Congratulations to Stuart A. Paterson who has been nominated in Scots Writer o the Year sponsored by Creative Scotland, Scots Bairns’ Book o the Year sponsored by Scottish Government in the Scots Language Awards 2020. Vote now!
We asked Stuart A. Paterson the following questions.
Tell us aboot yersel or yer ootfit.
Ah wark (though it’s nae darg) an earn ma breid an pey the bills as a makar, scriever, teacher an braidcaster. Ah’ve duin a power o wark heezin Scots leid athort Scotia, the lave o the UK an faur by owreseas. Ah bide in Gallowa an wark fir the SQA as an External Verifier in a wheen o schuils deliverin the unique an growin Scots Language Award fir Secondary pupils, makkin shair they deleever the Award the richt wey. . Ah veesit a wheen o schuils an aw wi the Scottish Book Trust’s Live Literature programme helpin thoosans o young folk tae express thirsels in their ain braid Scots fae Gallowa tae Grampian. Ah wark wi Scotland’s Creative Ageing organisation, Luminate, an Age Scotland, gettin mony aulder anes an thon wi dementia in care hames tae lowse their stories, sangs an poems in their ain vyce an their ain leid. An Ah’ve stertit daein an takkin pairt in a wheen o grand projects wi wir freens owre The Sheugh in Ulster oan an in the Scots we baith share an luve, includin speakin aboot Scots in the weel-kent ongaun 2020 Island Voices Festival fae Derry an Strabane Coonsil. A grand opp fir hauns across The Sheugh! Ma first hail buik o poems in Scots, ‘Aye’ sellt oot twice-owre 5 year syne an ma new ane, fir weans, A Squatter o Bairnrhymes, fae Tippermuir Books in Perth, is noo in the Top Ten Amazon Young Adults Poetry Section. Whit braw fir oor Scots in the big bad Anglophone mercat place o Amazon!
Whit wis it got ye involvit wi the Scots leid?
Ah wis brocht up an schuiled in a warkin-cless faimily an communities in Ayrshire. Scots wis an still is wir first leid. It’s the leid we yaised at hame, in hoose, in playgrun, in wark an howffs. It’s no English nor dialect nor slang. Ma ain mither, Mima, is 91 noo. Her an ma faither aye tellt us tae ‘be whae ye are’ an whae Ah’m are is in the leid an Scots speakers aa roon me. Mima minds me o this every time we blether. She’s no wrang. Ah ettle at warkin hard tae heeze Scots no jist in the arts but in aa the airts, in everyday life an in aa communities nae maitter whaur fae nor whit age nor ocht else. Ah jalouse it’s ane o the reasons Ah became BBC Scotland Poet in Residence a couple year syne – that Ah luve warkin wi weans baith auld an young tae let them ken their leid’s a fair, real, valid bit o whae they are, whit maks thaim, whit made thaim lang afore an thon comin lang eftir. Ah’m no jist involved in Scots – it’s o me an in me, an lik gey guid purritch fair sticks tae yer ribs!
Ony particlar career heighlichts?
In 2019, as pairt of the UNESCO Internarional Year of Indigenous Languages, Ah spent a month in Sooth Africa warkin with hunners o folk in toonship, university, warkplace an schuils lairin aboot an hearin their ain native leids o isiZulu an isiXhosa an tellin them aa aboot Scots, readin thaim poems, showin ma films an singin sangs forby. An takkin pairt in a warl-first isiXhosa-Scots performance wi Imbongi (praise poets). An absolutely amazin time. We’ve that much in common, nae maitter bidin at opoosite ens o the globe! Read mair aboot an watch it here!
The UK National Poetry Day 2017 theme wis ‘Free The Word’ – Ah scrievit ‘Here’sThe Weather’ an made this film wi the BBC in an aboot Scots – so faur, it’s had owre 600,000 hits an a brilliant warlwide response. Unbelievable! Watch ‘Here’s The Weather’ here – https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p05hdvgd
An bein oan Off The Ball wi Tam an Stuart wisnae bad eether!
Wha’s yer plans fir the days aheid?
Feenishin ma next buik, ‘Wheen: New and Collected Poems in Scots’ fae Chapman Publishing, which is comin oot wi the help o ane o the first ever Scottish Government’s Scots Publication Grants in early 2021. Ah’m gey trickit wi yon. An owresettin muckle warks fae China an Magyar intae Scots. Caain awa oanline wi schuils, Luminate an a wheen o readins an talks oanline, includin the Island Voices Festival fir Derry & Strabane Coonsil in October. An trickit an chuffed tae be speirt at tae be daein ocht else Ah can tae heeze Scots an spreid its relevance an smeddum in the modren warl.
Read more about Stuart A. Paterson
The Scots Language Awards 2020 will be online at www.scotslanguageawards.com. We will have a mixture of events on the 23rd / 24th October. Performing at the Award on Saturday 24th September will be Gerda Stevenson, Gary Robertson, Shona Donaldson and Jim Malcolm.
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This post is also available in: Scots