The poetry in Write Times makes for a very interesting read.

As can be expected with an anthology of work culled from a variety of sources the result is a very mixed bag indeed, and to a degree, that only adds to the attraction. There are voices in development, exploring possibilities I feel, but still with an interesting take on life, casting their net over subjects as diverse as celebrity, gifts, both material and spiritual, alphabet soup as a metaphor for other tings, an endeavour in making an image out of imagery and haiku sequence that says subtle things even though the haikus veer away from the form the sequences title adopts, as seems to be the modern way of things at times.

In contrast to this there are writers who are developing assured strong voices that give the reader much food for thought. These poems take us from Wester Ross where Matt Stockl evokes atmosphere with sharp observations, to Paisley and Govan where Tracy Patrick has an understated but clear take on some of the realities of urban life, and culminating in the fantasy land (maybe?) of P.J.McCafferty where the narrator entreats Sarah to sail away with him to an Alice in Wonderland style dream place (or is it real? Who knows).

All in, a stimulating mix that bodes well as a mirror for the SQA courses and teachers that nurture such creativity with the contrast of rough edges and polished stones that reflect the cross-section of students thoughts and voices in a manner that should appeal to the most discerning of readers.

Brian Whittingham