Three years ago three poets got together to translate each other’s poems. The idea came ultimately out of the series of workshops initiated by Simon Berry, which Scottish Pen ran over several years, in which Scots poets and asylum seekers translated each other’s poems and in the process created a dialogue between different cultures. The difference this time is that the three poets use the three languages of Scotland. Maggie Rabatski is a native Gaelic speaker, Sheila Templeton grew up speaking the Doric of the North-east and AC Clarke hails from London.
We embarked on this project not sure where it would lead. Each of us chose two poems by each of the other two poets and created our own response, sometimes translating fairly closely, sometimes responding to the theme and form of the original poem. What had started out as an untried venture developed into a conversation to which each poet brought her own voice and manner, and from which each poet drew fresh inspiration. The result is Owersettin: a three-way conversation. We hope our readers enjoy the conversation as much as we did.
– AC Clarke
Sheila Templeton is originally from Aberdeenshire and writes in both Scots and English. She is well published in magazines and anthologies and has won several prizes, including the McCash Scots Language Poetry Award… twice… and the McLellan Poetry Prize. Her previous collections are Slow Road Home, published by Makar Press 2004; Digging For Light, published by New Voices Press 2011; and Tender Is The North, published by Red Squirrel Press 2013.
Maggie Rabatski is Hebridean by birth and upbringing but has lived in Glasgow for many years. Her first poetry pamphlet Down From The Dance/An Dèidh an Dannsa was short-listed for the Saltire Scottish First Book of the Year in 2011. Her second, Holding, was short-listed for the 2013 Callum MacDonald Award. Both collections are published by New Voices Press. Her poem Sacrifice/Ìobairt was chosen as one of the SPL’s ‘Best Scottish Poems’ in 2012’. She writes in both Gaelic and English.
AC Clarke’s collections include A Natural Curiosity (New Voices Press), which was inspired by the Glasgow Anatomy Museum and short-listed for the 2012 Callum Macdonald award; and Fr Meslier’s Confession, about the atheist priest Jean Meslier (Oversteps Books). She is a member of Scottish PEN and has won several prizes, including the Petra Kenney Poetry Competition and the Second Light Long Poem competition. She was longlisted for the 2014 National Poetry Competition. Her latest collection is In the Margin, published by Cinnamon Press 2015.
Biggin Brigs is a Tapsalteerie pamphlet poetry series that promotes connections between the three indigenous languages of Scotland. Each volume will contain poems in Scots, Gaelic and English by contemporary poets.