Have you booked your tickets yet for the Transatlantic Literary Women Symposium on Saturday 3 June? Talks, workshops, lunch, and a friendly welcome await. And it’s all free! Reserve a place here.
We’re also looking for volunteers. As part of our afternoon workshop, “Vote for YOUR Transatlantic Literary Woman”, volunteers will be giving brief talks on their favourite transatlantic literary woman. She can be a figure from hundreds of years ago, or someone out there today, a transatlantic literary woman who has inspired you, achieved great things, and/or someone who has been forgotten and you want to bring out of the shadows. The choice is yours!
Memorial Plates in the Digging In site – by Anna Girling
Scribblings on the Long Table – by Katrina Falco
Many thanks to everyone who turned out for our day in the trenches on Saturday! We were delighted to see you all at the talks, tours and workshops – and the sunshine! Huge thanks again to our speakers, Dr Hannah Tweed, Dr Alice Kelly, Anna Girling and to Dr Olivia Lelong with the amazing Digging In project. And on behalf of the whole Transatlantic Literary Women crew, we want to say a special, resounding transatlantic thank you to Marine, the TLW lead on Saturday’s event. Bravo Marine! Fantastic job!
We have three more events in the 2016-17 season of Transatlantic Literary Women and we hope you’ll join us:
There’s our final book club on Wednesday 26th April at 5.15 in 203, 4 University Gardens where the book under discussion is Anita Loos’ Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Come and discuss the adventures of Miss Lorelei Lee in a relaxed, informal, fun reading group over a glass of wine and snacks.
We’re very much looking forward to 23 May, when Dr Rachael Alexander (University of Strathclyde) will give a talk on Transatlantic Magazine Cultures (Tuesday 23 May in room 202, 4 University Gardens.) We hope you’ll join us for Rachael’s talk (refreshments available from 5; talk starts at 5.15). We’ve had a sneak preview of some of the magazine cover images Rachael will be showing from Vanity Fair and Vogue – they’re stunning! More information on the page of the event!
And, as our summer finale, we’re excited to be teaming up with the fabulous Glasgow Women’s Library for a day symposium on Saturday 3 June, with talks on Jazz Age women and advertising, Sylvia Plath, African American activists in Europe, Black Feminism across the Atlantic, a choice of workshops, and the chance to vote for your transatlantic literary woman. All this – AND a free lunch! What’s not to love? Take a look at the day’s line-up here, and find out more about the event and how to book here!
As ever, all events are free, open to all, and everyone is welcome. Please join us!
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…
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: Long Table run by Mags Keohane, Marine Furet, Saskia McCracken, and Louisa Burden
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.
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!
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!
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!
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.
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!
a mere stride away
across the water.
‘Liberty’ by Kathryn Metcalfe
arm raised aloft,
a concerned mother
ushering the ships
into the bay.
Holding the sky to ransom.
a mere stride away
across the water.
you will dream of
in the fresh bedroom
of a brownstone
a patched home made
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
up from the side walk,
realising the sleepless city warded
off the curious stone goddess,
Years later you will raise
an arm, strong and slim
on a ship returning to
Not intended to be goodbye
Ships sailing back to America
will never take you.
Marooned, motherless, your
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
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.