What You Can Expect on Saturday

Hi all!

I hope you’re well, and ready to join us for a tour of the Digging In trenches this Saturday from 2pm onwards. In today’s post, I’m excited to present you with a full programme for the day, as well as some practical advice…

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First of all, if you would like to have a look at the topics our speakers will be broaching during the afternoon, you can download our full programme here. In short, here’s what you can expect on the day:

  • 2pm: Welcome from the team
  • 2:10pm: Dr. Laura Rattray (University of Glasgow), ‘American Women Writers and the First World War’
  • 2.30pm: Dr. Alice Kelly (University of Oxford), ‘Nurse, Suffragette, War Writer: Ellen N. LaMotte and The Backwash of War
  • 3pm: Tour of the Trenches led by Dr. Olivia Lelong (Northlight Heritage)

3:40pm:

  • 3:40pm: Long Table run by Mags Keohane, Marine Furet, Saskia McCracken, and Louisa Burden

or:

  • 3:40pm: Dr. Hannah Tweed (University of Glasgow), ‘Women Writers at the Front: Medical Service and Subversion in the First World War’
  • 4pm: Anna Girling (University of Edinburgh), ‘Maddened with War: Nancy Cunard and the First World War’

As you can see, we have a lot planned for the day, and you can come and go as you like, or spend the whole afternoon with us if you want! We do hope you’ll stick around!

Secondly, if this is your first visit to the Digging In trenches, here’s some advice to help you make the most of the day…

How do I get there?

Pollok Park is easily accessible by public transport, a few minutes’ walk away from Shawlands and Pollokshaws West railway stations in the Southside of Glasgow. The Digging In trenches are located near the parking, close to the Burrell Collection. You can check out Digging In’s website for more information on how to find them.

What should I wear?

As you know, this is an outdoors event, and we cannot guarantee that this will be a sunny day – this is Scotland after all. You should dress accordingly, and wear strong shoes (ideally hiking boots or even wellies as the trenches can get a bit muddy), and bring a raincoat or an umbrella.

Where is the bathroom?

I knew you’d ask! The Burrell Collection and its café are currently closed for renovation, but the bathroom is still accessible to the public, 5 minutes away from the trenches.

Please also feel free to take some nibbles and refreshments with you and enjoy a picnic in the park if the weather is nice!

We look forward to seeing you on Saturday. In the meantime, don’t hesitate to contact us in the comments or on the page of the event here if you have any questions about the day.

See you soon!

Marine, on behalf of the TLW team.

Review of the TLW Creative Writing Showcase by Maria Sledmere

Hi all!

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We hope that you are enjoying this holiday break! Today, we are pleased to present you with another review of one of our events! This time, Maria Sledmere (whose poems you can find on the blog here and here) reviewed our Creative Writing Showcase with the Scottish Writers’ Centre for U.S. Studies Online.

Here’s a short excerpt:

The Transatlantic Literary Women Series is fast proving itself a popular network, with academics, creatives and locals alike getting involved in discovering the literary lives and works of transatlantic women. (…) A key strength of the series is its attention to both creative and critical responses to transatlantic interests.

You can read Maria’s review in its entirety here. Happy reading!

Marine.

Transatlantic Women in the Trenches

On Saturday 22nd April, the Transatlantic Literary Women series will be joining forces with Digging In to deliver an afternoon of talks, workshops, and tours of the reconstructed trenches in Pollok Park, all dedicated to transatlantic women’s experience of World War I. The event will kick off at 2pm, and as usual, all are welcome!

 

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American nurses at a Red Cross Hospital in Liverpool, 10 August 1918 (Source: Imperial War Museum, Q44160)

In April 1917, the American government officially announced their engagement in the conflict alongside the Allied Forces. Their involvement impacted on the lives of millions, not just the soldiers who went to fight. With this event, we would like to give voice to a different narrative of the transatlantic relationship during World War I, by shedding light on the experiences of the women who took part in the conflict, as doctors, nurses, campaigners and carers, but also as intellectuals, journalists and writers.

