Tender is the North by Sheila Templeton
Sheila Templeton is one of my favourite contemporary Scottish poets. She comes originally from Buchan, Aberdeenshire, Scotland. Sheila always claims she had a nomadic childhood,travelling from Aberdeenshire to Dar-es-Salaam. She was educated at Aberdeen Academy followed by a degree in History at Aberdeen University. This led to a thirty year career in secondary teaching followed, based in West Lothian and Edinburgh, both in Scotland. She wrote poetry and fiction as a teenager, but never thought this could be a career, but after taking early retirement from teaching Sheila began to write professionally. Many of her poems have been published and Sheila has won poetry prizes, had poems read on BBC Scotland. She has now made her home in Glasgow and enjoys city life.
Sheila, and her friend and fellow Scottish poet, Maggie Rabatski, recently contributed to wkwriters Writing Day in the village. I was thrilled to be there and listen to readings by both poets. It was interesting to learn that Maggie and Sheila are also working to translate each others poetry. Maggie translating some of Sheila’s work into Gaelic and Sheila translating poems by Maggie into Scots and Doric. What a wonderful anthology this could make!
At the Writing Day, I secured a copy of Sheila’s most recent anthology, Tender is the North. The poems about love, loss, northern landscape, family and growing older are lyrical, astute, often moving, sometimes funny and always beautifully observed. “Sisters” made we laugh out loud and “Maisie is two” is one of the most delightful poems I have ever read. Sheila Templeton is a fine poet who writes with grace and subtlety, if you have not yet had the pleasure of reading this collection, take my advice and do so now.