Piston, Pen & Press in North Lanarkshire primary schools 11 November 2019 | by duncan - Place-based learning, industrial heritage and Scots language Over the past few weeks, we have been taking our project into the primary schools of North Lanarkshire. From Abronhill and Stepps, to Plains and Motherwell, we have been running poetry workshops using materials from our project. Pitched at P4-7, these have been noisy, active-learning affairs (perhaps to… Continue Reading
A Daurk Maiter 22 September 2019 | by kirstieblair - Guest post in Scots and English by Martin Travers, playwright Udston Disaster Memorial, Hamilton Wirkin oan ma new play A Daurk Maiter haes buin awfu naur tae ma hert an ma ain faimily’s history. Baith ae ma grandfaithers war pickmen in Lanrickshire an ma faither’s faither dee’d ae silicosis. Ma faither anely iver hintit oan… Continue Reading
Piston, Pen and Press: Autumnal Update 3 September 2019 | by duncan - Whether technically autumn or not (it certainly feels like it outside) it has been a busy few weeks here at Piston, Pen and Press to close the summer. Last week Victorianist scholars, students and researchers from across the UK, and from further afield, descended upon Dundee for the British Association of Victorian Studies (BAVS) conference.… Continue Reading
‘Piston, Pen & Press’ and the First World War (4) 11 November 2018 | by kirstieblair - A final Armistice Day poem, 'Remembrance', from an unidentified author: J. K. Bell's Rhymes of an Idle Man (London: Arthur H. Stockwell, 1930) definitely reads like a collection by a working-class man, but there is no author information given. We haven't traced Bell yet, though we may come across him elsewhere. Remembrance I have no one… Continue Reading
‘Piston, Pen & Press’ and the First World War (3) 10 November 2018 | by kirstieblair - Today's war poems are from J. McDonald, stationmaster in Dalguise, Perth & Kinross. His collection was published during 1918 to raise funds for the Red Cross. Unlike most of the poets we are finding, he wrote in both Gaelic and English. One of his Gaelic poems (a prayer?) is extracted below - anyone reading this… Continue Reading
‘Piston, Pen & Press’ and the First World War (2) 9 November 2018 | by kirstieblair - Poems published after the Armistice by working-class writers can be deeply sceptical, as here. John White (1859-1943) worked as a miner and then a tailor in the colliery village of Whitburn, near Bathgate in West Lothian. There is a typed copy of his poems in Linlithgow's local history collection, produced by the Whitburn Local History… Continue Reading
‘Piston, Pen & Press’ and the First World War (I) 8 November 2018 | by kirstieblair - As we search for industrial workers up to the 1920s, there are a lot of war poems by working-class writers coming across our radar. In the run-up to Sunday 11th, I'll post a small selection of these. First is an extract from a book-length bildungsroman poem, George Dickson's Peter Rae (1925). The scarcity of information about… Continue Reading
Adventures in Poets’ Corner 7 November 2018 | by kirstieblair - We have been lucky enough to gain permission from Glasgow's Mitchell Library to survey all the books in their 'Poets' Corner' collection of Scottish poetry, volume by volume and shelf by shelf. As a contribution to our partnership with the Mitchell, we are recording basic information on each book for them, and along the way… Continue Reading
‘Stray Green Leaves’: A Mitchell Library Treasure 19 October 2018 | by laurenweiss - Whilst working in the Mitchell Library in Glasgow recently, I came across a volume housed in Special Collections called 'Stray Green Leaves', which is an anthology that was put together by James Gould in 1860. There is a newspaper clipping pasted into the front of the volume from The Glasgow Herald  by Reverend Charles Rogers… Continue Reading
‘Trade Songs’ in The People’s Journal, 1885 15 October 2018 | by laurenweiss - Last week, I was at the Dundee Local History Centre looking for evidence of writers who worked in the local mills, and for mill workers who were members of mutual improvement societies that were organised either through the mills or were running in the community. The very last thing I looked at before rushing out… Continue Reading