I had a lovely phone call from Dunbar Library asking to use an extract from a poem in ‘Salt & Soil’, Leaves for Life. I popped along to have a look and this is what I found.
I was so thrilled to have my East Lothian Launch of ‘Salt & Soil’ on 26 October 2017 in Hecla Gallery, Cockenzie House & Gardens, Edinburgh Road, Cockenzie. Over the last several years I’ve held events there, and attended a few too. I love the environment, there is so much to see with frequently changing exhibitions and craft items in the shop, and the folk that run it are friendly, welcoming and very helpful. Yvonne Murphy is involved with the Scottish Diaspora Tapestry which inspired the poem ‘Diaspora’ in the booklet. I brought 3 panels of the Diaspora Tapestry back from Adelaide when I went back there in May 2014 for clipper ship City of Adelaide‘s 150th birthday party. (see Category ‘City of Adelaide’ on my website.)
L-R Trevor Powell, former Chief of Port Adelaide Caledonian Society, Rosemary McKay who organised the stitchers around Adelaide, me, Hon. Piper for City of Adelaide, Des Ross, Commander of Clan Ross in Australia.
The room was packed to capacity for the launch. Some friends were there, as well as with new faces. I was already on my second print run, having sold most, and outsourced the remainder of the first batch.
This beautiful handcrafted desk later became my signing table.
I took along my clarsach and played my composition ‘City of Adelaide : Farewell to Scotland’ to start off the evening. I ended with accompanying myself on ‘The Herrin Trail’.
Edinburgh and Glasgow launches will be announced in the near future.
The Three Craws An The Mysterious Licht At Sunny Dunbar is No. 11 in my series of plays based on the crows sung about in the traditional Scots ditty ‘Three Craws Sat Upon A Wa’. I wrote the script in 2015 and it was first performed as part of Dunbar’s Coastword Festival of Words.
We were invited to perform in the brand new outdoor space within The Battery on Lamer Island, Victoria Harbour, Dunbar. We did not quite make being the first performers in the new space, but were close, as second.
The space is amazing, there’s an historical timeline in the path leading to the entrance. Once inside, there’s a wooden platform and seating, with the names of the Weather Forecast carved in. There are stainless steel cubes. Read …
A fan enjoys a hot cuppa from a ‘The Three Craws’ mug,
available via my Shop
We’re back! Each month at Hear Hare Here, we’ll be bringing you three of our favourite poetic voices in a cornucopia of verse, MCed by our very own bookseller and poetry lover Alice Tarbuck. Flee the darkening evenings and join us as we light up the night with words, with readings and performances from the glorious Freddie Alexander, the oh so lovely Janette Ayachi and a mystery guest to be announced! Pick up a glass of wine on arrival and, as no poetry night is complete without a raffle, take a chance of winning a blind date with a book…
Frederick “Freddie” Alexander is a writer and events organiser based in Edinburgh. Since 2013 he has been an organiser and host of the Inky Fingers Open Mic night, and has been an organiser of various other Edinburgh poetry nights. Freddie is a freelance writer for Broadway Baby, ScotsGay, and Flint & Pitch. He works for the National Library of Scotland.
Janette Ayachi is a Scottish-Algerian poet. She collaborates with artists, has been shortlisted for a few chewable accolades, and has performed her work on BBC radio, as well as at events across the UK. She is the author of poetry pamphlets Pauses at Zebra Crossings and A Choir of Ghosts, and a children’s chapter book The Mermaid, The Girl and The Gondola. She is currently working on a memoir titled Misdialing The Muses.
RITA BRADD is published since 2007 in a number of anthologies, and has read in many venues. In
2016 at StAnza – the Scottish International Poetry Festival held in St Andrew’s – her poem ‘City of
Adelaide Bleeds’ was a film installation.
‘Salt and Soil’ is Rita’s debut pamphlet, published in August 2017. Rita is completing her book on
her voyage to South Australia on a cargo ship with the oldest surviving clipper ship City of
About two years ago I began preparing a collection of poems for my first poetry pamphlet, having been invited by a publisher. Things fell through at final edit stage, so …
… the pamphlet has now been published by ‘CrawsNest Press’, my own little Press, which I am thrilled about. It’s been quite a learning curve to enter the world of publishing, but very exciting and satisfying. Grateful thanks to Marjorie Lotfi Gill and Rachel McCrum for testimonials.
‘Salt & Soil’ will be launched on 26 October 2017 in Hecla Gallery, Cockenzie House and Gardens, Prestonpans, East Lothian, 7 for 7.30 pm – 9pm.
If you’d like a copy, please email me at : firstname.lastname@example.org
until I get a shopping cart on this website. Thank you!
