BAREARSE BOY, by Jon Tait. Published by Smoke Stack Books (01765 658917). £7.95. Softback.
A DIRECT descendent of a notorious 17th century reiver family who lived in Barearse near Yetholm, Tait – in this modern take on Scott’s Border Minstrelsy – follows the reiver people as they are forced from their rural heartlands into the industrial and post-industrial North East. The poems celebrate the working class culture of the North and are written with the lawless spirit as well as the dourness and defiance of the original Border ballads.