I am at heart a poet. I was poet in residence in the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh in summer 2013, as part of a project called 'Walking with Poets' run by the Scottish Poetry Library. You can find out more about this on the project blog or listen to this podcast. I focused on tree poetry, and the final project party was also the launch of the beautiful poetry anthology Into the Forest.
I have two collections of poetry: Castings, published by Two Ravens Press in 2007, and letting light in, published by Essencepress in 2005. These are both out of print on paper, but available on Amazon. There are also several hand-crafted booklets of my nature writing, called Earth Wondering.
My next collection will consist of poems about Assynt and about people, and it will be coming out from a different publisher. I wish I could tell you more about its publication, but for now I simply have to tantalise until I have more news.
In 2009 I was awarded a Scottish Arts Council writer's bursary, to do a 'literary dig' of Assynt, and among the results were many new poems delving back into the past or into the politics of land ownership, and many inspired by wildlife and nature. I'm also inspired by Norman MacCaig, who wrote a lot about Assynt, and in 2010 I ran the celebration of the centenary of his birth. A Passion for Assynt, my long poem responding to Norman MacCaig's A Man in Assynt, was in the autumn 2010 issue of Northwords Now. There's a video of it below.
I have had around 180 poems published over the years in magazines and anthologies. These include: Gutter, Poetry Scotland, Orbis, Message in a Bottle, Northwords Now, the Scottish PEN magazine, Dreamcatcher, Obsessed with Pipework, Stravaig, Prole, Pank, Obsessed with Pipework, Equinox, The Rialto and Acumen.
'The Makar's Bucket', a poem commissioned to welcome Liz Lochhead to the position of Scotland's Makar, or national poet, was published in Poetry Scotland. I haven't yet completed one for Jackie Kay, but I'm working on it, along with a couple of other commissions!
Below is a video of my long poem, A Passion for Assynt, a response to Norman MacCaig's poem, A Man in Assynt.