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New Shetlander - 281 Hairst 2017

New Shetlander Hairst 2017 issue 281 cover 

The cover of the Hairst New Shetlander, by Alex Boak, is sure to remind readers of summer. The editorial, in lighthearted mode, reflects on summer too. The magazine is pleased to welcome several new contributors alongside regulars.

The artist Janette Kerr writes about the thinking, research and planning behind the sound and video installation ‘Confusing shadow with substance’, recently in Da Gadderie at Shetland Museum and Archives. It focused on the haaf fishing station at Stenness and the work that went on there. In her article Poised between land and far haaf, Janette describes the work by herself and Jo Millett as a ‘poetic response’ to Stenness.

Award-winning poet Jen Hadfield is now writing stories too, and the New Shetlander is delighted to publish her story No-Moon, which is set in modern Shetland.

‘The Liberal Godfather’ written by Matthew Nicolson, a new contributor, analyses Jo Grimond and his time as MP for Shetland and Orkney. Was he a ‘one-man ruling class’? Did he kill politics in Shetland? Matthew looks at Grimond’s charisma, his ways of working and his lasting appeal to the electorate.

Michael Goodlad, another new contributor, has contributed Two Shetland letters 1842-1847. His article contains copies of letters sent from Shetland to correspondents in Edinburgh, one from merchant’s son Andrew Hay to his brother, and the other from the Reverend Peter Peterson of Walls to a minister friend. The letters are very different in tone and content and reflect the times.

Jenny Murray’s article reveals an intriguing part of Shetland’s religious past, which few readers will have been aware of.  Mass on the move … bringing worship to the local community explains the historical importance of two peerie bits of green marble stone, quarried in Greece before the end of the 5th century AD, and found in 20th century Shetland, one in St Ninian’s Chapel and one at Kebister.

Allen Fraser’s account of A lady of comfort and kindness describes Nellie Deans Allan, wife of the North Yell Free Kirk minister at the time of the 1881 Gloup disaster. She remained in Yell until 1909 and was long remembered with affection. 

Poems are by writers well-known to the magazine. James Sinclair has set his two poems into context in Da sinkin o da SS Sea Venture, where prose and poetry together bring to life a true and strange story of a wartime incident.

Shetland Library’s Young Writers of 2017 are Jessica Williamson, Ashley Hay, Aimee Ruddick, Riley Clarke and James Johnson. They are a sparkling lot, and the magazine is very pleased to publish their winning pieces, on the theme of ‘Northern Lights’. They feature, among other things, trows, space-travellers and international folklore.

There are book reviews as usual. Number 281 is on sale now, price £2. 


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