Women's Voices with Sara Sheridan at the Soutar Festival of Words 2023
‘This is such a large part of the life of almost any woman that I venture to record it for those who do not know, not for those who do. It gets into print, however, remarkably seldom.’
Kathleen Raine, Faces of Day and Night, 1946 but unpublished until 1972.
In the greatest honour of my literary career so far, please join me and the amazing, award-winning writer Sara Sheridan at the Soutar Festival of Words, 6pm on Saturday 29th April, as we discuss our shared passion for telling women’s stories.
Learn more about Sara's seductively compelling recent book, The Fair Botanists, my upcoming novel The Rowan Tree - inspired by Kathleen Raine and my belief that Scotland must radically reappreciate her poetic legacy - as well as our thoughts on being a woman, writing about women, and telling women’s stories for future generations. We will reflect on journeys through time, the universality of the human condition, and the challenges faced by women then and now. Whether you choose to come along in person or online, or make the most of your #CPKSoutar23 Weekend Pass to save 10%, this fascinating feminist conversation is not to be missed!
'My hope is that it chips away at the dominant cultural narrative and confronts how we remember where we have come from. As a novelist, every book I've written in the last decade has been a hymn to the women whose stories I have found in the archives...' Sara Sheridan, Where are the Women? 2019.
I had hoped to have copies of The Rowan Tree with me on the day, but regrettably there has been a delay in its release after I had to make the heartbreaking decision to terminate my contract with my former publisher. Naturally, I am seeking a new home for the novel as soon as possible, and in the meantime I remain committed to the challenge of which this setback is simply another chapter: amplifying women’s voices in herstory and bringing their stories to a new generation.
'... This woman whose hand writes words not mine,
Bequeathed by multitude of the once living
Who knew, loved, understood and told
Meanings passed down
To the yet to come, whose faces I shall not see,
Yet whom as I write these words, I already am.'
From Kathleen Raine, "Testimony," in her Collected Poems (2000, Golgonooza Press and 2019, Faber & Faber Ltd).
Some of my feminist fiction from recent years that might also interest attendees includes:
'No Honest Woman' (Isabella MacDuff) - in Declarations: On Freedom for Writers and Readers, Scottish PEN.
'Alice' (Alice Liddell, the real Alice in Wonderland) in Gutter.
'The Wordsworth Women' (Dorothy Wordsworth) and 'Miss Mew' (Charlotte Mew) in New Voices Press, Federation of Writers Scotland.
'John' (Radclyffe Hall) - Postbox: Scotland's International Short Story Magazine and via YouTube.
'Jane' (Jane Pirie and Marianne Woods, Edinburgh schoolmistresses accused of lesbianism in 1810) - read or listen here via Arkana.
'Agnes' (Agnes Sampson, convicted of witchcraft in 1590) - Edinburgh Literary Salon, forthcoming Spring 2023.