The Drouth (‘The Thirst’) is a quarterly magazine published in Glasgow, Scotland. Founded in 2001 by Mitch Miller and Johnny Rodger. We publish features and fiction and are especially interested in literature, film and politics but also cover visual art, music, architecture, photography and comix, and offer a generous allotment of space to creative fiction. Every issue has a particular theme which the contents have in some small or major way, something to do with.
We are very active in the Scottish arts scene, sponsoring a number of events across Scotland. We have also begun to publish books based on material that originally appeared in the magazine, the most recent being Fickle Man, with Sandstone Press. Every issue features a guest editor (usually someone of distinction in a given field) and guest cover artist. Our style and approach is eclectic but committed. There are few other magazines where Noam Chomsky might appear next to Robert Burns, or John Knox may be invited to guest edit an issue examining Fidel Castro and the current state of feminism.
The first issue, launched in June 2001, considered the aftermath of the ‘Section 2a’ (or Clause 28) dispute; in particular, its catastrophic effect on the pro-devolution consensus, particularly the growing rift between the political elite and the Catholic hierarchy. The poetics of Chris Deans’ play Sauna Lads, a follow up to work, which had incensed the religious and moral establishment of Scotland offered an excellent starting point from which to examine the issue. What became clear was that there were wider issues than the continued castigation of homosexuality; with the ability to join together in the resentment of the otherness of Thatcherism removed, the debate in Scotland turned on ‘the others’ within with full and relentless malice. Thus, through a novella by Johnny Rodger (Reform), poetic satire from Owen Dudley Edwards on the contours of Change in post devolution Scotland, and a wider look at ‘otherness’ through the depiction of native peoples on film, the concept of ‘the other’ was explored in depth.
Over the ensuing 10 years and 42 issues, the magazine has continued to identify themes of relevance – from class to bigotry, form to fact – and invite writers, artists and critics to comment on contemporary cultural and political affairs in both Scottish and international contexts. We have a particular emphasis io literature, film (the only magazine with a dedicated film output in Scotland) visual arts/architecture and politics. Since issue 6 we have invited guest editors to contribute to the magazine and since issue 14, guest artists. The roster of guest editors, artists and other contributors includes names such as Edwin Morgan, David Shrigley, Mark Cousins, Toby Paterson, Ilana Halperin, Alasdair Gray, Ken Currie, Rosemary Goring, Steve Ovett Effect, Alexandra Demenkova, Noam Chomsky, James Kelman, Agnes Owen, Tom Nairn and Christopher Harvie. Similarly, our editorial board draws from a wide range of disciplines to advise managing editors Johnny Rodger and Mitch Miller on the content and general direction of the magazine.
In the past two years the magazine has also branched out into releasing a series of books with a number of publishers aimed at the general reader that place literary artists in their social, political and cultural milieu. In 2008 we released Fickle Man (Sandstone Press), edited by Drouth editors Johnny Rodger and Gerry Carruthers, that collected the leading experts on Robert Burns from Scotland, England, Ireland and the USA, to assess the various impacts and impressions made by the poet. In 2010 we will publish, with Argyll Publishing, Tartan Pimps, an examination of the contribution made by writing and writers, to the development of a ‘new politics’ in Scotland. Further projects are planned.
Through these outlets, The Drouth allows writers across forms and disciplines to interact through their work, in a free, dialectic exchange of ideas, engaging with current issues. The aim is to show that art (however that is defined) can be relevant, challenging, even subversive, to established opinions and authorities, and need not be divorced from the political or social needs of its time.
The members of our Editorial Board are drawn from a range of disciplines. They are:
David Archibald, Freelance Film Journalist and Lecturer, University of Glasgow
Gerry Carruthers, Head of Dept Scottish Literature, University of Glasgow
Steve Davismoon, Composer and Lecturer in Music, Napier University
Owen Dudley Edwards, Author, Broadcaster and Honorary Fellow in History, University of Edinburgh
Dorian Grieve, Linguist and Editor, also of University of Glasgow
Emily Munro, Programmer and Head of Learning, The Glasgow Film Theatre
Ruaridh Nicoll, Journalist and Novelist
Elke Weissmann, Lecturer in Film and Television, Liverpool Edgehill University
Miriam Ross, Lecturer in Film, University of Victoria, New Zealand
Simon Kovesi, Acting Head of English, Oxford Brookes University
You can contact us @
Centre for Contemporary Arts
350 Sauchiehall Street
The Drouth commissions all work that is featured in the magazine and, unfortunately, is unable to accept unsolicited submissions. If you would like to get involved in The Drouth, please feel free to come to one of our events (normally advertised in @ Large section) and speak to one of the editors or, email us with some proposals.