Voluntary Action Shetland   Voluntary Action Shetland
Voluntary Action Shetland

New Shetlander - 285 Hairst 2018

New Shetlander Hairst 2018 issue 285 cover

The Hairst New Shetlander is pleased to publish the winning entries in the 2018 Young Writer competition. The theme was ‘Journey’, and competition has been fierce. The five prizewinners, aged 8 -16, will both entertain readers and touch hearts.

The lead article is a heartfelt and moving piece by Kathy Hubbard, explaining the background to the film Nae Pasaran!  recently shown at Screenplay. At the core of the film – a true story – is a courageous act by a group of engineers in East Kilbride in 1974, in solidarity with the oppressed people of Chile.

Justin Frewen has over 20 years’ experience working in Asia, the Middle East, Africa and the U.S. for the United Nations and a number of International NGOs. His article, ‘Breaking down the walls’, looks at the treatment of refugees in various areas of the world, including the UK, Mexico and Australia, and makes some striking points.

It is usually the case, in Shetland as elsewhere, that we take everyday things for granted until they cease to be common, or disappear. Two thought-provoking articles may make us think again. ‘A social life of peat’, by Berenice Carrington, reflects on the role and importance of peat-cutting, both practically and culturally. Illustrated by her own artwork and photographs, the article focuses on Yell, but is applicable to almost all rural Shetland.

‘Heather – the farmers’ friend’, by Amy Lightfoot, describes the many uses of heather in the past. Her article is based on information from local people (born between 1897 and 1926) who remembered the careful practices of their parents or grandparents. It may be an eye-opener for modern readers who have lived all their lives with the re-seeding of hill land. A wood-cut by Amy, and her own photographs – sometimes of well-known faces – accompany the piece.

Two strong writers contribute distinctive short stories: Jim Mainland writes ‘The Calling’ and Mark Ryan Smith ‘The smile’.

Barbara Fraser, in her last ‘Wadder Eye’, paints a picture of modern Shetland in forthright and positive terms, while keenly aware that our society is not perfect. She writes most appreciatively of the New Shetlander and encourages all writers.

Barbara’s enthusiasm for the local writing scene is shared by the editors, who reflect on the recent Edwin Morgan Prize and on the development of Shetland poetry from the beginning.

Current poets are in good form here: James Sinclair, Maxine Rose Munro, Donald S. Murray, Christie Williamson and a new contributor from Orkney, Lydia Harris. 

James Sinclair’s sequence of poems, ‘Abandoned on Stac an Armin’, re-tells a true story from St Kilda. The poem is enhanced by a drawing by Andrew Graham, who also painted the front cover picture.

There are book reviews as usual. The New Shetlander is now on sale.

| Logo : The Scottish Government | | Logo : Leader Plus | Logo : Project part financed by the european union| Logo : Voluntary Action Shetland| Logo : Shetland Charitable Trust|