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BUCKET OF FROGS

New Writing Scotland 26

Edited by Liz Niven & Brian Whittingham

Published in: Paperback.
By: Association for Scottish Literary Studies, Glasgow, August 2008.
Price: £6.95
ISBN 978-0-948877-87-2

Cover image: Willie Rodger



  • Bucket of Frogs is out of print.

Whether it’s gulls, lichen or magpies, ice cream, brick yards or playgrounds, or perhaps, art, death, or war, this vibrant new collection of prose and poetry is indeed just like a bucket of frogs. As Editors we scooped into the brimming mix of manuscripts, a more than healthy number of submissions once again, there’s no fear of a drought from Scotland’s writers. And, like wee weans collecting tadpoles in those non-PC days when you could get up to all sorts of activities and parents actually encouraged you, it’s been a fascinating pursuit. And here we have not merely tadpoles but fully developed frogs.
     The range of content is wide and sometimes astonishing. And locations? We shift from Seville to Connecticut, flit from Dufton to Mexico. While submission guidelines require writers to be Scottish based, their imaginative landscapes can be without/outwith boundaries.
     The submitting writers’ anonymity has continued, we’re delighted to say. It means we’re never sure who to avoid because we’ve rejected a weel kent author; it also means an occasional bear hug from a brand new first time writer. And that’s a great moment for us, for them, for the world of Scottish writing – the ASLS anthology is still often the first important point of publication for a new writer. The moment the tadpole becomes a frog. Kiss the frog and we might have a Booker or a Costa prizewinner one day.
     The three year remit of one of the editors has come to an end. The rotating process lets a fresh perspective arrive, like a draught blowing in through an opening door. New preferences, subjectivity take a new direction. There’s an inevitabillty that personal preferences of subject matter or voice might inform an editor’s selection but the main thing is that the poem or story has been carefully crafted. And whether the subject matter is rural or urban, Scots or English language, exotic or local location, the work selected must be well written. Carefully constructed. It’s also important, at a very basic level, and to give your work its best start in life, that New Writing Scotland receives pristine sheets of non-crumpled, non-folded, non-put-in-a-drawer-for-years manuscripts. After all, there’s a wheen o competition out there waiting to fight for its right to life in print.
     As Fleur Adcock states, in the humorous but perceptive ‘The Prize Winning Poem’, ‘dawn will not herald another bright new day, nor dew sparkle like diamonds in a dell’. In this year’s anthology, clichés do not clutter and croak from the works, a fresh originality and vitality kept the editors riveted as we followed imaginations through experiences of death and war, love and voyaging both literal and metaphysical.
     We hope readers will enjoy scooping out handfuls of stories and poems from this hopping good New Writing Scotland 26.

Liz Niven
Brian Whittingham

Click here for information on submitting work to New Writing Scotland.

Contents

  • Keith Aitchison . . . . . Revolution
  • Ruth Aylett . . . . . Pictures at an Exhibition
  • Colin Begg . . . . . Sierra Nevada dreaming
  • Liam Murray Bell . . . . . The Piano
  • Tom Bryan . . . . . Gardens, Strange and Cold / Brickyard Assembly Line
  • Eliza Chan . . . . . Subtext
  • Ian Crockatt . . . . . Washing the Corpse
  • Tracey Emerson . . . . . Out With the Old
  • Graham Fulton . . . . . Revolutions per Minute / Coffee Morning
  • Mark Gallacher . . . . . Hartman Running
  • Alan C. Gay . . . . . Ceilidh / Prisoner’s Escape Kit / Portobello Blues
  • Diana Hendry . . . . . Other Mothers
  • Kate Hendry . . . . . When Gordon Ran Away
  • Angela Howard . . . . . The Table
  • Ian Hunter . . . . . Mr Murdoch Comes to Town
  • David Hutchison . . . . . The Achiltibuie Stone
  • Linda Jackson . . . . . Early Gulls Over Morar
  • Paula Jennings . . . . . The Gift
  • Vivien Jones . . . . . The Mill
  • Alex Laird . . . . . Strawberry Yield
  • Helen Lamb . . . . . 1962
  • William Letford . . . . . The Last Miner
  • Rowena M. Love . . . . . Strike a Light / Dufton Pike Picnic
  • Lois McEwan . . . . . Lichen
  • James McGonigal . . . . . The Understudy
  • Peter Maclaren . . . . . Registering a Death / Vested Interest / Sevilla
  • David McVey . . . . . The D Row
  • Michael Malone . . . . . Art in the Park / Wounded Knee
  • Greg Michaelson . . . . . Before the Flood
  • Jason Monios . . . . . Ezra Pound at Pisa
  • Richard Mosses . . . . . Nelson’s Blood
  • Anne B. Murray . . . . . Waves
  • Alison Napier . . . . . Invisible Mending
  • Helen Parker . . . . . Hide and Secret
  • Vix Parker . . . . . My Breath in Her Body
  • Allan Radcliffe . . . . . Cold Chicken Roll
  • Alan Riach . . . . . Two Paintings by Jack Yeats / Mexico Poem: Tijuana Brass
  • R.J. Ritchie . . . . . Street Theatre, Edinburgh, August
  • Nancy Somerville . . . . . Bucket of Frogs
  • Kenneth Steven . . . . . Lemon Ice Cream / The Ferryman
  • Jim Taylor . . . . . After the War
  • Douglas N.R Thompson . . . . . Twenty Twenty
  • Valerie Thornton . . . . . Elevenses / Looking for Blanche Dubois / Playground Games
  • Ryan Van Winkle . . . . . It is Summer and in Connecticut the Grill is Grilling / Falling #147 / They Will Go On
  • Greg Whelan . . . . . Virgin Maria
  • Ian Nimmo White . . . . . A Queen and I
  • Jane Whiteford . . . . . Slippage
  • Christopher Whyte . . . . . Gu Bàrd Òg Albannach...
  • Hamish Whyte . . . . . Otis
  • Fiona Wilson . . . . . Magpie

Last updated 10 June 2014.