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Holding Poems by Maggie Rabatski

Maggie Rabatski is a truly gifted poet. She has been nominated for the Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust 2011 Book Awards for her first anthology ‘Down from the Dance’ ("an Deidh an Dannsa"). There are many elements that go to make Maggie’s rich and diverse poetry. She hales from the Isle of Harris in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland but has lived in Glasgow, Scotland for 18 years. Maggie came to my notice a couple of years ago when she attended the poetry group in the village. The group is run by my friend Ruth Grant and I was devastated when, due to illness, I was unable to attend the readings from Maggie's most recent anthology "Holding". Imagine how thrilled I was when Ruth got a copy of this for me!

Maggie brings much of the Gaelic language’s subtly compelling rhythms even to her English verses. This, combined with the exactness in her choice of words, enables her to use concise phrases to create a powerful image. She invites the reader to step into, share, and enjoy the truths of her world. Maggie takes her ideas from many sources and draws on a wide experience of life and the senses, especially those of sight and sound.

This is a worthy and exciting second collection. If you have not yet discovered the works of Maggie Rabatski, I commend them to you unreservedly.

The Poet

Maggie Rabatski is Hebridean by birth and upbringing. She came to Glasgow a long time ago to go to university and has lived in the city’s West End ever since. She was fifty four before she put the first of her poems down on paper but she thinks she was probably writing them in her subconscious long before that.

Her work has been published in various anthologies and magazines including New Writing Scotland, Gutter, Northwords Now and Causeway/Cabhsair. Her first poetry pamphlet Down From The Dance (New Voices Press) was short-listed in the First Book category of the Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust Book of the Year Awards 2011. Maggie writes in both Gaelic and English; in 2016 she collaborated with Sheila Templeton and AC Clarke in Owersettin (Tapsalteerie Press), a three-way poetic conversation in English, Scots and Gaelic, which was followed in 2019 by a second collaboration between the three, Drochaid.

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