Speaker – Sheila Templeton, 8th February, 2012

Last night’s evening with accomplished poet, Sheila Templeton, was a rare treat. Reciting in both Scots dialect and English, Sheila entertained us with poems covering a diverse array of subjects. “Last train to Ayr”, inspired by the singing of triumphant Scottish football fans, was a stoater of an opening poem whilst “Hot chick” summed up the menopause. “A little sleeve”, a celebration of “bingo wings”, had us roaring with laughter.  The very sensual “Beeswax” was a treasure box of memory and sensation – although Sheila’s brother might have disagreed with the memory of King Edward tatties. What’s a little poetic licence amongst siblings?

All was silent apart from the odd sniffle and the rastling in bags and pockets for hankies as Sheila followed with the much requested “A Bonnie Fechter”, a beautiful tribute to the dignity of the Stag. This was followed by “Wolfman”, a recollection of a son’s tender childhood and a mother’s sense of loss, epitomized by an old werewolf costume.
Not only were Sheila’s poems a delight, she also gave us would-be makars some invaluable advice and encouragement. Sheila outlined the different kinds of verse she writes – “bubble up” poems are within us just waiting to be written whilst “memory” poems, often from childhood, result in vivid verse based on the five senses.  As well as reading as much poetry as we can get our hands on and revising our poetry, Sheila urged us to listen to and trust our unconscious mind and to “let rip”!

From New Writing Scotland, to “Bards in the Bog” to the McCash, Sheila has enjoyed much well deserved acclaim.  I’m sure I speak for us all at Ayr Writer’s Club when I say a big thanks to this “Silver haired Fox” for ignoring the advice given to her as a child to “never draw attention to yourself” and sharing herself and her wonderful poems with us.
Tracy Harvey

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