Generosity of Lise (Hilary Christie)

I am deeply sorry to hear of the death of Lise Sinclair and send my heart felt sympathy to her family.

There is something about her that I would like Shetlanders to know.

Four years ago I asked her if she would be willing to work with some other singer-songwriters on a special project that I was organising.

I write to men and women on Death Row in USA and I was asking our Scottish artists if they would like to set some of the poetry from the prisons to music for a CD to be called Beyond Bars.

Lise was unexpectedly extremely interested and said this was just the sort of thing that she was looking for to do at home creatively since she had her children; she was clearly honestly interested in the situation and the whole idea.

I sent her the poetry and she was the only artist who volunteered to set a second song. These she did beautifully. I think these songs will be unknown to people in such an unusual collection.

The first song is called The Quiet Cell and speaks of the fear and trauma of being first led into isolation. It is haunting and eerie and completely fitting and evocative. A masterpiece.

The second song is called Portals and tells of the dream like release that a prisoner gets through having a pen-friend outside who can transport him to the free natural world for a brief time.

I will be writing to both prisoner poets to tell them of Lise’s sad and untimely death. They will be very moved.

I was wondering if your readers would like to buy the CD. We have sent £40 to each of the contributors and are now sending any profits to Reprieve, an organisation which trains qualified English and Scots lawyers in American defence law and sends them out to USA, on a voluntary basis, to work on defending Death Row prisoners who can’t afford good lawyers. Those on DR are usually very poor. You’ll find Reprieve on the internet.

I am sure there must be folk out there who would love to have and hear Lise’s hidden and generous contributions. It seems such a shame that they may not know that they even exist. Precious work.

I could arrange for a fair number to be sent to an address and sold from there if there is interest.

All good wishes to the good folk in your islands.

Hilary Christie




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