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Wales’ Whales Wail At Wannabe Wallabies! Brilliant redtop headline and not easy to say even if you are from Wales. Well I made that up but you know what I mean. No I’ve been thinking about Whales (not Wales) after reading the Poetry in Whaleback City pictured above – the ‘Poetry of Dundee and Its Hinterland’. If you’re interested in either the City of Discovery or Poetry there are treats in store. If like me both are your thing even better. Included is Poetry about the Tay Whale. Which got stuck in the river in the 19th Century and drew crowds Facebook and Twitter would envy! Ten per cent allowance for hyperbole here!

But Whaleback City is also appropriate as a title in that there is a vast cornucopia of subjects and themes in the anthology. Put it this way Jonah might have needed to relocate if this had been the belly of the whale. Might have had to get himself over to Nineveh sharpish like! So in here you’ll encounter William Wallace William Topaz McGonagall, Walter Scott Michael Marra Desperate Dan and Liz McColgan. If that doesn’t float your diversity boat then I doubt there is a medicine that will help! You can learn about the Jute Industry Dens Road Market and Mary Shelley and her ‘baby’ Frankenstein. Or read the Street Poetry of Gary Robertson author of ‘Skeem Life’ and Mark Thomson ‘bard from the building site’.That’s enough now -Ed! (self)!

I’ve enjoyed it all so far and I’m not nearly finished. But where I laughed till I nearly cried was on reading ‘The Great Camperdown Breakout’ by WN Herbert Dundee’s official ‘makar’. It concerns the incident in 1999 when a small party of wannabe wallabies went marauding round the City after escaping from Camperdown Park Zoo. And it took the authorities a while to round up the felons. A Police Spokesperson stated that when apprehended the escaped prisoners would be reported to the ‘hopurator fiscal’. And you may have to know Scots Law to get that one!

Whaleback City has just had its first official review in the Herald Newspaper. It deserves more and good ones. But I can thoroughly recommend. Published by Dundee University Press it is edited by WN Herbert and Andy Jackson.

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