Arbroath anthology: Right of Reply

Now that all the contributors to the Arbroath anthology To Whom It May Concern have had their piece posted on this page and safely stored in the Archive, where they can be accessed here, it is the turn of those members who responded to my invitation to reply to whatever anthology piece they wanted to to have their say. Although there have not been many such responses, all of them showed a willingness to engage with the spirit of the piece they responded to, becoming part of the conversation as it were.

The eighth up (for a second time) is Kevin Rowswell, who took on the challenge of speaking on behalf of the neighbours from hell in response to Peter Donnelly’s poem ‘Dear Neighbours’, which you can read here. Kevin imagines vivid – and crime-ridden- lives for some of the neighbours. As he says ‘there’s a reason why the poem is in red’!

Kevin says of himself ‘Kevin Rowswell’s poetry explores relationships, survival and the beauty, cruelty, humour and tragedy of the human condition. His work integrates universal themes of natural and social justice. Kevin has studied performance and has broadcast his work’

and of his poem (link below) ‘[Peter Donnelly’s] Dear Neighbours suggested a contrast between the innocent simplicity of a request to keep the noise down and the, sometimes alarming, complexity of lives being lived behind closed doors.

The contributions from our current Makar Finola Scott and our current Scriever Charlie Gracie will remain accessible on the web-site until all the posts from the members who exercise their right of reply have been displayed and do 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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