With Dr Laura Rattray, from the University of Glasgow, we will discuss the contribution of American women writers on the frontline, and the importance of the conflict to their literary production. Dr Alice Kelly, from the University of Oxford, will give a talk on the life and writing of American nurse and activist Ellen LaMotte. Dr Hannah Tweed, from the University of Glasgow, will present her research on women writers at the front, in a talk on medical service and subversion. Anna Girling from the University of Edinburgh will tell us about Nancy Cunard and her neglected poetry of the First World War.

There will also be activities for all, with a tour of the trenches led by Dr Olivia Lelong, accompanied by readings of texts on the conflict written by women. We will also give you an opportunity to participate in the debate, with a long table discussion facilitated by Margaret Keohane, and Transatlantic Litery Women committee members Marine Furet, Saskia McCracken and Louisa Burden.

Organised by the charity Northlight Heritage, DIGGING IN will be taking place in Glasgow until 2018, to celebrate the centenary of the conflict. Following archaeological excavations in the North of France, Digging In recreates trenches based on the historical Allied and German trenches in Pollok Park. By engaging with this environment, participants have the opportunity to explore the stories and myths associated with the conflict, and to imagine the experiences of the men and women whose lives became entangled with warfare.

We look forward to what promises to be an exciting day, and hope to see many of you there!

All the best,

The TLW and Digging In teams.

Review of the Transatlantic Modernisms Workshop in U.S. Studies Online

Hi all!

We hope you’re well. We are looking forward to seeing you at our events in April, but today, we’d like to share something a bit different with you. PhD student Kari Sund (University of Glasgow), who attended our Transatlantic Modernisms Workshop in February, has just written a review of the event, published in U.S. Studies Online. You can find the full text here. Here’s a sneak peek of her comments on the day:

A particular highlight of the programme was the Modernisms Workshop, an afternoon of papers dedicated to modernist female writers, and presented by esteemed female academics. Questions raised regarding American expatriate women and their often conflicted attitudes to homeland resonated with contemporary concerns, given the heightened awareness of Britain’s relationship to the rest of Europe and the United States following both the Brexit vote, and the presidential election of Donald Trump.

And the rest is on U.S. Online

Thanks to Kari for this lovely review!

The TLW Committee.

International Women’s March Fortnight: 21st March, ‘Liberty’ by Kathryn Metcalfe

Today is World Poetry Day, and the day our International Women’s March Fortnight comes to its end. Accordingly, we would like to conclude our series with a second poem by Kathryn Metcalfe, ‘Liberty’, which draws on her family’s transatlantic history of migration.

By publishing a poem a day for this March fortnight, our goal was to give local women writers a platform for sharing their writing, and bringing them to your attention. We hope that you’ve enjoyed them.

Finally, we would live to thank the Scottish Writers’ Centre for their contribution to this series and for hosting the Creative Writing Showcase. Last but not least, thanks to Kathryn Meltcalfe, Mairi Murphy, Louise Turner, Sandra Whitnell, Alex Hackett, Angie Spoto, Carly Brown, Maria Sledmere, and Carolyn Jess-Cooke for their wonderful texts!

New York;

a mere stride away

across the water.

20th & 21st March Kathryn Metcalfe by Kath Warren, courtesy of the Scottish Writers' Centre
Kahtryn Meltcafe by Kath Warren, courtesy of the Scottish Writers’ Centre

‘Liberty’ by Kathryn Metcalfe

She stands

arm raised aloft,

a concerned mother

ushering the ships

into the bay.

Holding the sky to ransom.

 

New York;

a mere stride away

across the water.

 

That statue;

you will dream of

That statue.

in the fresh bedroom

of a brownstone

apartment,

huddling beneath

a patched home made

quilt, muffling

those stern footsteps,

tramping along streets.

Gimlet eyes piercing

wall and plaster.

 

As daylight dapples

through the windows

you appease her.

Draped in bedsheets,

a cardboard halo

jammed over copper hair

while your brother skims

paper boats across the

dark wooden floor.

 

Growing bolder, you stay

awake each night.

Cheek resting on the sill

listening to the motor

horns in the distance,

lulled by the chorus of

voices drifting

up from the side walk,

realising the sleepless city warded

off the curious stone goddess,

you sleep.

 

 

 

 

Years later you will raise

an arm, strong and slim

waving acknowledgment,

on a ship returning to

Scotland;

Not intended to be goodbye

 

Ships sailing back to America

will never take you.