We were really chuffed to be invited again to perform in The Globe Inn, Dumfries and were delighted to do so. Lee Yeswithbellson and Oliver Sudden did a wonderful job with a massive programme of events with lots of exciting, eye-catching publicity. The hospitality we receive from the Inn is top quality with delicious pub food, great coffee and beer, and great company and fun! Oliver surprised us on the Sunday by doing a live-stream of music with the play slipped in. It was a bit like swimming in a fish bowl knowing everything we did was on camera! Now I know what the Osborne’s felt like! Thanks everyone at The Globe! Looking forward to next year!
We had the most amazing time in The Globe Inn, Dumfries at the weekend performing The Three Craws Gaun tae Rabbie Burns’ Birthday Pairty At The Globe Inn, Dumfries. It was something really special to perform this with my husband and two of my kids in the actual room our Bard Robert Burns wrote poems and discussed poetry in and may well just have had a wee dram or two. Congratulations to my substitute Craw 2 who has never done this before! I thought he was brilliant, and just seeing them jamming along as they do at home on live stream is pretty cool. With huge thanks to Lee Yeswithbellson Mcqueen and Michael Oliver Sudden for taking such good care of us, feeding us and doing all the promo work. Hope to see you again before we return next year for The WEE Fringe during the Big Burns Supper!
Steven Hill a wee mention of Dunbar T-Shirt Shop around 53 minutes in. Thanks for the wonderful service you give in providing our mugs & coaster sets, t-shirts, caps, badges, and anything you can make with our logo on.
Promoter for The Wee Fringe Oliver Sudden live streamed us to Facebook …
Some of our wonderful audiences singing along …
Check out The Three Craws here, appearing at The Globe Inn, Dumfries with The Three Craws Gaun Tae Rabbie Burns’ Birthday Pairty At The Globe Inn, Dumfries on 21st January on the hour every hour from 11am to 2pm and on Sunday 22nd on the hour every hour from 11.30am to 2.30pm.
The script is based on Tam O’Shanter. See what The Three Craws get up to on their visit to The Globe …
The Globe is one of Robert Burns’ favourite places back in the day to have a pint or so, blether with his pals and write poems. Lots of performances to chose from … and you can get your plate of haggis afterwards, from 2.30pm.
Tickets available … come on, come and join us for a family fun time with lots of laughs and music.
Previously appeared in The Scottish Storytelling Centre, Coastword Festival Dunbar and The Globe Inn with further scripts in the series.
Looking forward to seeing you there! Rita xx
Look what they done to Mama Craw! She’s in the pink! Love it! Thank you Oliver Sudden 🙂
Author Rita Bradd and The Three Craws Series of Scripts and Books, by Rita Bradd a wonderful story telling day on 21st and 22nd Jan! Get yer tickets online@ weefringe.com
Check us out in The List
Tam O’Shanter gets The Three Craws treatment here … Fun! Celebrating oor Bard and … The Three Craws!
We had an amazing time at East Coast 107.6 FM radio on Monday, with The Three Craws An A Spooky Dook Fer Aipples. L to R: Wesley Bradd, Melissa Bradd, Rita Bradd, Bob Mitchell.
This is the latest script in the series … something was missing …
It’s a year ago today since the chimneys were demolished!
With a very full programme for the Literary Festival and time being limited, P4 class teacher Janey Nicol suggested delaying The Three Craws script. She sent out forms with the children to ask families and friends for their memories of Cockenzie Power Station, and also for the children to describe their feelings and impression of the chimneys falling to the ground. This would form the basis of ‘The Three Craws An The Doonfaw O Cockenzie Power Station Lums’. I carried out research into the history of the Power Station and interwove this into the script. Coincidentally, a lead person that features in my book about the clipper ship City of Adelaide http://ritabradd.com/category/cityofadelaide/ was once a Manager of the Power Station.
I wanted to present the script in booklet form rather than A4 sheets stapled together that my troupe uses, for ease of handling by the children and for a professional look. I was absolutely delighted with the result, printed by http://www.dunbar.org.uk/lothian-printers/ .The scripts were delivered to the school in early June, along with badges for the children of families who took part in the research, and prizes for the most impressive contributions.
1 December 2015
29 November 2015
September 2013 – Irvine, Scotland
When I was at Callander Poetry Weekend, Finola Scott knew of my interest in clipper ship City of Adelaide/aka Carrick. We were ensconced in poetry when she told me ‘my’ ship was leaving Irvine. I was absolutely devastated. I thought I would never see her again. I thought this was her leaving for Australia. Two weeks later I just happened to check the website the group of Australians had created about the ship. Lo and behold I read a newsflash that ‘the ship would be leaving today’. I dashed over to Irvine, a drive of around 2 hours, to see the ship leave. I discovered she had previously just been removed from the slipway onto a barge. The ship didn’t leave as the weather was deemed too unsafe for her. I couldn’t go the next day as I had commitments. Again, I was devastated. I looked at the website that night. The weather had saved me again! The next morning I went prepared. I packed my harp, my poem and an extract from a diary and did this …
September 2013 – Callander Poetry Weekend
Sally used this photo of me and GypsyRose she took in 2013 for the 2015 CPW programme. http://www.desktopsallye.com/page21.htm
Whilst Tangles was having his levers tweaked at EIHF in 2013, I amused myself with a demo model of another Teifi harp, a Telor. The lighter tension of strings appealed, and I decided it was time for a change. For a while I had the privilege of having 3 harps, but since July 2015 Tangles has a new home.
