September – Poetry Scotland

This month sees the publication of Issues 99 and 100 of Poetry Scotland – the last under the editorship of Sally Evans, who with her husband Ian King has published the magazine from its outset. Like many poets I am indebted to Sally and to Poetry Scotland for support and encouragement, and I’m both happy and a little sad to have a poem, Demolition, in Issue 100.

The magazine, however, will go on, under the editorship of Jon Plunkett, and Sally is going on to new projects, and I’m looking forward to both. Vale atque Ave!

July 2018 – The Interpreter’s House Review of Not in Nightingale Country

from Aoife Lyall’s review of the collection:

… Judith Taylor’s first full poetry collection is one of observation, contemplation, and imagination; drawing its poetic inspiration from myths, legends, modern life, and personal experiences.

The collection’s opening poem ‘Incomer’ posits the speaker as someone new and enthusiatic; someone so keen to embrace their new life that they overwhelm it with their good intentions…

… [a]nd so we learn how to read the rest of this collection: not impressing our lives and experience onto the narratives, but allowing them to teach us something about ourselves.

Taylor re-examines and re-imagines peripheral characters from myth, legend, and fairy-tale… interwined with.. marginal members of our society and our lives: lighthouse keepers, island dwellers, country villagers, taxi drivers…..

… These poems are for and about people living in the margins, on the peripheries by the side-lines of life and give the reader both the chance to be a part of, and stand apart from, these narratives.

from Aoife Lyall  Review: Three Collections in The Interpreter’s House 68 (2018) pp 110-111

June 2018 – ARTEMISpoetry review of Not in Nightingale Country

From Kaye Lee‘s review of my collection:

‘There may not be any nightingales in Judith Taylor’s Scotland, but there are plenty of other creatures, real and imagined, plus folk-tales and sea- and landscapes for her to cast her sometimes humorous, often dark, words at… It is an enjoyable journey… we feel we are right there with her, whether she is outside with nature or inside with art, opera, or reading fairy tales. “think of this poem”, she says, “as a kind of thought-experiment. / … / a small demon / … / shutting away the particles it wants to keep / from the general disorder” (Thought-experiment). And isn’t that the purpose of all poems?’

(Kaye Lee: Short Reviews in ARTEMISpoetry Issue 20, May 2018, p 48)

March 2018 – at StAnza with the Squirrels

StAnza, as always, was wonderful, and this year I was there as a participant, which was the icing on the cake. On Friday morning I had a visit to Newport Primary School, reading some poems and answering some questions and seeing their brilliant Tam O’Shanter puppets. And then at lunchtime I was part of the Red Squirrel Showcase, with Colin Will and Elizabeth Rimmer. I didn’t advertise it here, because it sold out really quickly – no pressure! But it was a smashing occasion and I hope the audience enjoyed it as much as I did.

And this was amazing: Innes’s Bookshop is the Festival Bookshop and here’s their window display, with Not in Nightingale Country in amongst it (along with Colin’s and Elizabeth’s books). I used to walk past this window on my way to tutorials, back in my student days. To walk past it and see my own book was slightly mind-blowing