Winning Bulter poem ‘exploded with joy’

Quarff resident Joyce Reid has been chosen as the winner of the Rhoda Bulter Award 2015 for her dialect poem.
The award, now in its second year, was inaugurated in memory of Rhoda Bulter, one of Shetland’s most important dialect writers.

The late Rhoda Bulter.
The late Rhoda Bulter.

To reflect Bulter’s many talents, the competition varies year by year between visual art and the written word in Shetland dialect, with the theme this year being a poem on the subject of joy.

Reid’s winning poem, which had the simple title Joy, was inspired by the birth of her grandchildren – both her fiddle-playing daughters Jenna and Bethany had babies this year.

She was delighted to have won, and said: “I’m thrilled, absolutely thrilled, and humbled too.”

The poem was judged by the Bulter family who presented the trophy in memory of their mother.

Speaking on behalf of his brothers and sisters, John Bulter said: “We were greatly impressed with the high standard of the entries and the novel ideas used, and enjoyed every one. Some were deeply moving; others thought-provoking.

“Several had used reminiscence and elicited our own fond memories. Others we enjoyed for their humour; and some made us feel real joy.”

The winning poem, said Mr Bulter, simply: “exploded with joy”.

The competition is administered by dialect group Shetland ForWirds and their convener, Mary Blance, said: “It’s been lovely ta be pairt o encouragin new writing in dialect.”

A further seven writers were given a special mention by the judges – Eddie Barclay (jnr), Beth Cummings, Frances Jamieson, Rosemary Johnson, Jennifer Nisbet, Alison Shearer and Vina Sinclair.

The winner’s prize is a serpentine and silver trophy designed and made by Rosalyn Thompson, plus a copy of Hairst is Coosed, the collected poems of Rhoda Bulter.

Rhoda and Dennis Bulter’s daughter Margaret Stevenson said: “We hoop fok can be inspired by dis an uplift baith demsels an aabody at reads or hears dir poem.”

Reid’s poem will be published in the New Shetlander magazine.


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