Marooned, motherless, your

father invalided,

You learn to shorten your steps

along toy town streets.

Make do with a jam factory

job and everything shutting

at tea time.

 

Where the statues of Men

stand, content in their

Victorian Philanthropy,

contented in the rain.

 


Kathryn Metcalfe has been published in anthologies and magazines, she is one of the ‘Mill Girl Poets’ whose show ‘Mill Girls’ On Tour’ about the lives and history of the female workers in the Paisley Thread Mills told through poetry, spoken word and song has featured in the West End Festival and lately at the Edinburgh Fringe. She set up, runs and hosts a monthly Open Mic for poets and spoken word artists and musicians in a Paisley coffee shop.

 

International Women’s March Fortnight: 20th March, ‘Three Letters and an Ocean’ by Kathryn Metcalfe

We close our International Women’s March Fortnight with two poems by Kathryn Metcalfe. In today’s piece, ‘Three Letters and an Ocean’, Kathryn Meltcalfe shares a story from her family’s past with us… A truly transatlantic poem, ‘Three Letters and an Ocean’ portrays a woman’s journey between Scotland and America.

Three letters and an ocean

between who they once were,

who they would become.

20th & 21st March Kathryn Metcalfe by Kath Warren, courtesy of the Scottish Writers' Centre
Kathryn Meltcalfe, by Kath Warren, courtesy of the Scottish Writers’ Centre

 

‘Three Letters and an Ocean’ by Kathryn Metcalfe

 

On deck, standing by Papa’s shoulder

watching him ink answers

into crossword puzzles,

the tip of his tongue

clamped between teeth

and the corner of his lips,

making sense of how he could

change warm to cool in three

letters.

 

Somewhere between Greenock

and New York,

the word emigrant changed

them to immigrant.

Three letters and an ocean

between who they once were,

 

who they would become.

 


Kathryn Metcalfe has been published in anthologies and magazines, she is one of the ‘Mill Girl Poets’ whose show ‘Mill Girls’ On Tour’ about the lives and history of the female workers in the Paisley Thread Mills told through poetry, spoken word and song has featured in the West End Festival and lately at the Edinburgh Fringe. She set up, runs and hosts a monthly Open Mic for poets and spoken word artists and musicians in a Paisley coffee shop.

International Women’s March Fortnight: 19th March, ‘Therapy’ by Mairi Murphy

… I latched onto the word,

gentle, realising we wanted gentle truth

17th-18th-19th-march-mairi-murphy-by-kath-warren-courtesy-of-the-scottish-writers-centre
Mhairi Murphy by Kath Warren, courtesy of the Scottish Writers’ Centre

‘Therapy’ by Mairi Murphy

Originally published by Read Raw Press

 

The only time I ever saw my sister

rattled: “Jesus, Mary and Joseph,

that was one scary woman!” she said

as we left the office of the Hungarian

doctor, whose version of truth was

so brutal, it was bone marrow aching.

 

And we made faces every time she

passed, having a laugh, whispering

behind her back, a teacher that we didn’t

like, talking trivia and Lorraine Kelly over

our books, as we renovated our houses, saw

coats we wanted to buy, escaped for lunch.

 

Yet the nurse said, “This is a gentle form of

treatment,” and I latched onto the word,

gentle, realising we wanted gentle truth:

dripping slow, dripped into my sister, gently.

Curative truth, restorative truth, not the

“I’m so honest you won’t have to sue,” truth.

 

And as for telling the truth, that’s fourteen

years away, releasing the words my frightened

jaw won’t say, on some unsuspecting poetry class.

Emerging from the shadowlands, this toxic cloud,

will peacefully dissipate, lose its power to dominate,

allow my sister and I laughter in some future tense.

 


Mairi Murphy graduated last autumn from Glasgow University with a Masters in Creative Writing. Whilst there she was awarded the 2016 Alistair Buchan Prize for poetry for which two of her poems were also shortlisted. Recently her poems have been published in ‘Shetland Create’, ‘From Glasgow to Saturn’ and ‘Crooked Holster (an anthology of crime). She is the editor of ‘Glasgow Women Poets’ published by Four-em Press in 2016, of which she is the co-founder.