January 1 2021: Eddie Gibbons, founding chairperson of Lemon Tree Writers, invites the support of LTW members, past and present, for his proposal, with the blessing of the Rochford family and the support of Sheena Blackhall, for distinguished local poet Gerard Rochford to be awarded the posthumous title of Honorary Makar of Aberdeen. This will have no bearing on Sheena’s continuing Makarship.
Gerard Rochford was brought up in Worcestershire. Apart from a short spell in Hong Kong he spent most of his life in Aberdeen. His work appeared in Poetry Scotland, Northwords Now, and many other magazines. His most recent collection is DNA (Malfranteaux Concepts, 2018). Professor Rochford was the Makar for Scottish Review and published a poem a month for five years until 2015. Along with Eddie Gibbons and Doug Gray, he founded the Dead Good Poets group, which eventually morphed into the Books and Beans sessions, which Gerard led for many years.
Eddie has created a Facebook page for all writers with connections to Gerard and Aberdeen to have their say on the proposal. Here’s a link to the page-
Should the collective response be positive, Eddie proposes that Gerard be formally elected on February 1st, 2021. This basically means that from that date Gerard Rochford can formally be referred to as the Honorary Makar of Aberdeen.
October 2020: Congratulations to Lesley Benzie who has been named runner-up for the McCash Scots Poetry Prize for her poem Syrians Cairryin a Makeshift Bodybag. This is the link for the article about the prizewinners in the Herald: https://www.heraldscotland.com/arts_ents/18759667.sheila-templeton-wins-2020-james-mccash-scots-poetry-prize/
Lesley also features in a National Poetry Day youtube celebration. Here’s the link:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GNDBQagCalc
Lesley features in Seahorse Saturday on 14 November 2020 from 2pm. The online event is free – register at this address: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/seahorse-saturday-tickets-125602491433?aff=ebdssbeac
Sept 2020: The Scottish Snow Child, a story by Roger Meachem has been published online by Robert Gordon University as part of their Freshers’ Welcome Pack. Roger wishes to express thanks to fellow members of LTW for their support without which he’d probably not have entered the Story with Shortbread competition. This is the link: http://www.browzer.co.uk/rgu/a-scottish-story-with-shortbread_126233
The Hail Clamjamfry – Poems from the North-East of Scotland
Edited by Duncan Lockerbie and Eddie Gibbons. Published by Tangletree Press, with support from The Doric Board. ISBN 978-1-83807-391-6
Members of writing groups in North-East Scotland were invited to submit poems in English or Doric. Six current Lemon Tree Writers, as well as six former members now part of The Apothecaries writing group, feature in this newly published collection.
Congratulations to Lemon Tree Writers: Ian Anderson, Richard Anderson, Lesley Benzie, Brenda Conn, Ann Nicol and Terry Pearce
Congratulations also to members of The Apothecaries: Bernard Briggs, Richie Brown, Ian Grosz, Haworth Hodgkinson, Mandy Macdonald and Catriona Yule.
Lesley Benzie’s second collection of poetry, FESSEN/Reared, has been launched online This is the link: http://www.seahorsepublications.com/
Originally from Aberdeen, Benzie has settled in Kirriemuir, following 25 years of working and raising a family in Glasgow. There … Continue reading