Thursday, 4 November 2010

The Bairn Books

The Bairn Books:Millie (ISBN 978-0-9564837-4-4) is a bairn-book written in Doric by Sheena Blackhall and illustrated by Bob Dewar. The book is edited by Bill Burnett and was published by the Reading Bus (Aberdeen) in 2010, as part of a team project managed by Jenny Watson . Ian Hudghton MEP contributed the foreword. The book has its own website,, which will eventually have sound translations in 30 different languages from around the world. Blackhall contributed to previous Reading Bus publications, the anthologies ‘Fit Like Yer Majesty’ and ‘Nae Bad Ava’.
Working as Storyteller & poet on the Reading Bus, she has also assisted pupils, storytellers and artists in the following team projects:
Titanic:ISBN. 9780951137377 (Cornhill Primary 2007)
The Chief o Mounthooley’s Kilt: ISBN 978-0-9558904-3-7 (Causewayend Primary 2008)
Crocorattie: ISBN 978-0-9558904-4-4 9 (Donbank Primary 2008)
Rockraptor: ISBN -978-0-9558904-6-8 (Kittybrewster Primary 2009)
Loch Ness Monster ISBN-978-0-9558904-5-1 (Cornhill Primary 2008)
Aul Aiberdeen ISBN 978-0-9564837-1-3 (Cornhill Primary 2009)
The Woodcarvers of King’s College Chapel ISBN 978-0-9564837-2-0 (Woodside Primary 2009)
Wishes and Legends: Stories & Springboards (2010)

Friday, 15 October 2010

The Poems: The Caledonian Anaconda

The Caledonian Anaconda (ISBN 978 1 870978 83 5) was published by Malfranteaux Concepts (46 Portal Crescent Aberdeen AB24 2SP)in 2010, and printed by Thistle Reprographics, 55 Holburn Street Aberdeen. Some of the English poems appear online at Other poems will appear in The World is your Oyster: published by the Forward Press ISBN 9781844185566. The Flicht o the Fite Moch won the Hugh MacDiarmid Trophy in the Sangshaw 2010 competition. The Tree o Life was awarded third prize in the Sangshaw short story competition. Hector the Hoolet & Anely an Act o God were both highly commended in the prose section. Fulfilling part of Blackhall's commitments as Makar of Aberdeen & the North East, two of the songs were specially written for the Gallowgate Doric Celebration, in the 2010 Doric Festival. Another two songs were composed and performed at Gadiefest 2010The wartime poems were written for the Malfranteaux publication, Enough (Nov. 2010) featuring poems by a number of poets. Other pieces will appear in the spring of 2011 in Poems in the Wind,(Malfranteaux publication) featuring a selection of poets. The Twa Faces Bride is published in Causeway Issue No 2, 2010. Some of the material in this pamphlet will feature in Lallans 77.

Sunday, 26 September 2010

The Songs: Volume III

Sangs &Poems for Bairns: Volume III was compiled in part as a result of Blackhall’s outreach role as Creative Writer in Scots at the Elphinstone Institute ( )led by Dr Ian Russell.During this time she visited over 200 schools. Her work promoting Scots with children continues, working for Jenny Watson on The photograph of the poet was taken by her daughter, Kenna Blackhall in 2009 when she was created Makar of the North East of Scotland.

The Songs: Volume II

Sangs & Poems Volume II contains material Blackhall has performed in Washington, Sidmouth, Gadiefest etc. She has twice won the Press & Journal trophy for best traditional singer, and twice won the Joe Leonard trophy for best song written in the traditional style. (Her grandfather, Alexander Middleton wrote Cornkisters in the Deeside area). In 2001 she won best overall newcomer in the TMSA competition. For some years she competed at the Mod with the Aberdeen Gaelic Choir.Cuthbert Graham described her as 'The Singing Poet'. He also described the North East as 'The Singing Land.'

The Songs: Volume I

The Songs : Volume I
Sangs & Poems Volumes I,II and III were recorded at Captain Tom’s studio, Ann Steet, Aberdeen. They are live, unedited recordings, made after many requests from the public to have such an archive available.
Copies are lodged with the Elphinstone Institute Aberdeen, and the Scots Resource Centre Perth. Sheena Blackhall learned many songs from her grandmother, Lizzie Philip, and her father, Charles Middleton. The photo was taken the year that Blackhall went up to Gray’s School of Art. Soon after she met John Watt Stewart and Blin Robin Hutcheson, North East travellers, who taught her more ballads from their traveller heritage.

