BAREARSE BOY, by Jon Tait.

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.


THE SHE CHRONICLES: HISTORY’S MAVERICK WOMEN, by Lisa Rodgers. Published by Iron Press (0191-253 1901). £8. Softback.

THE poet has combined her interest in history, biography and the female experience to evoke the voices of 13 “courageous, unconventional, pioneering and indomitable spirits” – some remarkable Restoration and 18th century women.

This first published collection of her work is illustrated with portraits of the subjects, who include Mary Shelley, Anne Bonny, Mary Wollstonecraft, Aphra Behn, Dido Belle and Fanny Burney.

LIMEHAVEN, by Vicky Arthurs.

LIMEHAVEN, by Vicky Arthurs. Published by Iron Press (0191-253 1901). £8. Softback.

THIS evocative collection of poems celebrates the bond between young and old, capturing time spent together and wonders shared. Inspired by childhood memories of the poet’s grandparents, the poems explore themes of love, war, nature and innocence.

She recalls: “Shaped by wartime, my grandparents were virtually self-sufficient. My grandfather hoed and dug while my grandmother stewed, baked, bottled and preserved. Their garden was a place of wonder and discovery. Here we watched birds build their nests, we pulled potatoes from the earth and tasted fresh-picked fruit.”