Poet Biographies


Stewart Conn

poet and playwright, was born in Glasgow  in 1936 but grew up in Ayrshire. He worked for many years for BBC Scotland in Glasgow but since 1977 he has lived in Edinburgh where he was Head of BBC Radio Drama until 1992. During 2002-2005 he was Edinburgh's Makar (poet laureate). 
He is the author of many collections, editor of numerous anthologies and recipient of many awards, the latest being the 2011 Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust Poetry Book of the Year prize for 'The Breakfast Room' (Bloodaxe, 2010), its title poem inspired by a picture by Bonnard.

Photo by Jemimah Kuhfeld

  Photo credit Alasdair Young 
  Vicki Feaver                      

English-born, but living in South Lanarkshire, is author of three poetry collections, the most recent 'The Book of Blood' (2006), shortlisted for the Costa Poetry Award and the Forward Prize. Her poem 'Judith', in 'The Handless Maiden' (1994), won the Forward Prize for the Best Single Poem. She is Professor Emeritus at Chichester University. She is a judge (with W N Herbert and Nick Laird) for the National Poetry Competition 2012.

 Photo by Alasdair Young   


   John Glenday 

   Collections have won Scottish Arts Council Book Award and Poetry Book
   Society  ecommendation. 1990/91 was appointed Scottish/Canadian 
   Exchange Fellow, based at the University of Alberta, Edmonton. In 2010 he
   was shortlisted for the Ted Hughes Prize for Excellence in New Poetry and for
   the Griffin Poetry Prize 2010 for his most recent collection  'Grain'. In 2011, he 
   was a National Poetry Competition Judge along with Jackie Kay and Colette 
   He lives in Drumnadrochit and worked as an Addictions Councillor
   but is now  retired.

Photo by McIntosh

                                                                  Jackie Kay

was born in Glasgow in 1961 to a Scottish mother and a Nigerian father. She was adopted by a Scottish white couple and grew up in a suburb of Glasgow. This experience inspired her first collection of poetry, 'The Adoption Papers' (1991).Her most recent publications are 'Red Dust Road', (2010) an account of her search for her birth parents, and 'Fiere' winner of the Costa Book Prize for Poetry, 2011. She also writes extensively for stage, screen and children.
Jackie Kay became a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in 2006. In 2011 she was a National Poetry Judge along with John Glenday (q.v.)  and Colette Bryce. She is currently Professor of Creative Writing at Newcastle University, and lives in Manchester.

Photo: Denise Else

                                                    Liz Lochhead

 Makar, Scotland's National Poet, Liz was born in Motherwell, Lanarkshire 
          and is a famed playwright as well as poet.  She studied at Glasgow 
          School of Art and taught art at schools in Glasgow and Bristol. She was 
          Writer in Residence at Edinburgh University (1986-7) and Writer in 
          Residence at the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1988. Her first 
          collection of poems, 'Memo for Spring', was published in 1972 and won 
          a Scottish Arts Council Book Award. In 1978 she travelled to Canada, 
          after being  selected for a Scottish Writers Exchange Fellowship. 
          Amongst her many plays are  'Dreaming Frankenstein' and  Scots' 
          versions of 'Medea' and 'Tartuffe'. 'The Colour of Black and White: Poems
          1984-2003' (Polygon, 2003) and 'A Choosing: Selected Poems'  (Polygon,
          2011) are her most recent poetry collections.
          Liz Lochhead lives in Glasgow. She was awarded an honorary degree 
          by  the University of Edinburgh in 2000 and was appointed Makar in 2011. 
          She works tirelessly to  promote poetry in Scotland and throughout
          the U.K., supporting other poets and poetry projects for children and 
          young people. 
Photo by Norman McBeath
                                      Aonghas MacNeacail                                              
 born in 1942 in Uig, on the Isle of Skye. As well as a poet, he is a
 broadcaster, journalist, script-writer, librettist and translator. A native Gaelic speaker,  he writes in  Gaelic and English but in 2010 won the MacCash prize for a poem in Scots (under a  pseudonym). He won the Scottish Writer of the Year Stakis Prize for his third collection 'Oidenchadh Ceart' ('A Proper Schooling') in 1992 and he launched a new collection of  selected poems 'Laughing at the Clock/Deanamh gaire ris a' chloc' (Polygon) this year to mark his 70th birthday. 
In 2006 he won the Wigtown Gaelic Prize and in 2005 was one of the prize-winners in the  Gaidhlig/Gaelige Strokestown Poetry Competition In Ireland, a competition he was later to  co-judge two years' running, 2010 and 2011.   He played the not insignificant  role of God in Alistair Gray's play 'Fleck' at the Edinburgh International Book Festival in 2011.  An experienced tutor of writing, he leads workshops at all levels and for all ages.    


Photo: Kevin MacNeil

Other Poets Performing:

  Patricia Ace

  Her  pamphlet  'First Blood' is published by HappenStance, 2006.  She won the
  Aesthetica  prize in 2008 and the Plough Prize in 2010. Her first collection,
  'Fabulous Beasts', is due out shortly with Freight Books, 2012.  She has an MLitt
  in C/W  from Glasgow  University (2008) for which she received a distinction.

