In this new translation of Brecht’s great 1939 anti-war play Mutter Courage und ihre Kinder by the distinguished Scottish poet Tom Leonard, the Thirty Years War becomes the War on Terror and Mother Courage is a working-class woman from the West of Scotland speaking in the broad, bold Glaswegian dialect. It is a play about the language of politics and the politics of language.
Best known for his early dialectic poems such as ‘The Six o’clock News’, Tom Leonard has woven into his translation the arguments about culture and society that have run as a thread through all his work for almost fifty years.
Tom Leonard’s many books include a fictional biography of James Thomson and a pioneering anthology of neglected nineteenth century Scottish poetry, Radical Renfrew. His Intimate Voices: Selected Works 1965-83 was banned from Central Region school libraries in the same year that it shared the Scottish Book of the Year Award. In 2010 hisOutside the Narrative: Poems 1965-2009 was the Scottish Poetry Book of the Year. A collection of his literary and political criticism was recently published as Definite Articles: Selected Prose 1973-2012.