The Poetry Show Season One: ART and Stairwell Books Presents: Kay Wheatcroft with Shetland: A Love Story.

Listen in from 1pm to 2pm here: (actually listen in from noon to 11pm! but we’re on at 1pm)

On The Poetry Show, we chat about art: what is art? What makes “good art” and who decides that anyway? Hosted by Laurence O’Reilly (he must have locked Rose into another room), with Alan Gillott and guest Tanya Parker, the discussion covers a range of art forms: dance, music, poetry of course, and visual art too.

Following TPS 1:29, Kay Wheatcroft will talk about art and words: combining photographs and love letters, into a gorgeous book.

Kay will chat about “Shetland: A Love Story”, a compilation and indeed distillation of love letters sent back and forth between two people who would become her great-grandparents, and Shetland images taken by photographer Mark Sinclair.

The book brings to life a three-year courtship that took place almost entirely by letter in the mid-19th century.

Robert was the schoolmaster at Sandness and Barbara was the daughter of the schoolmaster at Gulberwick. They were only 30 miles apart, but with no roads and because of their busy lives, they were only able to meet a few times during their touching correspondence, between 1858 and their marriage in 1861. The letters tell the story of their work as teachers and farmers, his duties as postmaster and village scribe, their leisure and entertainment, local customs and events. Their simple but hard lives were regulated by the landscape, the weather and the seasons.

Kay has edited her great-grandparents’ love letters to match the style of Mark’s photography, paring them down, distilling them, creating an art book as well as a piece of social history.

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