Beneath the Hills ...a Collection of Writings: Volume II
- Paperback | 116 pages
- 148 x 210 x 7.11mm | 158.76g
- 10 Mar 2017
- Tatterdemalion Blue
- Resonate and Blue
- Stirling, United Kingdom
- 4 Black and White Illustrations
Other books in this series
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01 Dec 1983
17 Jun 2013
03 Nov 2015
26 Sep 2017
10 Mar 2017
14 Jul 2014
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30 Mar 2017
THE fruits of nearly two years labour from the Clackmannanshire writers' group this is certainly a varied collection. From pieces of non-fiction to poetry and short stories it demonstrates a true breadth of collective imagination.
The group began life in 2009 under the auspices of the Wee County's writer in residence, Tom Murray. Unfortunately funding cuts mean he is no longer in post, but on the basis of this book at least it is to be hoped the group itself will continue for many years to come.
From the pieces of poetry I particularly liked Mary Perry's description of a flock of rising gulls in -Seascape- where the birds are -a bride's train- before -One bridesmaid/ let the hem slip/ and the train soared-. Denise Macdonald's -Erebus- is also particularly haunting with its -the memory/ Of a sound./ The edge of an echo- and her short story, -Columbine-, a touching and life-affirming message of hope for anyone struggling for a sense of self.
Elsewhere in the fiction stakes -Ora et Labora?- by Monika E Mackenzie has a chucklesome pay off as a mother successfully persuades her daughter of the value of hard work while the twist in -Mirror, Mirror...- by Mary McLuskey is rather more gruesome but brilliantly done.
In such a wide-ranging collection, though, it is possibly unfair to pick out too many individual contributions. Certainly the overwhelming feeling the book leaves you with could only arise from its collective nature, produced by a group who seem to truly enjoy the possibilities of the written word and are prepared to go down just about any avenue in pursuit of that enjoyment.
Who knows whether there are any budding bestseller writers here - and, at the end of the day, who cares? Writing isn't just for -those and such as those-, and as Tom himself says in his foreword, Beneath the Hills is -testament to the ambition and creativity of the writers involved-.
This review was written by Gregor White in the Stirling Observer, June 2011