Doric Diversity

By bellmannews / September 24, 2021

From – Cheryl Margiotta

An Aberdeenshire writing group is rejoicing in the diversity of Doric as it takes part in a popular festival celebrating North East culture.

Mearns Writers has produced a new podcast of poetry and short stories in the local spik as part of Live Life Aberdeenshire’s Across the Grain Festival.

Mearns Writers leader Alistair Lawrie says the work ranges from lyrical, sad and nostalgic to childhood memories, satire and fun.

“Whether you’re fae Skite or Fogieloan, the Blue Toon or Steenhive, whether you’re fae fisher folk, farm folk, a toonser or an inabootcomer lookin for a wee bittie o culture, I’m sure you’ll find somethin tae enjoy in oor podcast,” said Mr Lawrie.

Despite not being native to the North East, Mearns Writers acting chairman John Wigham-Shirt has published poetry and short stories in the local tongue.

“The warmth and kindness of Mearns folk over the years opened the door to another language that lends itself to poetry, song and humour,” Mr Wigham-Shirt said.  

“Doric isn’t my native language but it’s my preferred language for writing poetry, with its musicality, lyricism, wry humour and rich expression.”

Doric is a preferred second language for John Wigham-Shirt

You can hear the podcast here:

Across the Grain festival is in its fourth year and kicks off on October 2nd. The two day event, which will be primarily online, will showcase new poetry, song, film and podcasts celebrating the distinctive North East culture.

A team from Mearns Writers is also defending its title in Across the Grain’s Doric Call My Bluff on Sunday 3rd October at 4.30pm online. Places can be booked using the following link:

Mearns Writers has over forty members living in and around Stonehaven and Inverbervie and was established fifteen years ago to promote creativity and mental wellbeing. It produces a wide range of writing, including songs, plays and essays. The membership includes several published and award-winning authors. Mearns Writers first began podcasting during the Covid lockdown as an outlet for writers to perform their work. The Doric podcast is the group’s third to date and the first performed entirely in Doric.

Previously in The Bellman