Time and Tide

Solstice Shorts Festival 2019

Saturday 21 December 2019 • 12 noon
Symposium Coffee House Lido • Scottish Maritime Academy • South Road • PETERHEAD • AB42 2UP

Time and Tide

Admission free

Now in its sixth year, the Solstice Shorts festival once again marks the shortest day of the year with stories, poetry and music performed live at multiple sites.

This year our theme is Time and Tide – stories and poems of making a living on or beside the sea, and making new lives over the water, immigration, emigration, diaspora....

Events are taking place in port cities and towns, either on coasts or on tidal rivers: Peterhead and Clydebank (Scotland), Holyhead (Wales), Maryport, London and Hastings (England), and Lisbon (Portugal). Each event is run by a local promoter, and overall coordination of the festival is by Arachne Press in London. The Peterhead event is presented by Intuitive Music Aberdeen and promoted by Artventure.

If you can't attend in person, you can watch a live stream of the event on our Facebook page.

An anthology of the poems and stories will be published in spring 2020 by Arachne Press, but advance copies will be available at the event.

The music is based on Dundee Ambient, Part 5: Winter Solstice Again by Haworth Hodgkinson, which is available on the High Moss label.


Poem: A Conjuring Poem by Simon Whitfield, read by Ken McRae
Poem: How Women Came to Tristan da Cunha by Claire Booker, read by Marka Rifat
Poem: False Light by John Richardson, read by Ken McRae

Story: The Fisherman's Wife by Linda McMullen, read by Marka Rifat

Poem: Clearance by Christine Ritchie, read by Marka Rifat
Poem: Hawser by Sarah Tait, read by Ken McRae
Poem: In the Shadows, on the Shore, Leith by Jane Aldous, read by Marka Rifat

Story: The Answer my Friend by Paul Foy, read by Ken McRae

Poem: Points of Interest by Olivia Dawson, read by Marka Rifat
Poem: Ovčice, Croatia by Ian Macartney, read by Ken McRae
Poem: Frocks of Passage by Mandy Macdonald, read by Marka Rifat

Story: Listen, Noah's Wife by Roppotucha Greenberg, read by Marka Rifat

Poem: The Watchers by Elizabeth Parker, read by Ken McRae
Poem: Woman from North India on Bostadh Beach by Elinor Brooks, read by Marka Rifat
Poem: When will we See the Sea? by Joy Howard, read by Ken McRae

The poems and stories will be interspersed with intuitive music in response to the Solstice Mode from Dundee Ambient by Haworth Hodgkinson, played by the ensemble Intuitive Music Aberdeen.



Marka Rifat
Ken McRae


Haworth Hodgkinson (melodica, percussion and fixed media)
Mandy Macdonald (melodica)
Colin Edwards (bowed psaltery)


Simon Whitfield

Simon Whitfield was born in London in 1936, so his formative years were pre-nuclear. During the war he lived in Cornwall and Devon, and later, in Kent and Oxfordshire. His education was at Malvern College in Worcestershire. His work was mainly as a teacher in private schools.

Simon and family moved to Portugal shortly after the revolution to teach English as a foreign language. They are still in Portugal, retired, with a son and two young adult grandchildren nearby.

Simon has written numerous poems and a novella, all unpublished apart from a poem in the Reading Mercury umpteen years ago.

Claire Booker

After life in London as a journalist, herbalist and hypnotherapist, Claire Booker has up-sticked and now lives in Rottingdean, between the South Downs and the English Channel. Sky and sea often feature in her poetry. She is currently working on a pamphlet inspired by Brighton's fishing and farming heritage.

Her poetry has appeared on Guernsey buses, in Ambit, Magma, Poetry News, North, The Rialto, The Spectator and Stand, among others. Her debut pamphlet Later there will be Postcards is out with Green Bottle Press.


John Richardson

John Richardson (who also publishes as Jay Arr) has written poetry for over forty years. He was a founder member of Poetry Swindon (previously BlueGate Poets) and since his retirement has organised and MC'd poetry events at Marlbrough and Bath literature festivals, given many workshops and readings. He set up a one-man publishing company, IMPpress, that produced quarterly editions of a free online poetry e-zine. In addition he has published several pamphlets of his own work and has had modest successes in national and local poetry competitions. He is currently designing poetry websites, poetry support applications and writing the occasional poem inspired by travels to India and the Far East, family, friends and everyday events.

Linda McMullen

Linda McMullen is a wife, mother, diplomat, and homesick Wisconsinite. Her short stories have appeared or are forthcoming in over thirty literary magazines, including, most recently, The Passed Note, Luna Station Quarterly, Ripples in Space, Write Ahead / The Future Looms Magazine, and Drunk Monkeys.

Christine Ritchie

Christine Ritchie was born and brought up in the Black Isle, of Gaelic-speaking parents though not fluent herself. She studied at Aberdeen University, then taught English and Geography at Fraserburgh Academy. Married (now widowed) with three children. She was involved for many years with Epilepsy Scotland, serving on the Board of Directors with three years as Chair. Now retired, Christine is secretary of Fraserburgh 50+ Walking Club and has recently become co-editor of the Grampian 50+ Network magazine. She is also a voluntary adult literacy tutor.

