‘Skellat Bellmen and Stirling Harps’, with Kirstie Blair, May 26th, Stirling details tbc

‘Walking Stirling’, May 27th Stirling, details tbc

‘”Dark Restless Borderers”: James Hogg and Walter Scott’, 12th October, Edinburgh, details tbc


‘Creative Responses to Intangible Cultural Heritages’, St Cecilia’s Hall, Edinburgh, 3rd March, 11 am – 4.15 pm.

Hosted by Museums Galleries Scotland, featuring acclaimed artist, Ben Edge, Steve Byrne (Traditional Arts and Culture Scotland), Dr Valentina Bold (The Crichton Trust) and performers Janos Lang and Ando Glaso in the beautiful St Cecilia’s Hall. The event included a guided discussion of St Celia’s Hall Musical Instrument Collection. It explored how museums, and other organisations, can safeguard and promote ICH to be a truly inspiring and creative influence.

‘The Immortal Memory of James Hogg and Robert Burns’, James Hogg and Robert Burns Festival (Canongate Kilwinning Lodge), Chapel of St John, Edinburgh 25th January 2023, 6.30 pm

James Hogg’s The Royal Jubilee: A Scottish Mask: Full Recording of Rehearsed Reading at Scottish Poetry Library, Dec 2022) December 2nd 2022, 7.30 pm. With Dolina Maclennan, Sheena Wellington, Ajay Close, Asif Khan and Kirsteen McCue, directed by Valentina Bold. See, too, the SPL blog on this event.

‘A Celebration of James Hogg’, Saltire Festival 2020. 20th August 2022, 7 – 8.30 pm. Saltire Society, Edinburgh

‘Up the Middle Road’ (The Crichton Royal) for Northword ‘Storytagging’: Fort William, 8th June and Inverness, 15th June 2022

“Up the Middle Road”: Crichton Stories of Recovery and Resilience. 18th May 2022, AK Bell Library, Perth. A discussion of work in progress, combining first-hand recordings of former patients and staff with archival research, leading to dynamic site tours and learning picnics for schools. Based on an HLF-funded project discovering the hidden histories of Scotland’s last, and arguably grandest asylums. Part of Scotland’s Year of Stories #YS2022, supported by Museum Galleries Scotland Community. Bookings through the Crichton Trust.

Up the Middle Road: Crichton Stories of Recovery and Resilience. 24/25th June, 2022 Supported by Year of Scotland’s Stories #YS2022 with Year of Stories Community Stories Fund support @EventScotNews @HeritageFundUK @MuseumsGalScot; the Crichton Foundation and Archie Sutter Watt Trust:

Discover an asylum’s hidden history: Dumfries’ Crichton Royal. Patients’ and staff’s first-hand stories are shared, in words and songs, as you tour the landscaped estate. ‘Up the Middle Road’ is the local name for the former Crichton Royal Asylum, founded 1838 in Dumfries. This event shares its lived experiences of mental health – until recently, buried in a culture of silence. This dynamic performance takes place out of doors. Audience and performers pass together through the centre of The Crichton’s parkland, rock gardens, sports fields and woods, pausing by the historic buildings — which many remember as a ‘village’.

Through words and music, the voices of former patients, nurses, support staff and those who grew up on site will be heard, where they happened: powerful and authentic, reflecting life from the 1930s to 1990s. Recorded by the event director, Dr Valentina Bold, as part of an oral history project, these powerful, authentic accounts are compassionate and inspiring: stories of resilience and recovery. The event brings together storyteller Amanda Edmiston, who specialises in healing tales, award-winning tour guide Kathleen Cronie and internationally-renowned singers and musicians, Emily Smith and Jamie Maclennan.

The performance will start at Crichton Central and will last for approx. 90 minutes including a 15 minute interval. Tickets are £5.50, including booking fee. Free for former patients and staff of the Crichton Royal.

Book for Friday 24th June, 6 pm Book for Saturday 25th June, 3 pm

Why the Ettrick Shepherd Still Matters: James Hogg at 250. Roundtable discussion at the 3rd World Congress of Scottish Literatures, Prague, 22 – 26 June, 2022. Participants: Dr Valentina Bold; Dr Adrian Hunter (University of Stirling); Prof Silvia Mergenthal (University of Konstanz); Dr Meiko O’ Halloran (University of Newcastle); Duncan Hotchkiss (University of Stirling). this event, postponed from 2020, is a legacy event from ‘James Hogg 250’: a year of celebrations February 2020 to December 2021. From the Borders to Edinburgh, to Washington and Otago, it comprised creative events and initiatives. The aim of this panel is to celebrate Hogg as a poet, novelist, storyteller and songwriter, much more than simply the admired writer of Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner.

