A collection of 154 sonnets reflecting on love, death and marriage, each taking its inspiration from Shakespeare’s 154. These poems have wit and a kick: they come from a middle-aged woman in the middle of Scotland in the 21st Century.
About the author
Brought up in post-industrial Lanarkshire, Petra Reid did Law at Edinburgh University and worked as a solicitor in general practice, and more recently as a welfare rights adviser. She studied Fine Art while raising a family and developed her interest in poetry through Dada. She does site specific performances at one-off events.
‘We can only honour life through an awareness of death.’
Social reformer, peace activist, policy advisor; Kay Carmichael was an influential figure in Scottish politics. Here is a collection of her autobiographical writings, her poems, speeches and articles – some from her column in New Society magazine in the 1980s. They reflect a courageous and unique view on a life that keenly observed the downtrodden and effected many of the social reforms we now take for granted. Her dying was a controversial as her life and her reflections on death are things we need to say and need to hear for ourselves and for our young.
About the author Kay Carmichael was born in 1925 and died in 2009. After an impoverished upbringing in Glasgow’s East End, she became a social worker, university teacher, wife of an MP, a member of the Scottish Office Advisory Committee for setting up Children’s Panels, a peace activist (for which she was imprisoned), and an advisor for Harold Wilson’s Policy Unit at No. 10 Downing Street. The collection is edited by her husband David Donnison.
‘I can see the disgust on the face of one neighbor when Jack, the farmer, asked to lend a man, produced a land girl.’
Mona McLeod worked in Kirkubrightshire during the second World War, providing the skilled labour needed on farms before mechanization. The girls were given heavy agricultural work in fields, with animals, carrying hundred weight sacks, sawing wood, felling trees, filling up rat holes. It was a tough way to grow up, but this illustrated memoir provides a valuable record of a time when women faced the rigorous physical challenges involved in winning the war at home.
About the author Born in 1922 in England, Mona never went back after her five years in the Land Army in Scotland. A history graduate, she taught in Edinburgh schools before becoming a freelance lecturer on aspects of Scottish culture. Her publications include Agentsof Change: Scots inPoland:1800-1918, based on family papers; it has been translated into Polish and published in Warsaw.
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