Poetry book is result of 20 years research


KIRKCALDY scholar, novelist and poet, Dr Tom Hubbard, is excited about the release of his latest book.

Because, as he told the Press, it gives an opportunity to delve even deeper into Scotland’s heritage.

‘The Chigall Winnocks: Wi Ither Scots Poem and Ballants O Europe’ is a collection of poems from across mainland Europe which have been translated into Scots.

The launch of the book comes at a busy time for Dr Hubbard, sandwiched between two visiting professorships in the USA and France lecturing in Scottish Studies.

This enables Dr Hubbard to talk about Scotland’s rich heritage – something he believes we don’t do enough of.


“We should because there’s a demand for Scots history as well as literature,” he said.

“I hastily enlighten my students that there’s a great deal more happening here than just the Loch Ness Monster.”

Dr Hubbard, who has previously co-edited a collection of stories based in Fife, is hopeful that his book can help to revel in Scots mores.

He says: “It’s a celebration of the Scots language in a European context. It lets Scots inter-mingle with its sister cultures in Europe.

Rhyming scheme

“A lot of the poems are translations so there’s an inevitable distance from the original, but I tried as far as possible to stick to the original rhyming scheme and be as faithful as possible to the poem itself.”

The act of collecting the poems has taken Dr Hubbard over 20 years.

“A lot date back to the 80s when I was a librarian at the Scottish Poetry Library,” he explained. “I was in a good position surrounded by this stuff!”

“It’s a bit of a harvest. It took a while to discover these poems, to engage with them and to let them infuse and see what I could do with them.”

His spell in France will signal the end of the road for the well travelled Dr Hubbard, who intends to come back to Kirkcaldy and stay for good.

“My fellow Langtonians probably ought to be warned!” he said. “Goodness knows what I’ll do, but I’ll certainly continue with my writing.”