William Soutar Birthday Lecture: ‘To Ride Oniewhaur’: William Soutar and Scottish Tradition. 22nd April 2022, 6 pm, A.K. Bell Library, Perth:

Friday 16th December 2021, 10.30 – 4.30 pm A Folklore Museums Network, Historic Environment Scotland and Museums Galleries Scotland collaborative workshop looking at the identification, interpretation and collection of Intangible Cultural Heritage:

Saturday 21st September 2021, 1.30 – 2.30 pm ‘A the Airts, Sanquhar, ‘Festival of Folklore’: ‘Swords in Stories: the epic tale of a sword, a story and a song

In Search of Sir Walter Scott, BBC Scotland, 10th August 2021, 10 pm

Valentina participated, as an expert in Scottish cultural heritage, in this programme to mark the 250th anniversary of the birth of Sir Walter Scott. Author Damian Barr goes in search of the legacy and lasting influence of one of Scotland’s great historical figures, novelists and poets.

Unforgettable, Unforgotten Roundtable Discussion, 29th of June 2021, 4.45 – 5.30 pm

Hosted by the School of Divinity at the University of Edinburgh, this roundtable took inspiration from ‘Unforgettable, Unforgotten’ – the title of prolific Scottish author Anna Buchan’s 1945 autobiography. It was part of a day seminar featuring scholars who are investigating and exploring overlooked, marginalised, or ‘forgotten’ Scottish women writers between 1880 and 1940.

The Shepherd & the Shirra: James Hogg & Walter Scott at 250, 11th Feb 2021, 5pm – 6pm

In this event, award-winning writer James Robertson and cultural critic Valentina Bold discussed James Hogg, ‘The Ettrick Shepherd’ (1770 – 1835), and Walter Scott, ‘The Great Unknown’ and ‘The Shirra’ (1771 – 1832). Original, innovative and skilled, they were almost exact contemporaries; Borderers at heart, but from very different backgrounds. This event explored the lives and works of these Scottish writers of international significance, and celebrates their distinctive legacies in poetry and prose, from The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner to the Waverley novels.

Hogg at 250: A Dundee Showcase Friday 29th January 2021, 7 pm – 8 pm. Online event:

This event celebrated the 250th birthday of Scotland’s greatest storyteller, James Hogg. It introduced Confessions of a Justified Sinner: The Dundee Edition, a free online edition of Hogg’s most iconic work of fiction; launched the latest free poetry pamphlet by the Wyvern Poets; and shared early glimpses of Monica Burns’s exciting work-in-progress graphic novel A Justified Sinner. It began with a short plenary address by leading Hogg expert Valentina Bold.

Image courtesy of Monica Burns. Follow the Dundee Gothic Group on Twitter (@DundeeGothic).

Angle of Vision: Storytelling on the Cosmic Tide. An Orkney Digital Storytelling Symposium Thursday 28th January, 2021.

The Orkney Digital Storytelling project is a collaboration between Robert Gordon University, the University of the Highlands and Islands Institute for Northern Studies and key stakeholders in Orkney. The project is funded by the Royal Society of Edinburgh

BBC Radio Scotland: Scotland Outdoors, A Robert Burns Special with Valentina Bold Podcast first broadcast on 20th of January 2021 and available for 30 days for download.

James Hogg Jubilee 1770 – 2020

On the 1st of December 2020,Valentina organised and co-hosted, with Adrian Hunter, an online event to celebrate James Hogg, a Scottish writer of international standing, on his 250th birthday. Stirling University hosts the Stirling / South Carolina Research Edition of The Collected Works of James Hogg, published by Edinburgh University Press The event explained why Hogg is still important, 250 years after the birth of the celebrated writer of The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner, bringing together a wonderful group of eminent writers, singers, performers and academics, to mark Hogg’s 250th Jubilee.

