Writer in Scots & English
I grew up in Aberdeen, inheriting through my mother, a farmer’s daughter, a love of land and song which I express in my work.
I also had access to Scots through her bilingualism in Scots and English and through my paternal grandmother’s use of Doric.
After university I spent 3 years teaching in Nigeria at a teacher training college in the Niger Delta and in a secondary school in Benin City.
If I Hid Anither Face
Ah’m longin fur a youth pill
Tae tak awa the wrinkles o,
Tae feel ma hair is winged an blithe
An that I micht dance a tango o.
Whit wecht o years shud I say ‘Aye.’ tae?
Whit wecht o punds shud I say ‘Na!’ tae?
Hooever slim lik a reed –
Will it stap Daith faain fur me?
‘Oh listen, dear tae wan that floundered,
That cudna drive awa her winter o,
That nivver sa agin the windin
Peths amang Spring forests o.
While slimmer forms ootpaced oor hunter
An pruived a warrior is life’s dancer,
I stapped ma moo wi gloomy greed
An pu’ed ower suin Daith tae me.’
I didna ken that I wis walkin
On eerie stane that wid spik oot o.
The cloods are drab lik auncient raincoats
An nae a peep o sun o.
Bit I vow noo that hungry sorrow
Will try tae plan a bricht tomorrow.
Aye, worries better oot than in
Than stuffin thaim in a double chin.
Published in Lallans 94, Simmer 2019
I have been widely published in Scots and English. My third poetry collection was the award winning Menopausal Bedtime Rhymes (Bourtree). I like to entertain in my writing as well as explore emotional and social issues, often taboo. My aim is for readers and listeners to find pleasure, laughter, stimulation, recognition and consolation from my work.
Other collections are:
I often work in collaboration with filmmakers, painters, sculptors, songwriters, musicians and photographers.
- Scotrail-ACORP Community Rail Awards 2014
Circle Line: ConversTations collaborative project with artist Sheena Berry
- Shell Award 2014
Fife Council and Cultural Trust 2014
- Fife Bookfest Compettiion 2012
Water Horse poem shortlisted
- James Kirkup Memorial Poetry Competition Anthology 2011
Nowhere near Infinity poem shortlisted
- Callum Macdonald Memorial Award 2007
for poetry collection Menopausal Bedtime Rhymes | Bourtree 2007
- Scottish Arts Council Bursary 1993
for poetry collection Out of The Urn | Scottish Cultural Press 1994