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!

Gutter: How Salt can be a Man & Gutter at Unbound, EIBF

Very excited to announce that my poem How Salt can be a Man will be in the next issue of Gutter Magazine!  “Gutter is a new, high quality, printed journal for fiction and poetry from writers born or living in Scotland. The editors believe there is a need for an energetic, ambitious magazine dedicated exclusively to the best in new Scottish creative writing.”

I’m so chuffed to be included in an issue with so many great names: Rob A Mackenzie, Tracey Emerson, Sally Evans, Brian Johnstone, JoAnne McKay, Ewan Morrison, and loads more amazing folk are included. I’m really humbled to be sharing the same pages!

The new issue is due out August 10th, and I’ll post photos as soon as I get my contributor copy, but I wanted to let you all know that Gutter will be having a free event at Unbound, in the Edinburgh International Book Festival, in case you want to buy a copy or sample the magazine up close, for free!
Event info:
Sunday 15 August
at the EIBF Speigeltent, Charlotte Square
This event is FREE and unticketed (just turn up) and features Michel Faber (The Crimson Petal and the White, Under the Skin, The Fire Gospel), Zoë Strachan (Negative Space, Spin Cycle), Ewan Morrison (Swung, Distance, Ménage) and Cheryl Follon (All Your Talk, Dirty Looks). They’ll be joined by newbies Helen Sedgwick and Allan Radcliffe and all will be reading from their own work and from some gems from Scottish literary history. Music is supplied by the sublimely gravel-voiced Grant Campbell.  It should be a great night, with some real eye-openers… and there’s a bar!
It really should be a stellar event, and I’ll be there! So say hi if you’re in town. Hope to see you there!