Sunday, 26 September 2010
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 (www.abdn.ac.uk/elphinstone/kist )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 www.readingbus.co.uk. 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.
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
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
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 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.
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 http://www.poemhunter.com/sheena-blackhall. 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.