Following their call for illustrators, the Emma Press has chosen Helene Boppert, a Germany-based artist, to illustrate Wain, an upcoming poetry collection by Rachel Plummer featuring LGBTQ+ poems retelling Scottish myths and legends.

Helene Boppert is based in Germany and studied Fine Art and Illustration in Hamburg. She started working as an Illustrator in editorial and book publishing in 2015, has also self-published an illustrated book about the lives of Codebreakers, which features Bletchley Park. She uses watercolours in her work to ‘illustrate soft, vivid, imaginative slices of life.’

Helene Boppert says: ‘A patreon supporter of mine made me aware of the book Wain, and once I read the sample poems, I knew it would be great fun to combine my own personal experience as part of the LGBTQ+ community and my life-long interest and passion for all things mythical, fairytale and folklore. Not only that, but in literature, poetry especially touches me and helps me understand the world, so illustrating books like that is a joy.’

Wain was commissioned by LGBT Youth Scotland, which is the largest youth and community-based organisation for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in Scotland. The cultural commission was funded by Creative Scotland. The collection contains stories about kelpies, selkies, and the Loch Ness Monster and many more mythical people  and creatures. The publisher’s call for illustrators ran from the 24th October to the 4th November and drew 121 submissions from illustrators.

Poet Rachel Plummer is based in Edinburgh, and she won a Scottish Book Trust New Writers Award in 2016. She has a pamphlet of sci-fi poetry, The Parlour Guide to Exo-Politics, currently available from House Press.

The book is scheduled for publication as a full-colour, fully-illustrated deluxe paperback (£12.00) on 9th February 2019, to tie in with LGBT History Month. The book is available for pre-order here.