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Poems

Welcome to my poetry page: some are in English, some in Scots. This is a small sample of my work.

Above: Reading of 'Forward Deck'

This poem won the Genomics Forum Poetry Prize. It's about the human wish to perfect our bodies and evade ageing.

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 Part of SEDA's Building Futures   conversation (2023) 

 Hillside and Hedge 

 

 Come closer – light the fire. Stand back 

 and watch it burn, from the first orange glow to 

 that crack – unfurling yellow: 

 the kindling’s took. 

 The log’s asmouldering. Turn 

 and look at your people, gathered 

 where you live. 

 

 Lay your head on your pillow 

 in a soft darkness, your window 

 curtained against the moon: go 

 to the places you must go alone: 

 the ways of the rivers in the sky, 

 the ways of the lines in your palm 

 in the land of your soul. 

 

 Wash your self in water from the burns, the lochs, 

 drawn into your tank. Rise 

 on the tide of the sun, and work, 

 doing the things you do, that weave 

 your life into the bigger web, beyond this. 

 Meet. 

 

 Make your life from these: 

 the different patches, the hours 

 like fields of different crop, on the hillside. 

 The hedgerows, in between, 

 where the sweetest moments live - 

 the joke, the touch, the dance, 

 the companionable meal - 

 the wild flowers and the birds 

 that spring upon your year. 

Hermony / Seein Distance

The distance atween

twa frequencies o soond

is whit perfects thaim,

heard thegither

Yer stanes cam awa

fae their cauf-grund tae shape

an airt whance ye micht

leuk back on it.

Nae city's sic a city as it thinks,

no sae faur fae the land lain aneath it.

Glesgae lilts, shairp twaloors, tae its redd -

stanes tae their rocks, glass tae its sandy bed -

I cam miles awa fae ye, juist tae fare

the seein distance whilk isnae there.

Published in Look Up Glasgow, Freight Books (2013).

Poetry Readings and Commissions

I enjoy taking part in poetry readings, in person and at online events. All of my longer poems touch on issues relating to ecology, climate change, finance, social history, and our relationship with the natural world. I also write about other current social issues, and other areas of science such as genetics. Other poems are concerned with myths, and use elements from Scottish folklore. I am also happy to take commissions for work in an area that interests me. Please get in touch via the contact form.

Commissions:

Anthologies of poetry (I am commissioned by the editor);

Collaborative pieces involving film-makers and musicians (I am commissioned by the producer or composer);

Events: commissioned to write a poem for a specific live event (I am commissioned by the event organiser);

Public bodies with archives: here, I work with their archives to produce a new poem;

Organisations: writing a poem on the specific theme of a conference (SEDA 2021).

Tandem Poetry Translation:

In Ukraine, I took part in a residency which involved tandem translation. I partnered with Ukrainian poet Halyna Kruk. We used bridge translations, and together spent time translating one another's work into our own language. This residency was sponsored by the British Council.

Film Screenings:

'Byland': screened at various locations as part of the Year of Natural Scotland

'Salt': screened in Glasgow

Magazines:

Some of my poems have been published in:

Gutter; Product; The Istanbul Review, and Poetry Scotland

Books:

Some of my poems have appeared in anthologies such as:

Look Up Glasgow; Umbrellas of Edinburgh; Neu!Reekie!Untitled

Awards:

The Genomics Forum Poetry Competition (winner)

The Montreal International Poetry Prize (long-listed)

Previous Readings include:

Edinburgh - International Book Festival, Fruitmarket Gallery, Scottish Poetry Library; Prague - The Alchemy Readings; Sharjah - International Book Fair; Lviv - International Book Forum; Bishkek - Open Central Asia Book Forum & Literature Festival; Belgrade - International Book Fair; Suzhou - Xian Jiaotong-Liverpool University.

Online - SEDA Land Conversations; Young Property Lawyers Forum.

Please get in touch if you think you might like to commission something, or would like to hire me for a reading.

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