Left to Write

Left to Write, a collection of poetry and prose by Aberdeen’s Lemon Tree Writers, was published by Aberdeen City Council in 1995.

These forceful writers aren’t so much concerned with describing Aberdeen or its traditions as they are with drawing it into the world, with concern, skill and understanding from their varied experiences and wide reading. The topics and forms in this book reflect, at last, the polyglot town that Aberdeen has become; the north-east of Scotland inextricably part of the big dirty world.

Here you will find the courage and loneliness of immigrants to this country; finely made poems of feeling and landscape; the wry satire which only comes from the Scottish pencil; and dark, European visions of the results of our frantic, mechanised lives.

This is no longer a town for couthy stories.

Todd McEwen
Writer in Residence (1993–94)
Aberdeen City Council
Author of Fisher’s Hornpipe and McX

Poems, verse fictions, prose narratives and an extract from a novel are the basic ingredients. All are served with a uniform English sauce-tone that makes the absence of Gaelic, Scots or Doric all the more curious. Yet exotic tales of Africa, a literary arrest, sharp observation of field-life, rig-risk and cat domination give the anthology as a whole a welcome cosmopolitan taste. The overall impression is of a group of writers willing to assimilate shared certainties, creativity and criticism. Having listened to several of the writers it also reflects the ambitions of the Lemon Tree Writers to ‘explore’.

As a collection of new writing it travels well.

Hayden Murphy
Poetry Correspondent
The Times Educational Supplement Scotland

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