Arbroath anthology

I had no idea what to expect when I looked at the submissions – all with pseudonyms so identities were concealed. I was delighted by the diversity of petitioners. A great deal of wit was on display, but many heartfelt and poignant pieces too. I greatly enjoyed reading them, and I hope you do too. Thanks to all who sent submissions. Don’t forget if you are a FWS member you have a right of reply – see below.

The sixth up is Gayle Smith with a timely reminder to the people of Scotland not to remember Arbroath just for its Smokies but for its declaration of the freedom of the Scottish people, an issue as alive today as it was in 1320.

Gayle says of herself: ‘Gayle Smith is a transwoman and spoken word poet from Baillieston. She co-hosts the long running  Words And Music night with her friend Jen Hughes. She has performed her work throughout Scotland since 1993 and is particularly proud of her connection with the Other Voices spoken word collective The topic she has chosen for her poem is the Declaration Of Arbroath, and Arbroath’s place in our national story.’

You can read Gayle’s poem at

I’m delighted too to be able to bring you contributions from our current Makar Finola Scott and our current Scriever Charlie Gracie. These will remain accessible on the web-site until all the posts from contributors have been displayed and will of course appear also in the printed version of the anthology.

You can read Finola’s rousing call to all ‘Braw Lassies’, originally written for a Stellar Quines project, at

You can read Charlie’s letter to Mother Earth, a masterly deployment of Swiftian irony (think ‘A Modest Proposal’) at

Any comments on any of the pieces published should be sent direct to me at Don’t forget if you are a Federation member not already accepted for the Arbroath anthology you can write a response to the poems posted. Email me at the above address for details.

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