A POET described as one of Scotland’s “most neglected” will finally see her first full collection of work published – at the age of 86.

Josie Neill, who lives in Dumfries, recalls her childhood in the Ayrshire village of Muirkirk in her new book, There’s Ma Mammy Wavin’.

Mostly writing in Scots, the poems recall people and events from the 1940s and 50s, including wartime refugees arriving and local miners heading home to wash and eat after shifts down the pit.

Neill said: “It was a wee, isolated village among the hills. And it was a very close-knit small community.

“I loved it. I loved it as a child, as a young person growing up. I loved the language, it was an inspiring kind of language. And I loved the people – there was a true humanity.

“Some of what I’ve written about were the everyday things, like the miners heading home – and the way their handsomeness showed, even through all the coal dust. And then there were the unusual things like the refugees arriving, coming there from Glasgow.”

There’s Ma Mammy Wavin’ is the fourth publication from a new imprint called Drunk Muse Press, which has been set up by a group of writers including Dumfries and Galloway poet Hugh McMillan.

It will be launched on September 26 at Wigtown Book Festival, and Neill hopes to be present and to read some of her work if her health allows.

McMillan said: “Josie is one of the most neglected poets in Scotland and I’m really pleased that a full collection of her poetry is being published at long last.

“She’s a highly respected figure and writes in a rich, beautiful and vibrant Scots. I think she has been overlooked for several reasons – one is that she was a woman writing in a very male dominated world, writing mostly in Scots at a time when it was very marginalised and also because she was living in Dumfries and Galloway.

“But I see this as one of the most important publications in Scots of the last 20 years.”

This year’s Wigtown Book Festival is a bumper one for poetry, and includes the presentation of the awards for the annual Wigtown Poetry Prize.