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Scots Language Centre Centre for the Scots Leid

Bairn in the wee-hoose - Lesley Traynor

9th June 2022

Lesley Traynor is published nationally and internationally. In 2021, her most recent chapbook of poetry, Thrawn was published by Hybriddreich, her poem, ‘Towards Stromness,’ was accepted into the George McKay Brown Fellowship Centenary archive and her poetry and poetry films representing her experience of Lockdown were accepted into the Elphinstone Institute archive.

Winner of 2019 Edinburgh International Book Festival memoir writing prize and short listed for 2019 Beyond Borders International writing prize.

She is a trustee of the Federation of Writers (Scotland), a former Director of the Scottish Writers’ Centre and has an MLitt in Creative Writing. She is currently researching a Shetland-based novel for her MRes with the University of the Highlands and Islands while transcribing seventeenth century documents for the Orkney Archives.

Passionate about supporting women’s voice, she founded the inclusive collective, Women With Fierce Words in 2016, winning the 2021 Jonni Stanton International Award for a filmed event. Her poetry films have been screened at Celtic Connections, Beyond Border Literary Festival and the Wigtown Book Festival.

Facebook @womenwithfiercewords
Twitter @latraynor


Bairn in the wee-hoose

Nairae brick waas
cauld tae the touch e’en in simmer.
Sma lungs trained tae
haud breath in paralysis, a
afore yirdie smells dissolve infect her tongue,
morph intae the taste o lang-gane occupants.
hoys knickers unner a drindle skirt s c a r p e r s
skails grummel frae an auld wash-hoose.
mak it tae the laylock wood afore anither breith
is sooked. Appens her bouk tae the taste
o parma violets, rowen it’s sweetness
like toothpaste ower her teeth.