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The Emma Press


Wain: LGBT reimaginings of Scottish folktales

Wain: LGBT reimaginings of Scottish folktales


Poems by Rachel Plummer, illustrated by Helene Boppert

“When I was a boy
the Wulver brought me fish –
a wet bouquet of them
at my window, scales gem
bright in the wooden dish,
gleaming. Ornate as koi.”

An Emma Press Children’s Collection (teens)
Approximate reading age: aimed at teens, but suitable for all ages

Page count: 88

Print ISBN: 9781910139479

Publication date: 28th February 2019

Rachel Plummer

Rachel Plummer is a poet living in Edinburgh. They are a Scottish Book Trust New Writer’s Award winner (2016) and have won or placed in numerous other awards and competitions, including the Troubadour Prize, the Flambard Prize, the Penfro, and Canterbury Festival’s Poet of the Year Award. Rachel’s poetry has appeared in magazines including The Dark Horse, Mslexia, Agenda, Interpreter’s House, Gutter and New Walk, and anthologies including New Writing Scotland (2017, published by ASLS), The Emma Press Anthology of Love, and 154 from Live Canon, an anthology of contemporary responses to Shakespeare’s sonnets. In 2017 they published a pamphlet of sci-fi poetry with House Press and received a cultural commission from LGBT Youth Scotland to write the poems that appear in Wain. They run creative writing workshops for children and teens. They have two children, three guinea pigs, and entirely too many books. 


Wain is a collection of LGBT themed poetry for teens based on retellings of Scottish myths. The collection contains stories about kelpies, selkies, and the Loch Ness Monster, alongside perhaps lesser-known mythical people and creatures, such as wulvers, Ghillie Dhu, and the Cat Sìth. These poems immerse readers in an enriching, diverse and enchanting vision of contemporary life.

The poems in this collection are fun, surprising, and full of a magical mix of myth and contemporary LGBT themes – it is a perfect read for teens who are learning more about themselves, other people, and the world around them. Wain is fully illustrated in colour, by Helene Boppert.

  • This is a YA book that includes and discusses many diverse LGBT identities through an array of different characters. This would be ideal for reading with teens who have questions about gender and sexuality, and for those who have LGBT family members and family friends.
  • The mythological and fantasy elements make it perfect for teens with an interest in myths, legends, fairy tales, and fantasy books.
  • Aimed at teens aged 13+, the book is suitable for all ages, with no adult content.
  • This is a collection with true crossover appeal – the rich mix of Scottish mythology and LGBT themes make it a rewarding and illuminating read for adults as well as younger readers.
  • The book comes with many pages of notes at the end – a glossary of mythological creatures and people mentioned, as well as writing prompts based on poems in the collection.

Donate a copy to a school

If you would like to donate one copy to a school, just enter the coupon code wain4schools at checkout to get 30% off a single copy of Wain – you can add an extra copy to your order or you can just order one copy as a donation. You can add a note to your order to say which school you’d like the book to be sent to, or you can just leave it up to us – we’ll make sure it goes to a good home.

If you’d like to donate more than one copy of Wain to schools, please enter the coupon code wain4schools-bulk at checkout and we’ll make sure all the books in the order are sent out to schools!

Praise for Wain

“The beauty of this book extends further than the words. It explodes in colour through the illustrations by Helene Boppert. Her work truly makes this collection stand out, the watercolour designs of the fairytale creatures emphasise the beauty of the poetry and set one’s imagination alight.” Renni Keay, Dundee Review of the Arts (DURA)

Additional information

Dimensions 15 × 21 cm

New print edition – foiled, Hardback, Paperback, eBook

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