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Scots Language Centre Centre for the Scots Leid

Sheena Blackhall – The Spikk o the Nor East Leid

Sheena Blackhall's 'The Spikk o the Nor East Leid' was commissioned by Dictionaries of the Scots Language in celebration of Scots and its extensive history. Read the poem here 👉

Sheena Blackhall is well known for her poetry and expertise on the language and culture of the North East of Scotland. From 1998-2003 she was Creative Writing Fellow in Scots at Aberdeen University’s Elphinstone Institute and in 2009 she became Makar for Aberdeen and the North East.

Author of over 100 poetry pamphlets, 15 short story collections, 4 novels and 2 televised plays for children, Sheena has also translated numerous works, including Jane Eyre, Of Mice & Men and The Gruffalo, into Doric.

The dialect of Scotland’s North East forms part of the wider Northern Scots dialect, but to many of its speakers it is known as The Doric. In both pronunciation and vocabulary, the North East is distinct from Central and Southern dialects.

As a lasting tribute to DOST and all those involved in its making, we have commissioned five poems in celebration of Scots and its extensive history. The poems, written in a variety of local vernaculars, were published on St Andrew’s Day 2021.