Sarah Tait

Sarah Tait is a Ramsgate Poet, beach-walker and haiku fan. An active member of her local poetry scene in Thanet, Kent, Sarah has been published in a number of magazines, as well as regularly performing her own work.

Jane Aldous

Jane Aldous is an Edinburgh-based poet. Some of Jane's poems have been published in literary magazines such as Northwords Now and Southlight. She's been commended in poetry competitions and she won the Wigtown Prize in 2012. Her poems have also been anthologised.

She's very excited that her poetry collection Let out the Djinn was published by Arachne Press in 2019.

Paul Foy

Paul Foy is a literature, language, and moving image educator who has had short stories in a variety of publications, and has written plays for a small dedicated theatre company and comedy sketches for BBC Scotland. He has recently built up enough confidence to submit his poems for publication. Twin daughters have made him a very happy man.

His short stories have appeared in New Writing Scotland (including best of 20 years edition), Chapman Literary Magazine, Pushing Out the Boat, Scratchings, Gutter Magazine and The Herald newspaper.

Olivia Dawson

Olivia Dawson, originally from London, worked in fashion PR before living in Brazil and France where she worked as an EFL teacher. She now lives between Lisbon and London and is Poetry Society Stanza rep for the Lisbon area. She has an MA in Creative Writing from Lancaster University.

Ian Macartney

Ian Macartney is a Scottish writer. He has been published in [Untitled] Falkirk, Suma Lima, Meanwhile, Grass, Icarus, The Attic, The Scotsman and The Guardian. Founder of the Aberdeen-based collective Re-Analogue, he has also performed his work with Neu! Reekie and on BBC Radio Scotland. He is currently based in Aberdeen.

Mandy Macdonald

Mandy Macdonald is a writer and musician living in Aberdeen on the cold, wild and beautiful North Sea coast, a far cry from the golden dunes and blue surf of her Australian childhood. Her work has been published in the anthologies Outlook Variable, Extraordinary Forms and Songs for the Unsung (Grey Hen, 2016 and 2017), Aiblins: New Scottish political poetry (Luath, 2016), A Bee's Breakfast (Beautiful Dragons, 2016), and a number of print and online journals, including Three Drops from a Cauldron, The Curlew, Coast to Coast to Coast, Clear Poetry, Spilling Cocoa over Martin Amis, and Riggwelter.

Mandy's first pamphlet, The temperature of blue, is to be published by Blue Salt in early 2020.

Roppotucha Greenberg

Roppotucha Greenberg is the author of Creatures Give Advice (2019) and Creatures Give Advice Again (and it's warmer now) (2019), which are both hive-mind-doodle-micro-fiction meditations on life's puzzles. Her stories have appeared in Noon (Arachne Press, 2019), Elephants Never, Ellipsis Zine, Moonchild Magazine, The Forge Literary Magazine, Virtual Zine, The Barren Magazine, and several others. Zglevians on the Move, a collection of flash and micro-fiction, is available from TwistiT Press.

Elizabeth Parker

Elizabeth Parker grew up in the Forest of Dean and now lives on the harbour in Bristol. Both places inspire her writing. She has been published in Magma, The Interpreter's House, Raceme, The Stony Thursday Book, Southword and Agenda. She has been shortlisted for the Bridport Poetry Prize, the Melita Hume Prize and the Gregory O'Donoghue International Poetry Competition and was a prizewinner in the 2016 Troubadour International Poetry Prize.

Her debut poetry pamphlet Antinopolis was published by Eyewear Poetry in 2016 and her poem Rivers was featured in the Eyewear anthology The Best New British and Irish Poets 2016. Her first full poetry collection was published by Seren in April 2018.

Elinor Brooks

Elinor Brooks grew up in Edinburgh and now lives in Wiltshire where she teaches English and Creative Writing in a college of Further Education. Her poems have been shortlisted in competitions (including Battered Moons) and have appeared in magazines and anthologies, on the big screen, on fridge magnets and even on an adshel. As an active member of Swindon's BlueGate Poets, Elinor has enjoyed being involved in collaborative projects with artists, actors and musicians. When not writing, she can be found in the pub playing the oriental strategy board game Go.

Elinor's poems have been published most recently in The Listening Walk (Bath Poetry Café Anthology) and online at And Other Poems, edited by Josephine Corcoran.

Joy Howard

Joy Howard, founder of Grey Hen Press, has lived all over the UK, but has now settled for Cumbria. She has edited nine full length Grey Hen anthologies and a series of chapbooks and though rather alarmed at finding herself nearer 80 than 70, isn't running out of steam just yet. Her own poems have appeared in several poetry journals, been widely anthologised and can be seen online at poetry p f. She has three collections: Exit Moonshine (Grey Hen Press, 2009), Refurbishment (Ward Wood Publications, 2011) and Foraging (Arachne Press 2016).



Symposium Coffee House Lido • Scottish Maritime Academy • South Road • PETERHEAD • AB42 2UP

Time and Tide: Solstice Shorts

Time and Tide in Peterhead is presented by Intuitive Music Aberdeen in association with Artventure and Arachne Press, and is supported using public funding by Aberdeenshire Council and Arts Council England, as well as the support of crowdfunding donors.


Symposium Coffee House
Arachne Press
High Moss
Aberdeenshire Council
Arts Council England

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