Sad news

All of us at Shore Poets were extremely sorry to learn about the death of Alexander (Sandy) Hutchison last month, peacefully, after a short illness. Sandy was Tessa Ransford’s son-in-law, so it is likely that Tessa’s memorial service on 7 December will also remember him. (The details are below.)

We were very honoured to have Sandy read for us in September. Our thoughts are with his family.

Tessa Ransford, founder of the Scottish Poetry Library, died last month at the age of 77. The following information about her memorial event comes from Shore Poet and Edinburgh Makar Christine de Luca:

Date and time: Monday 7th December, 7pm–10pm (doors open 645pm).
Location: St Andrew’s and St George’s West Church, 13-17 George St, Edinburgh EH2 2PA.

We hope it will be a wonderful celebration of Tessa the poet, editor, champion of Scottish poetry and poetry pamphlet publishing but, supremely, the moving force in the creation of the Scottish Poetry Library, and its first director.

There will be tributes, music and poems; contributions from a few of the many people who worked with Tessa and valued her friendship. Some go back a long way to the start of the SPL (Joy Hendry, Tom Hubbard, Aonghas Macneacail, Eric Wishart); others have supported her over the intervening years (Anne C Clarke, Ken Cockburn, Alan Gay, Tom Pow, Chrys Salt, Morelle Smith Alan Spence, Gerda Stevenson) or worked closely with her in translation and the appreciation of other cultures (Peter France, Iyad Hayatleh, Ghazi Hussein, Jila Peacock). Others are special poetry friends, including more recent ones (Kevin Cadwallender, Alec Finlay, Richie McCaffery, Stuart Paterson, Michael Pedersen, Stephen Watts, JL Williams). Sadly Robyn Marsack can’t be with us as she will be in NZ, but she is sending a very able substitute in Jennifer (JL) Williams to represent the SPL. It was Tessa’s wish that there be music as well as poetry and that her grand-children Max and Lucy Hutchison should entertain us along with her friend Toby Mottershead. Quite a line up!

So please invite other friends you think might enjoy this celebration in Tessa’s memory, using all the social media at your disposal. It would be really helpful in gauging numbers if you could do an RSVP email to

The event is free but since we want to raise as much money as we can for St Columba’s Hospice do please donate in Tessa’s memory at, gift-aiding your donation if you are a UK tax-payer.

We are grateful for the support of Lady Marks in defraying expenses.

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Tracey S. Rosenberg

I write. I do other things, of course, but here is where I discuss writing (mostly).

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