Sunday, 3 July 2011
The Chimaera Institute is a collection of seven tales by Sheena Blackhall, published as a limited edition in 2011 by Lochlands, Aberdeenshire, and printed by Thistle Reprographics. The cover is a copy of The Nightmare by Henry Fuseli (1741-1825).
The Nightmare contains significant elements of sleep paralysis and has become almost an icon for the phenomenon.
Most of the seven tales are loosely based on urban myths. Anecdote, rumour, gossip...urban myths can straddle all those categories. Often they are short, like fables and can be told quickly in a paragraph or two. The tales in this book draw from various sources. The Book of Nasty Legends by Paul Smith (Fontana Paperbacks 1984: ISBN 0-00-636856-5) is one source. Another is the late Stanley Robertson, who liked to tell a version of ‘The Bridge’ in the form of a joke. (Of course it has much darker possibilities.) Ghost tales collected from the Aberdeen area mention a servant sacked for the loss of a fiver, wrongly accused of theft who subsequently committed suicide, and this is woven into ‘The Keeper of the Kennels’.
Crannog Woman,Poems in Scots & English is a limited edition and the 80th poetry pamphlet by Sheena Blackhall.It was published in June 2011 by Malfranteaux Concepts, Aberdeen (ISBN 978 1 870978 972) & printed by Thistle Reprographics. The cover is designed by Sìne NicTheàrlaich. Some of these poems were inspired by works in the Aberdeen Artists’ 2011 Exhibition, or in response to articles displayed in the Exhibition ‘100 Curiosities in King’s Museum’ which opened on 17th April 2011. Some of these poems have already been published on http://www.poemhunter.com/sheena-blackhall. A selection was performed at the Aberdeen University Word Festival in May 2011. Two or three were written as a result of historical research carried out by the poet for a forthcoming children’s book, Apardion, to be published by the Aberdeen Reading Bus in the autumn of 2011.The songs Versailles and The Neptune were written and performed during the Portsoy May Festival, 2011. Soroptimists was specially composed for the Soroptimist Society. The Liggers’ Stane was written to perform at the Aberdeen Town House at a conference concert to celebrate the Battle of Harlaw.The concluding poems are Scots owersets of various international poets.