Alastair invited me to play harp at the Absent Voices launch of Filmpoems at the Scottish Poetry Library on 6 December 2012. For this I composed this music to accompany Jennifer L Williams poem, ‘Trinities’,
and also for the poem ‘Revenant’ by Rebecca Sharp. Rebecca had composed music for her poem but was unable to be present on the night. Alastair asked me to improvise and I used Rebecca’s composition as a base for my music.
September 2012 – Callander Poetry Weekend
I raced up from Moniaive with my new harp which I named GypsyRose, and Tangles, to meet Alastair Cook at Callander Poetry Weekend. Sally Evans, Organiser of CPW had invited him to talk about his Filmpoem projects.
Susie Goodwin of North Light Arts had commissioned him to make a Filmpoem of my poem, The Herrin(g) Trail and he had asked me to come up and play Tangles whilst he showed the film and read the poem. http://movingpoems.com/2012/09/the-herrin-trail-by-rita-bradd/ Happily I have now remedied Alastair’s comments about me not having a webpage.
This is Magi McGlynn who is a regular attender at the CPW and blesses the whole event with his presence. He had a ‘jam’ session on bohran with Alastair’s 7-year old son, to whom I loaned a wee Indian Rosewood harp I had recently bought. He had a natural affinity with the instrument.
September 2012 – Moniaive, Dumfries & Galloway
In September 2012, I took up the challenge to build a Bohemian harp at Moniaive, Dumfries & Galloway. Wendy Stewart and husband Alan host a course each summer https://wendystewartharp.wordpress.com/2013/06/25/bohemian-harp-build-course/
To have a harp I built and customised from a kit under the watchful eye of expert Christoph Locherbach, is enriching and fulfilling. I designed the sound-holes to represent a square-rigged ship in full sail. After a lot of sanding down, I chamfered the sharp edges all round the pillar (front) and saddle (top) of the harp by flicking slivers of wood out with a scalpel type tool. I wanted to stain the harp pink, quite a consideration with the wood for the harp being grown by Christoph himself. I used 25 parts water to 1 part stain to make sure the woodgrain would show through, then anguished for 50 minutes over whether to go for it or not. The final challenge was to carve a horse’s head into the pillar. The initial very pink of the harp has now darkened down to a gorgeous sherry colour.
Here is Chris, with Wendy’s husband Alan on mandolin. Each day Alan was our master chef, concocting very tasty, nourishing lunches and dinners in their home. We gathered after dinner, armed with instruments, voice and laughter to finish the day.
Harping for North Light Arts Community Events
The first time I performed in public was for North Light Arts. This has spanned from the first event in 2011 up till 2014’s event http://northlightarts.org.uk/2014/09/celebration-of-the-sea/
I joined the Edinburgh Branch of the Clarsach Society which gave opportunities for harping weekends and courses with harpists in various bonnie places in Scotland. I took part in the Edinburgh International Harp Festival’s Host of Harps on 13 April 2011. The Clarsach Society celebrated its 80th anniversary and the Edinburgh International Harp Festival celebrated its 30th anniversary this year. We also produced this over the weekend of 25 and 26 June that year, recorded in Broughton High School to commemorate Isobel Meiras’s 70th birthday, who directed us. There are many opportunities to join in at any level to learn about harps and to play them. Each year there is a festival held in Merchiston Castle School.
Here’s a link to some snippets from various harp events, including Harps of Gold which happens every December in The Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh.
I was lucky that Harpist/Storyteller Heather Yule lived 5 miles away from where I live. We arranged fortnightly lessons at my home and I found skills gained on piano up to Grade V as a child/teenager were transferable to the clarsach. Heather very generously loaned me a harp her father had built 30 years previously. Six months later at EIHF in April 2009, I came home with this gorgeous fellah, whom I named ‘Tangles’. He is an Eos, from the stables of Teifi http://www.welsh-harps.com/. It was on Tangles I composed ‘The Herrin(g) Trail’ https://vimeo.com/49789591 and ‘City of Adelaide : Farewell To Scotland’ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gvr3m1NdyEs amongst others, and played him at the Scottish Poetry Library at Alastair Cook’s Absent Voices event in December 2012 to accompany a few poets included in the programme.
Here’s how I began learning the harp, or clarsach or small lever harp
After years of attending the Edinburgh International Harp Festival http://www.harpfestival.co.uk/ and coming home saying ‘I wish I could play the harp’, my eldest daughter Melissa presented me with this for my birthday.