Saturday, 7 July 2018

The Poems: Secrets

Secrets: Poems in Scots & English. Published by Lochlands, Maud, Aberdeenshire. Printed by Thistle Reprographics, 55 Holburn Street Aberdeen.The cover image is ‘Alone’, by the artist Rosy Long. Cost: £3.00. July 2018 opyright: S. Blackhall July 2018 Two of the owersetts were published in the Aberdeen University magazine Causeway/Cabhsair in May 2018. Two of the Scots poems are to be published in Lallans Magazine. Rosy Long’s cover picture is entitled ‘Alone’. Both poet and artist were school friends. Both were members of the Forecourt Art group and the Aberdeen artist society. Both worked for many years teaching special needs pupils. Rosy is a visually impaired artist who lives in the village of Muchalls. She also has the rare trait of synaesthesia, in her case a strong association between various symbols such as letters of the alphabet on the one hand and clear, well-defined colours on the other. Her work is inspired by cats and by the picturesque rural surroundings in which she lives. She runs the Muchalls drawing group.For more information on publications by Sheena Blackhall, visit or the on-line catalogue of the Nat. Library of Scotland All of Blackhall’s poems in Scots and English, are now uploaded on Her website can be found on An interview in podcast form with the poet appears on: Thanks are also due to the ongoing support and encouragement of Les Wheeler, in agreeing to publish this collection, and to Rosy Long for agreeing to allow the use of her image ‘Alone’ as the cover of Secrets. Of that picture she said: "This is where I ultimately find myself. It is not frightening but rather beautiful".

Wednesday, 27 June 2018

The Owersetts: Jean Eyre

Jean Eyre: Jane Eyre (By Charlotte Brontë) in North-East Scots. First edition, 2018. Translated into North-East Scots by Sheena Blackhall and Sheila Templeton. Illustrations by X and X. Dundee: Evertype. ISBN 978-1-78201-215-3 (paperback), price: €12.95, £10.95, $15.95. HTML Michael Everson, Evertype. Click on the click for more details.

Friday, 22 June 2018

CHAPTERS ABOUT: Sleeping with Monsters: Conversations with Scottish & Irish Women Poets

Sleeping with Monsters: Conversations with Scottish and Irish Women Poets , 2001, by Rebecca Wilson (Editor), Gillean Somerville (Editor), G. Sommerville-Arjat (Editor) Publisher: Polygon (1999
) ISBN-10: 0748660275

CHAPTERS ABOUT: Spirits of the Age

Spirits of the Age: Scottish Self Portraits Paperback – 19 Aug 2005 by Paul Henderson Scott (Editor). Publisher Saltire Society ISBN-10 0854110879.
Alasdair Gray (one of the contributors to this book) in a memorable phrase once called on the Scots to "work as if you live in the early days of a better nation". Probably there have always been some people in Scotland who have done exactly that, and we are now in a period when there is more opportunity and more need for them. The restoration of the Scottish Parliament, even if it is still drastically limited in its powers, is by its mere existence a demand for a better Scotland. This book brings together some of these, not all but a good cross section, who are helping to build this better nation. They are spirits of the age in literature, painting, sculpture, music, ideas and science. Of course there are other vital activities and we hope to include them in a subsequent volume. Following the good example of Hume, Burns and Walter Scott, the contributors give a brief account of their experiences, influences and objectives. In doing that, they give us a clearer sense of their personalities than any subsequent biographer is likely to achieve. Together they build up a complex picture of contemporary Scotland, and of the opportunities and obstacles which challenge us.

Chapters About: Autumn Voices

Autumn Voices, price ₤12.99, is published by PlaySpace Publications,2018. Between 2015 and 2017 Robin Lloyd-Jones interviewed nineteen Scottish writers over the age of 70 (and himself): Sheena Blackhall, Larry Butler, Jenni Calder, A,C,Clarke, Stewart Conn, Douglas Dunn, Sally Evans, Vicki Feaver, Lee Gershuny, Alasdair Gray, Diana Hendry, Richard Holloway, James Kelman. Carl MacDougall, Bernard MacLaverty, Robin Lloyd-Jones, Alison Prince, Pauline Prior-Pitt, John Purser, Sheila Templeton. The twenty established writers who speak to us through Autumn Voices represent a total of over one hundred and fifty years of varied, fascinating and colourful life experience since passing the age of seventy. All of them show that productivity and creativity can be extended well into later life and provide role models for future generations. These are men and women who see old age as life’s last great adventure and who have chosen to embrace it, to regard it as a new and interesting phase of life, full of possibilities while also accepting the losses age brings with honesty, courage and even humour. Through their lives and their writing they demonstrate qualities, values and attitudes which contribute to successful ageing and continuing creativity. These mature autumn voices speak to us from a point where experience is at its maximum, perspective at its broadest and mastery of craft at its peak. We have much to learn from them.

Sunday, 27 May 2018

The Poems: Saying the Unsayable

Saying the Unsayable: poems in Scots and English by Sheena Blackhall. Published by Equinox Publishing Printed by Gatehouse Design & Print Agency, RGU, Aberdeen, launched at Aberdeen University’s May Festival, 2018. Many of these poems were written on a week’s retreat at Dhanakosa, Balquidder, entitled Tai Chi, Poetry and Meditation. ‘The Address Remembers’ was the poem of the Day on the website The Glasgow based poems were written whilst engaged on the Autumn Voices project. ‘Freedom o the Toun’ was written to perform on National Poetry Day, an open air event arranged by the poet Andy Bisset in Aberdeen. ‘The Street Art Rap’ was written to celebrate the Nuart project, produced and promoted by Aberdeen Inspired and Aberdeen City Council. The Tarland Burn was published in the Cromar History Group’s Magazine.For more information on publications by Sheena Blackhall, visit or the on-line catalogue of the Nat. Library of Scotland All of Blackhall’s poems in Scots and English are now uploaded on Her website can be found on An interview in podcast form with the poet appears on: Thanks are also due to Equinox for commissioning this collection, and in particular to Andy Bisset and Angela Joss for their work in bringing this collection to fruition. It is dedicated to the memory of the late Morven Coutts Blackhall. ‘Guilt is perhaps the most painful companion of death’ Coco Chanel.