North East artist Aaron Gale and storyteller Jackie Ross are launching Doric Books to develop and preserve the culture and heritage of the North-east.
The process began after Aaron was furloughed from his work during the 2020 Coronavirus lockdown. He created a book in Doric, but after meeting with publishers of the Scots language he found that it was hard to get books published in Doric.
He got in touch with the Doric Board and the University of Aberdeen’s Elphinstone Institute and through this met professional storyteller Jackie Ross.
The pair realised their shared ambitions to spread the Doric language and began collaborating to create a publishing house that will make it easier for books to be published in Doric.
Jackie said, “Our language is who we are; diversity is something we really enjoy. The world is richer for having thousands of different languages, thousands of different cultures.
“Doric itself isn’t just one thing; there’s words that they use in the Broch that they don’t use in Lumphanan. There’s ways of saying things that differ from place to place, so there’s diversity within Doric itself.”
Aaron said: “You do worry that perhaps you might lose some aspects of that culture and identity if you don’t try to keep it alive and keep it going and normalise it, and through Doric Books we hope to contribute to that.”
They have already published one book together, ‘Aul McDonald Hid a Fairm’, and are looking forward to ‘The Puddock’ and ‘Nae Place Like Hame?’ coming out soon.
Each book will also come with its own glossary of words from Doric to English, which they hope can serve as a stepping stone for people looking to learn the language.
The publishing house will be a Community Interest Company (CIC), meaning that it will be run for the benefit of the Doric speaking community and not for profit.
Following its launch, Doric Books plans to become involved in the community engagement through storytelling, author visits and Doric workshops for local care homes, schools, and other community groups.