I am a latecomer to writing poetry, my journey began in 2006. I write mainly in free verse, and sometimes in Scots language. Most of my poems have been published in anthologies as a result of submitting to competitions or by invitation. Inspiration comes to me from many sources: nature; mundane inanimate objects; animal abuse; family; social issues – anything at all!
I have also been most fortunate to have poems published in public spaces: on a banner commemorating the suffragette movement, in tiny books, as postcards, in windows, as film poems, on BBC radio and local community radio stations in Scotland and Adelaide, South Australia. I love poems being off the page where they are accessible to people who might not otherwise experience them.
I was very proud to produce my own poetry booklet ‘Salt & Soil’ under CrawsNest Press, launched in August 2017. Copies have sold internationally, and the booklet is approaching a fourth print-run. See below for more information.
Some of my most delightful inclusions
One poem that has taken a life of its own, is ‘The Herrin(g) Trail. Written in Scots it has appeared in many forms and was short-listed for the Herald/McCash poetry prize in 2011. In grand company here.Here it is on the stunning banner created by Dunbar Dementia Carers Support Group with Fiona Hermse of Luminate. I had visited this wonderful, talented and fun group on several occasions to share my poetry and harp music, and was honoured to have my poem included on their banner, commissioned by Artichoke 14-18 NOW WW1 Centenary Art Commissions 100 Years 100 Banners PROCESSIONS and designed by Fiona Hermse. Some of us marched in Edinburgh on 10 June 2018 along with thousands and thousands of others marking the anniversary of women gaining the vote.
- Here is a link to the entry for StAnza 2016, the Scottish International Poetry Festival where I played clarsach (small lever harp) at the opening ceremony, and was fortunate to have ‘City of Adelaide Bleeds‘ featured on a loop. My poem Sunny Dunbar was published on their poetry map of Scotland a few years ago.
(There have been a couple of developments since that was published)
My poem Sunny Dunbar was published on their poetry map of Scotland a few years ago –
- 18 May – Opening Event – Coastword Festival – Launch of Salt & Soil, Dunmuir Hotel, Dunbar. £5 entry. Tickets available from https://www.coastword.co.uk/coastword-2018/salt-and-soil
- 10 May – Craigmillar Thistle Scribblers Anthology Launch
- 29 April – Vibrant Musselburgh
- Blackwell’s Bookshop stocks ‘Salt & Soil’
- 17 February – World Community Arts Day, Craigmillar Library, Edinburgh
- 13 February – Vespers 15, 7.30pm, Serenity Cafe, Edinburgh
- 03 February – Platform Poetry at Ladybank, Fife – 7pm – includes music on clarsach (small lever harp)
- 12 December – Poetry Pamphlet Fair – National Library of Scotland – 6pm
- 06 December – Soft Launch, 7pm – From the Horse’s Mouth, Summerhall, Edinburgh
- 16 November – Fisherrow Open Night – 7pm – Fisherrow Centre, Musselburgh: I’ll be playing clarsach as folk arrive and reading from ‘Salt & Soil’
- 23 November – ‘This is it!’ Literary Cabaret – 7-8.30pm – Central Hall, West Tollcross, Edinburgh – Poetry Readings and booklet sales
Salt & Soil Library Tour, East Lothian
- 2 December – 11.00am – 12pm – Gullane Library
- 1 December – 2.30 – 3.30pm – Ormiston Library
- 30 November – 2.00 – 3.00pm – Musselburgh Library (closed event for City of Adelaide presentation)
- 29 November – 2.00 – 3.00pm – Dunbar Library
- 28 November – 2.30 – 3.30pm – Longniddry Library
- 27 November – 2.30 – 3.30pm – Port Seton Library