  Of Welsh/West Indian parentage, she grew up in the Middle East and
  Canada and now lives in Crieff, Perthshire where she works as a yoga-teacher.

Eunice Buchanan

writes in English and Scots. Her poem 'Old Woman in the Attic' was published on a Scottish Poetry Library postcard in 2003, she was a runner-up in the BBC Wildlife Poetry Competition 2004 and won the McCash Poetry Prize in 2005.  She also been the winner of the Lallans poetry and short story prizes.  She has an MPhil  and PhD in Creative Writing from Glasgow University.  A retired primary school teacher, she now spends half the year in Scotland and the other in Australia.

Photo by Stephanie Green

Niall Campbell

originally from South Uist in the Western Isles. He recently received an Eric Gregory award (2011) and a Robert Louis Stevenson fellowship (2011). Niall graduated from the Creative Writing MLitt at the University of St Andrews in 2009. His first pamphlet  'After the Creel Fleet' was published by HappenStance in 2012. Last winter he was part of a Poets' Tour including Jen Hadfield around Northern Scotland. 

Photo by Cara Forbes

Jim Carruth

Jim Carruth was born in Johnstone and grew up on his family’s farm near Kilbarchan. His first collection Bovine Pastoral was published in 2004. Since then he has brought out a further four collections and an illustrated fable. In 2009 he was awarded a Robert Louis Stevenson Fellowship and was the winner of the James McCash poetry competition. Recently his work was showcased in Oxford Poets 2010. His most recent pamphlet Working the Hill  was published 
by Mariscat, 2012. He is the founder member of  St Mungo's Mirrorball, the Glasgow Poetry Society.  http://www.jimcarruth.co.uk/index.html 

Stephanie Green

Originally from London, she moved via Wales, to Edinburgh in 2000.  She has an MPhil in C/W from Glasgow University (2004), has been in receipt of a S.A.C. New Writers Bursary and two further bursaries from Creative Scotland  towards writing her first collection.  'Glass Works' (Cat's Pyjamas Publications, 2005) was shortlisted for the Callum McDonald Pamphlet Prize in 2006. Shortlisted for the Strokestown Poetry competition, she was invited to read at the festival in 2009. She tutors in C/W part-time. http://sites.google.com/site/stephgreen1/                                                

Photo by James T. Harding

Mandy Haggith

lives on a croft in Assynt and works as a writer and campaigner for global forests. Her novel 'The Last Bear' won the Robin Jenkins' Literary Award for environmental writing in 2009. Her poetry collection, 'Castings' was published by Two Ravens Press (2007). In 2011, she led a project called A-B-Tree, celebrating the ancient Celtic connection between writing and trees. Mandy also runs writing retreats on Tanera Mòr in the Summer Isles.

Photo by Bill Ritchie

William Letford

has received a New Writer's Award from the Scottish Book Trust and an Edwin Morgan Travel Bursary. His debut collection, Bevel, will be published by Carcanet and launched at the Edinburgh International Book Festival in August.  This winter he read with Don Paterson and Tom Leonard in Glasgow to celebrate three generations of Scottish poets, he appeared at the West Port Festival and his poem 'Monuments of the Mind' was projected onto the Melville Monument in St Andrew's Square as part of the enLIGHTen project in Edinburgh.

Photo by Seppi Preston

Jane McKie

won the Edwin Morgan Prize last year (2011).  She has two collections published, the most recent, 'When the Sun Turns Green' published by Polygon (2009).  Her latest pamphlet 'Garden of Bedsteads' is out with Mariscat Press, 2012  and was promoted as the Spring Pamphlet Choice of the Poetry Book Society.  She works part-time teaching on the Msc in C/W at Edinburgh University,and also runs a small press, Knucker Press.  Jane  has two small children and lives in Linlithgow, West Lothian. http://www.scottishpoetrylibrary.org.uk/poetry/poets/jane-mckie

Photo by Gavin Inglis

Helen Mort

has won the Young Foyle Poets' award five times and she was the youngest ever Poet in Residence for the Wordsworth Trust in Grasmere in 2010. She has two pamphlets published by tall lighthouse: 'the shape of every box' and 'a pint for a ghost'. The latter was promoted by the Poetry Book Society as their Spring choice, 2010.  Her first collection , 'Division Street', will be published by Chatto & Windus.  She is currently working on a PhD in C/W at Sheffield University. http://www.helenmort.com/

Ryan Van Winkle

is Poet in Residence at Edinburgh City Libraries. His first collection, Tomorrow, We Will Live Herewas published by Salt in 2010 (winning the Crashaw Prize) and his poems have appeared in The American Poetry ReviewAGNI, Poetry New Zealand and The Oxford Poets series. In 2012 Ryan was awarded the Robert Louis Stevenson Fellowship. 
American-born, he now lives in Edinburgh.
Photo by Ericka Duffy