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An evening with Sheila Templeton: a Buchan Quine – 27 September 2017

Ayr Writers’ Club was delighted to welcome Sheila Templeton, poet and past club member to give a talk on her personal journey in what is for some, the daunting world of poetry writing. From the outset of her talk, Sheila had the audience of old, although not in years, and new members hanging on her every word.

In between readings of her works, Sheila told how from her earliest days she had scribbled her thoughts in note books and journals, many she still has today. Astonishingly it was thirty years later and the opportunity of retirement from teaching that allowed the silent poet inside her to find a voice. This unstoppable desire to give life to the words and thoughts, observations and experiences in her life has resulted in Sheila becoming a successful writer who is in demand as a performance poet and inspirational speaker.

A host of accolades rest on Sheila’s shoulders, Makar of the Federation of Writers Scotland 2009-10, poet in residence at the Harbour Arts Centre Irvine 2007-2010 and published author of several collections of her poetry. All these and more place her among a select band of Scottish writers. Together with three other poets, including Michael Malone, who is a very successful writer and member of Ayr Writers’ Club, Sheila has published several anthologies of poetry under the banner of the Makar Press.

Sheila was born and raised in Aberdeenshire, a place still dear to her heart and the inspiration of much of her work, as a result Sheila writes in the Doric, the native language of her home county. During the evening Sheila discussed how writing in your own dialect using local words and phrases can influence and enhance your work.

For many a highlight of the evening was Sheila reading several of her poems including Wolfman, Sang at the Hinnerend and a moving poem titled Another Road which is dedicated to her late mother.

Before Sheila ended her talk she gave a few pointers on the upcoming poetry competition, which she will adjudicate. The theme of the competition is a Journey delivered in a poem of thirty lines Sheila asked that entries should express a freshness that will amaze her. So folks it’s over to you, the poetry competition is due in on Wednesday 18th October. ‘You know what they say if you’re not in it you can’t win it’ so put pen to paper and give it a go, best of luck.

On behalf of the club I would extend thanks to Sheila for an informative and inspirational evening.

Haste ye back.

Kathy Wallace

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