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Reviews of 'Gaitherin'


'For many years Templeton's voice, richly Scots, tuneful and melodic (she is a wonderful reader of her own poetry!), has been widely heard in poetic and public circles. Her poems in Scots contain writing that is the equal of any of the great poetry in the Scottish canon.

Gaitherin brings together a wonderful collection of poems in Scots and English, some of which have already received public accolades and prizes.'


Rab Wilson


'A wee gem o a buik, this. Stappit fu wi wit an wisdom, historic an contemporary, Gaitherin is stitched thegither wi a keen ee, threidit wi compassionate humanity. Sheila Templeton's poetry casually unpicks the hert and turn aboot micht hae ye greet, keckle, girn or sough...Whitiver ye're aboot in life, Templeton's Gaitherin will mak guid company. It fair sings oot.'


Janet Paisley

Reviews of Tender is the North

'I think of her poetry as intrinsically womanly writing, earthy, intelligent, sensual and humorous. It is rooted in the places she has lived and the people she loves, moving beyond nostalgia to a consideration of the nature of memory, and beyond the evocation of particular relationships and moments to an understanding of the quality of a love for a lover, language, family, home.'

Elizabeth Rimmer in 'Burned Thumb' blog.



'Milk, moonlight and unseasonal blossom offer different shades of white as the backdrop for poems rooted in a keen awareness of time, place and connection. Reflections on the idea of north flow cleanly through the lines, throwing up glimpses of rubies, fire and rowan berries. Sheila Templeton carefully weaves all this into poems which offer comfort beneath cold skies, and an ice axe when required. She is a fine poet who writes with a pleasing grace and subtlety, and this collection should further enhance her reputation.

Eleanor Livingstone Director of StAnza Poetry Festival


Reading ‘Auld Lang Syne’ from Sheila Templeton’s Tender is the North on New Year’s Day gave me goose bumps as she describes the “heat of the kitchen” after sledging: “cocoa gritty with sugar / a stiff paste in the bottom of the cup” and milk for the morning porridge “…set out / in little bowls and cracked cups at night / so the cream rose and lay thick and cold.” The poem ends, answering the Anne Michaels epigraph:
“We are everything our mouths remember.”
Despite the big skies and darkness of the north (‘Drifting’, ‘Lighten Up’), the poems in this collection contain warmth in abundance in their memories and experience of life and death. Humour too in ‘Taking a Poet to Bed’:
“I am aware it’s not good to be in bed alone, / in winter. So I asked Robert Burns /…/ He suggested Derek Walcott. Who wasn’t immediately / delighted”. Scots vocabulary is lovingly peppered through the collection and while the last poems remember Zagreb, travel to Greece, honour a father dancing his daughter to sleep in Gaza, we return to a final poem written in Scots, ‘Northsick’: “… Hamesick…for frost riven the breath / fae ma breist, for that high sky, its white burnin mune, / the aipple green veils o the Merry Dancers.'

Review from Gutter Magazine


'If you only want to investigate one new poet in the next twelve months, Sheila Templeton would be a very good choice. This is an excellent little book.'

Review in Acumen 78.



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