Poetry

Poetry Scotland has been relaunched, now edited by Andy Jackson and Judy Taylor. For their first issue in Spring 2021, they received over 800 submissions, followed by over 400 for the second issue under their stewardship, i.e. #102. I was delighted to have my poem ‘Keening’ appear in it. Do click through to their website and consider subscribing. It’s top quality literature at a keen price.

 

 

 

Gutter issue 23 was published in February 2021 and included my poem ‘Holding all the aces’. This was a big deal for me, as the poem is a very personal account of the negative impact on my life of Adverse Childhood Experiences. I shared it on Twitter and it struck a chord. If you’d like to see the response and that sharing of personal experience of trauma, have a look at my Twitter feed here

 

 

 

 

 

I don’t know how they do it, but the people at Dreich have done it again. Thanks, Jack Caradoc et al for including my work in 2020’s Dreich 5 and now in October 2021’s Wee Dreich 5. It’s a pleasure to have four poems in this wee jewel of a pamphlet. You can find out more about Dreich at https://hybriddreich.co.uk/

The Scottish Writers’ Centre’s poetry pamphlet series kicks off with this one, entitled ‘Island and Sea’, published and launched in March 2020. It has beautiful production values and utterly beautiful writing. I’m delighted to have my poem ‘Beach’ in it, appearing for the first time in print. For info about the themes and deadlines for the next chapbooks in the series, follow the SWC on Facebook.

Delighted that Firth published my tiny poem ‘Lords of Misrule’ in their second issue. And that Gutter published my poem ‘Accessories’ in issue 19.

In the days before in-house washing machines, women used to trudge their laundry – often on their pram – to the local washhouse, or ‘steamie’, in the public bathhouses in urban Scotland. In July 2016, my poem ‘Indigo’ featured in a poetry event celebrating Govanhill and other steamies, and was printed in a commemorative pamphlet. Here I am, waving my arms around to describe the technicalities of laundry operations, prior to reading ‘Indigo’ to the audience at the Glasgow Women’s Library.

 

 

My poem ‘First Floor Bedroom, Penruddock’ was selected to appear in Landfall, the 2017 anthology of new writing from the Federation of Writers (Scotland).

Did you know that Stanza is mapping Scotland in poetry? Stanza is the biggest and best celebration of poetry in Scotland, and one of the leading poetry festivals in the UK and beyond. The festival is held in St Andrews in March. Here’s a link to their website

Now, the Stanza blog has set out to cover the entirety of Scotland with pins and poetry. I was delighted that they accepted my poem ‘Social Climbing: the Bearsden/Drumchapel Divide’ for their blog at the end of September 2014. You can read my poem if you click on that link. There are over two hundred poems posted to the blog now. It’s a fabulous project and a great resource for anyone interested in poetry written in and about Scotland. It’s well worth visiting the site itself.

Stanza poetry map of Scotland as at Oct 2014
Stanza poetry map of Scotland

Some years ago, three of my poems appeared in Glasgow-based magazine Cutting Teeth. Freight Books published my poem ‘Transience’ in The Knuckle End anthology in 2004, and five years later it was included in the Brownsbank anthology. In 2011, I took part in a charity fundraising writing production in the aftermath of the huge tsunami which struck Japan; Cargo Publishing included three of my haiku in A Thousand Cranes: Scottish Writers for Japan.

Recently, I’ve resurrected some of my draft poems from over the years, and have been sending them out. I’ve had some rejections (that’s the writing life!), but I’ve also had some acceptances, including two poems in From Glasgow to Saturn ezine issue 32, and a further two in The Istanbul Review. You can read the Glasgow to Saturn poems online here.

My poem War Bird appeared in Gutter 10 in February 2014