Frank Ferguson, editor
‘The volume is striking and daring in its breadth; Ferguson has assiduously represented a tradition that is rich and idiosyncratic – encompassing vernacular poetry, kailyard fiction, political treatises, sermons, and writers as diverse as Seamus Heaney and Ian Paisley … the vernacular literature, which most obviously demonstrates the Ulster-Scotland connection, is at the core of this volume and it is refreshing to find within it examples of rare work s that have been virtually out of public domain for many years … the anthology as a whole is invaluable for the massive work of recovery which Ferguson has undertaken of pieces in both the vernacular and the standard registers … this anthology will inform and fuel debate on the multi-faceted nature of Ulster-Scots literary identity for years to come. Particularly useful are the introductory passages which link the selected works to contemporary trends in Irish and Scottish writing', Carol Baraniuk, Scottish Literary Review (Spring 2011).
‘At an obviously messy juncture, with much-publicised opprobrium for ... some attempts at representation of whatever some may designate as “Ulster-Scots” culture, a very substantial, crisply-printed, hardback volume of 527 pages has made its pertinent, positive appearance ... As well as introducing readers to significant works, the anthology offers fully annotated texts with biographical notices of each author. Ulster-Scots Writing will be treasured by all those interested in the cultural, linguistic and literary history of Ulster. It provides a timely contribution to debates on Ulster-Scots language, identity and heritage and celebrates a significant literary tradition … We must wholeheartedly admire Ferguson’s mighty labours, over 50 packed pages of Notes, to contextualise both intellectually and topographically his chosen material ... [T]his substantial, welcome, incubatory opus will demand close and rigorous reading, for a more educated perspective on the presently messy “Ulster-Scots” business’, Dr Eull Dunlop, Ballymena Guardian (September 2008).
‘Frank Ferguson has brought together a huge variety of writers, including poets, playwrights, essayists and novelists, into this comprehensive and fascinating anthology of Ulster-Scots writing ... This is everything a good anthology should be – accessible, readable and informative – you sit down to read about one writer, and end up reading the next page and the next... ’, Louise McIvor, Belfast Newsletter.
‘[A] unique and valuable collection’, Books Ireland (September 2008).
'This is a comprehensive volume of a rarely studied literary tradition’, Reference & Research book news.
‘Given the prominent and sometimes fraught position of ‘Ulster-Scots’ in Northern Irish culture, Frank Ferguson’s anthology is a crucial interjection. It functions simultaneously as literary anthology and historical sourcebook and represents the most comprehensive selection ever compiled from the Ulster-Scots literary tradition. As such, it greatly informs the debate and provides compelling proof of the extensive and consistent impact of lowland Scottish culture, religion and not least language, on the writing of Ulster over the course of four centuries. The challenging and often intriguing range of texts that the editor has retrieved confirms his assertion that ‘an archive exists which needs to be reassessed and understood’ and his footnotes provide useful contextual information for general readers and academics alike. The breadth of this collection is impressive, and this is testament to the editor’s thorough research and extensive knowledge of his subject…the real achievement of this collection lies in the neglected voices that Ferguson has retrieved… this collection is a timely reminder of [Scotland’s] profound and enduring connections with one of its closest neighbours', Stephen Dornan, History Scotland (May/Juen 2009).
‘This buik is the ane that aa scholars wi an interest in Ulster-Scots literature, history, sociology and politics haes been waitin for. It is aa there. For teachers o the literature and the leid, it will be ayont price, bringin thegither sic a gallimafray o poetry and prose. For scholars it is a hale hullion o gems. And gin ye jist want tae read it for pleisure, ye will dip intae it ower and ower again … The hale is weel annotatit, wi a cuttie bibliographical introduction tae each scriever, detailed fuitnotes for the academic reader, a glossary and an index. It will be a lang time afore this volume is supercedit as the definitive anthology o the Hamely Tongue’, Chris Robinson, Lallans.
‘Ulster-Scots Writing will be treasured by all those interested in the cultural, linguistic and literary history of Ulster. It provides a timely contribution to debates on Ulster-Scots language, identity and heritage and celebrates a significant literary tradition … We must wholeheartedly admire Ferguson’s mighty labours, over 50 packed pages of Notes, to contextualise both intellectually and topographically his chosen material … this substantial, welcome, incubatory opus will demand close and rigorous reading', Eull Dunlop, Familia: Ulster genealogical review (2009).
‘This weighty anthology is a sign of the maturity in the study of Ulster-Scots writing … Dr Ferguson is one of a new breed of objectively tough-minded academic explorers of Ulster Scots culture … Ulster-Scots Writing makes accessible for the first time a panoramic view of the expressive and creative riches of writing in Ulster, from religious polemics of the 1640s to the drama of the new millennium … a fascinating read, it is as messy and as vibrant as life itself', Gerard Carruthers, University of Glasgow, Innes Reviews (2010).