the 300th anniversary of the Union of the Parliaments of Scotland and England in 1707. The workshops were part of the A Union for a' that Schools Education Project.

Also included is 'A Mearns Laddie's Spikk: in memoriam James Leslie Mitchell', a cornkister set to the tune of Drumdelgie, which commemorates the life and achievement of the writer, more familiar to many as Lewis Grassic Gibbon. It was performed at the Grassic Gibbon Centre on 31 March 2007 for his daughter, Rhea Martin, at the Friends of the Centre’s Annual Supper.

Sunday, 14 January 2007

Bairn Poems: Dragon Rikk

Dragon Rikk: Poems & Tales in Scots for Halflins & Littlins was published by Malfranteaux Concepts, 2006.
Some of the poems and stories have been published in Freens: a Scots anthology published by Lochlands, and Dinna Tine the Doric, produced by Aberdeenshire Council and the Buchan Heritage Society. 'Tam' was published in Pure Ghosters, produced by Black & White Publishing in association with Dub Busters. 'Wee Aipples an Wee Orangies' was told to the author by Stanley Robertson. It comes from the Traveller tradition.