Jon Tait’s family have lived in the hills of the Anglo-Scottish borders for at least six hundred years. He is a direct descendent of a notorious seventeenth-century reiver family who lived in Barearse near Yetholm in Scotland, rustling cattle, burning farms and putting their neighbours to the sword. In this modern take on Scott’s Border Minstrelsy, Tait follows the reiver people as they are forced from their rural heartlands into the industrial and post-industrial North East of England in search of work. If Kinmont Willie Armstrong were around today, he would recognise himself and his people in a book that celebrates the working class culture of the North.
Jon Tait was born in Ashington, Northumberland in 1972. Barearse Boy is his first full collection of poems. He has previously published two chapbooks of poetry – Midnight at the Snake Motel and Lucky to Get Nowt – and a novel, First Plane Home. He is a postman and union rep in Carlisle, where he now lives.