Two poems in Umbrellas of Edinburgh anthology

umbrellas-of-edinburgh_cover2 Exciting news! Two of my poems were included in Umbrellas of Edinburgh, a new anthology of poetry and prose about Edinburgh. My poems ‘Every Trip I Have Taken to the Royal in 8 Years’ and ‘Making Bubbles outside the Modern Art Gallery’ sit alongside the work of some 70 other writers – a bumper collection covering the length and breadth of the city.


From Freight’s website:

Come on a journey. We begin at Blackness Castle, Edinburgh Airport, the Bridges in the far west, then on to Dean Village and the National Gallery of Modern Art in the West End, via Murrayfield, Tynecastle and the Diggers pub. Next to the Cafe Royal, South Bridge, Nicolson Square in the centre, taking in the Scott Monument and Princes Street on the way. The Royal Mile and Cowgate make way for Morningside and the Royal Observatory on Blackford Hill. These are just some of the unforgettable locations that inspire the poetry and occasional prose in Umbrellas of Edinburgh.

Scotland’s capital has always excited the literary mind; the narrow cobbled streets and ornate turrets a contradiction crying out to be explored and fashioned into metaphor. This is a landmark anthology containing the work of seventy writers including Ryan Van Winkle, JL Williams, Aonghas Macneacail, Gerda Stevenson, Pippa Goldschmidt, Hamish Whyte, Jane Goldman, Theresa Muñoz, Rob A Mackenzie, Colin Will, Richie McCaffrey, Sophie Cooke, Forward Prize-shortlisted Harry Giles and Edinburgh Makar Christine De Luca; a selection that perfectly demonstrates the vitality of the Scottish literary scene.

Umbrellas of Edinburgh anthology page at Freight


Forthcoming Launch events


The official launch event was November 3rd to great fanfare!

But don’t worry – there’s still time to get involved! Additional launch events at Blackwells will take place on Tuesday 15th November (6:30pm) and Tuesday 22nd November (6:00pm). Hope you can come along! So far they promise readings, drink, cake, tote bags and general literary merriment!

Edit: Some writers will be reading their work at the Cameo on the 20th November to coincide with the preview screening of the new Jim Jarmusch film, Paterson. Another way to check out Umbrellas of Edinburgh and catch a movie at the same time!

Umbrellas of Edinburgh homepage


Taking My Mother to Higher Ground poem in Scotia Extremis anthology


Life is amazing isn’t it. I have a baby that takes up 100% of my time and preoccupies ALL my thoughts; America’s just made a massive decision (atrocity) that doesn’t represent me or portend a safe future; and I’ve just gotten home from a picturesque weekend away looking for starling murmurations. However does the mind cope with extremes?

But here is some good news! I’m pleased to say my poem ‘Taking My Mother to Higher Ground‘ has been included in the online anthology Scotia Extremis, an epic collection of poems where Scottish extremes meet!

Brainchild of Brian Johnstone and Andy Jackson, at Scotia Extremis each week two poems from the extremes of Scottish culture are paired together. The Barras meets Jenners, Tartan meets Tweed, Jekyll & Hyde meet Burke & Hare – to name but a few of the cultural collisions so far seen on the blog!

My poem about a walk up Arthur’s Seat (a relatively easy hill to climb in Edinburgh) is paired with Jacqueline Thompson’s stellar ‘The In Pin’ about the Inaccessible Pinnacle, a proper mountaineering feat in Skye which requires a rock climb and abseil! Definitely worth a read! Plus we’re week 42 of the pairings so plenty more great poems to keep you entertained. Hope you enjoy it!

Every Woman poem in Dazzle Ships pamphlet

Ciara Phillips’ Dazzle Ship in Leith Docks

Just a quick update to big-up the Dazzle Ships project that my poem ‘Every Woman’ has been included in!

Essentially, as part of the Edinburgh Art Festival, artist Ciara Phillips was commissioned to ‘dazzle’ a ship at Leith docks in the style of warships that were dazzled in the First World War as a form of camouflage. It is an amazing piece of art, which can still be viewed (so go check it out near Ocean Terminal while you can!), hand painted by a team of women artists, mirroring the women who painted the ships during the war.

Marjorie Lotfi Gill invited a group of 20 women poets (including me!) to write poems responding to the dazzle ship for a pamphlet called Signal. You can read Marjorie’s blog post to learn more about this project and the pamphlet:

My poem ‘Every Woman’, inspired by the dazzle ship, was the Scottish Poetry Library’s Poem of the Moment last week so you can read it here:

Poem of the Moment
My poem ‘Every Woman’ on the Scottish Poetry Library website

At the start of the Edinburgh Art Festival, poems from the pamphlet were read to kick off the exhibit, but a launch for the pamphlet with readings of some of the Dazzle poems will take place at Edinburgh Book Shop on August 22nd:

Signal pamphlet launch
at the Edinburgh Book Shop (Bruntsfield, at Holy Corner)
Monday 22 August
Free but ticketed.

Spaces are limited but I hope you can make it if you’re in the area! And definitely have a gander of the Dazzle Ship while it is still in port. A sight to behold!

EDIT: Readings of the poems are now available on Soundcloud here! Thanks Marjorie for reading mine in my absence!