Monday, 6 September 2010

The Poems: Wittins

Wittins; A Selection of poems by Sheena Blackhall published by diehard publishers, 91-93 Main Street Callander Scotland FK17 8BQ ISBN 978-0946230-82-2 , September 201 compiled with an introduction by Sally Evans, editor of Poetry Scotland, and a foreword by Joy Hendry, editor of Chapman Magazine. diehard poetry is a series of books published at Kings Bookshop Callander (formerly Old Grindles Bookshop, Edinburgh). Their list, comprising some fifty titles, goes back to before the founding of Poetry Scotland, and has continued through the recession with seven new poetry chapbooks. Wittins was launched at the Callander Poetry Weekend, one of the revolutionary diehard metallic bindings series. These are designed as beautiful gifts, sewn opening flat, Trip-to-Jerusalem style bookbinding and a nod to the e-reader in the metallic finish of the decorated boards.

The Bairn Books: The Mink

The Mink: Bairn Poems in Scots by Sheena Blackhall Published by Lochlands, Maud, Aberdeenshire, September 2010 . Cover: Sìne NicTheàrlaich. Some of these poems were written to perform at the Edinburgh Fringe, in the Urban Garden in the Cowgate.

The Poems: Moon Cakes and Hinney

Moon Cakes & Hinney: Poems in Scots & English by Sheena Blackhall. Published by Malfranteaux Concepts, Aberdeen, Agust 2010. Cover: Sìne NicTheàrlaich
ISBN 978 1 870978 81 1. Some of enclosed poems have already been published on The Turkish poems were written during a stay at Marmaris in July 2010. The Vietnamese & Cambodian poems were written in August, during the period around the marriage of the poet’s son Ross to his Vietnamese bride, Nga, in Ho Chi Minh City.

Monday, 28 June 2010

The Poems: The Storm Nursery

The Storm Nursery:Poems in Scots & English by Sheena Blackhall was written from April-June 2010 (Malfranteaux Concepts, Aberdeen ISBN 978 1 870978 77 4). The Cover is a copy of a Painting by Caspar David Friedrich:The Wanderer above the Mists 1817-18. Some of these poems were written during 11-18th July on Wolf at the Door,a week’s creative writing retreat at Dhanokosa,Balquidder, led by Ananda & Manjusvara of the Triratna Buddhist Order (formerly known as the Western Buddhist order).Various poems were inspired by the Aberdeen Artists 76th Exhibition.

Sunday, 9 May 2010

The Poems:Tick Tock

Tick-Tock: Poems in Scots and English by Sheena Blackhall
Published by Lochlands,Maud,Aberdeenshire)written Jan-May 2010. Some of the poems appear in Pushing Out the Boat (2010) launched at the Word Festival. Others feature in Canvases 29, a small anthology produced by Malfranteaux Concepts. The poet's English poems can be seen on

Friday, 15 January 2010

The Short Stories: Isle o the Deid

Isle o the Deid : Short Stories in Scots by Sheena Blackhall (Malfranteaux Concepts, Aberdeen,ISBN 978 1 870978 63 7, 2010) is dedicated to the Watts of Fadlydyke Farm, Maud, New Deer. The cover is a copy of Isle of the Dead, by Arnold Bocklin. It contains an interview with the writer, entitled 'Walking with Peewits Crying' conducted by Ruth O'Callaghan, a Hawthornden Fellow, published in Markings, issue 29 in 2009. The preliminary accounts of 'Isle o the Deid' are owersets in Scots based on eye witness accounts of the sinking of the MS Estonia in 1994, in which 852 people died. The legend of the Flying Dutchman is very old. Legend is based on a traditional Scots ballad. 'The Rockin Cheer' is Blackhall's version of a traditional tale told to her by the late Stanley Robertson. 

The Poems:The Skreich

The Poems: The Skreich
The Skreich, Poems in Scots & English was written by Sheena Blackhall in the Winter of 2009-2010 during a stay in Norway. It was published by Lochlands, Maud, Aberdeenshire. The cover is a copy of 'The Scream' by Edvard Munch. Some of these poems had been published in Chapman magazine and Poems in the Wind, a small collection of poetry by Malfranteaux Concepts.