Coming together to toast Hogg. From Ettrick to Edinburgh, Dundee to Fife, Europe, the USA and New Zealand, speakers included:

Award-winning writers James Robertson and Liam McIlvanney; Scots-language authority and broadcaster Billy Kay; songs from Sheena Wellington and Kirsteen McCue; academic experts Prof Ian Duncan, Prof Penny Fielding, Prof Silvia Mergenthal and Dr Daniel CookDr Nancy Groce of the American Folklife Center, Library of CongressVicky Davidson, of Ettrick & Yarrow Community Development Company; from St Mary’s Loch, Jim Mitchell;  Donald Smith, Chief Executive of Traditional Arts and Culture Scotland and Bruce Gilkinson, author of ‘Walking with James Hogg’ and a direct descendant of the Ettrick Shepherd.

These special guests each offered a toast to Hogg, explaining why he is important to them and why his work still matters in 2020 and beyond, in what was a sparkling celebration.

‘Why James Hogg (Still) Matters at 250: Collector, Song-Maker, National Treasure’, Plenary Lecture, James Hogg: Scotland’s Shepherd Poet Symposium, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress, Washington. 21st February 2020.

This one-day symposium, supported by the Library of Congress, University of Stirling, and Scottish Government USA, explored the work of James Hogg, “The Ettrick Shepherd” (1770-1835). Hogg was an influential Scottish song-maker, folklore collector, novelist, and poet. Inspired by Robert Burns, colleague of Walter Scott, and friend of Lord Byron, Hogg played a major role in creating and promoting Scottish culture, within Scotland and internationally. Widely read in 19th century America, he is best remembered for his novels, including The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner (1824) and his folksong collection Jacobite Reliques (1819).

This symposium, for the first time, compared Hogg’s work with that of more recent American performers and collectors, who also served as intermediaries between the worlds of folk, popular, and literary culture. Speakers will explore issues around field collecting, song transmission and creation over the past three centuries. An afternoon of presentations and discussions will be capped by a performance featuring renowned singer Sheena Wellington, who has recorded and performed some of Hogg’s best known songs.

Lecture, ‘She came with a drove of cattle to Hallow, Fair, Edinburgh’: Halloween in Popular Print, Scotland’, at Skeling, Skeklers and Guising’, Scottish Storytelling Centre, Edinburgh, Sunday 24th November 2019.

This lecture was part of a day celebrating Scotland’s storytelling traditions, at the Scottish Storytelling Centre, in Edinburgh. Organised by the Taibshear Collective:

‘The Whole Hogg’ Wigtown Book Town Festival Podcast with Valentina Bold, Graeme Macrae Burnett and Stuart Kelly. Hosted by Stuart Kelly and Peggy Hughes. 25th September 2020

It’s braw to ride round and follow the camp’: the linguistic journey of a Scots song, with an Irish soldier, through space and time’ Zoom presentation, Multilinguality in Folklore Conference hosted by ZRC-Sazu, Ljubliana, Slovenija. 1st – 3rd October 2020.

Public Lecture, ‘Why James Hogg (still) matters: James Hogg 250’, North Bute Literary Society, Rothesay, Bute, 12th November 2019.

As Discussant, in ‘Angelou on Burns’, Wigtown Book Festival. 2nd October 2019

‘Angelou on Burns’ Screening and Discussion, Wigtown Book Festival, October 2019
Left to right: Shona Thomson, Elly Taylor (dir), Valentina Bold, Yemurai Chaza.

At the age of eight on the dirt roads of Arkansas, Dr. Maya Angelou, poet, novelist, educator and civil rights activist discovered the poetry of Robert Burns. In 1996 Elly Taylor made a film exploring the strong parallels that existed in their lives. This rare screening is followed by a discussion with director Elly Taylor and international Burns scholar Dr Valentina Bold (who features in the film). The event will be curated by Shona Thomson from A Kind of Seeing, with thanks to Taylored Productions Ltd. [515](Director: Elly Taylor, 1996, 48 mins, Recommended Certificate 12).

As Rapporteur,  at ‘Future Proofing Our Sector’, Dundee 1st October 2019

This free (but ticketed) event from Literature Alliance Scotland provides a space and time to bring together members, literature professionals and peers as well as others working in Scotland’s literature, languages and publishing sector for a planning and information-sharing day, with plenty of time to chat to and connect with other delegates and peers from Scotland’s literature, languages and publishing sector.