We have several Honorary Shore Poets, former members of the organising group or people who have helped us keep the show on the road for so long.
STEWART CONN (Hon President)
Stewart Conn is Honorary President of Shore Poets and one of Scotland’s most distinguished poets. His work, with its distinctly rhythmical and lyrical qualities and passionate interest in music and art, has been widely published and translated.
He was born in Glasgow and now lives in Edinburgh, where until 1992 he was Head of Radio Drama at BBC Scotland. From 2002 to 2005 he was Edinburgh’s first Makar, or poet laureate. The Breakfast Room (Bloodaxe, 2010) won the SMIT Poetry Book of the Year in 2011. His The Touch of Time: New & Selected Poems (Bloodaxe) was published in 2014 to much acclaim. His latest poetry publication is Against the Light (Mariscat, 2016): poems of love and Edinburgh. And he has recently recorded a selection of his work for the Poetry Archive. Learn more about Stewart at his website.
Brian Johnstone founded Shore Poets with poet and writer Ros Brackenbury in October 1991 and was Convenor of the group during its early years. He has published six poetry collections, most recently Dry Stone Work (Arc Publications 2014). His poems have been translated into over ten languages; in 2009, Terra Incognita, a chapbook in Italian translation, was published by L’Officina (Vicenza). A founder and former Director of StAnza: Scotland’s International Poetry Festival, he has appeared at numerous international poetry festivals, from Macedonia to Nicaragua, and venues across the UK. His memoir Double Exposure will be published by Saraband in February 2017.
Ken Cockburn is a poet and translator based in Edinburgh, who also runs Edinburgh Poetry Tours, guided walks in the city’s Old Town. He regularly collaborates with visual artists on book, exhibition and public art projects. Recent collaborations include Ness with sculptor Mary Bourne, for the redeveloped Inverness riverside; and Veined with Shadow-branches, an exploration of the Ettrick Valley with painter Andrew Mackenzie. A Creative Scotland ‘Vital Spark’ Award in 2010 enabled Ken and Alec Finlay to undertake The Road North, a journey around Scotland guided by the 17th-century Japanese poet Basho, which led an extensive blog, an exhibition, and a jointly-composed long poem which was published in book form in autumn 2014. His website is at https://kencockburn.co.uk.
JIM C WILSON
Jim was born in Edinburgh in 1948. He studied English Language and Literature at Edinburgh University and taught for nine years at Telford College. He was Writer in Residence for Stirling District (1989-1991) and was a Royal Literary Fund Fellow from 2001 until 2007. He has taught his Poetry in Practice classes at Edinburgh University since 1994. His prose and poetry have been widely published for 35 years and he has had poetry collections published by Making Waves, Chapman, Mariscat, HappenStance and Greenwich Exchange. He was a Shore Poet from 2002 until 2010. His website is at www.jimcwilson.com.
Primarily a poet, Diana also writes short stories and is the author of many children’s books. She’s worked as a journalist, English teacher and a tutor at the University of Bristol, University of the West of England and the Open University. She has tutored many creative writing courses for the Arvon Foundation and for a year was writer-in-residence at Dumfries & Galloway Royal Infirmary. Diana has published six collections of poems. The most recent are The Seed-Box Lantern: New & Selected Poems and with Douglas Dunn and Vicki Feaver a Saltire pamphlet, Second Wind. A collection of short stories is due out from Red Squirrel in 2017 and a junior novel, Whoever You Are in 2019.
Nancy Somerville, a Glaswegian who lives on the Isle of Mull, is widely published in anthologies and magazines. She writes mainly poetry but also short stories and is working on a novel. She was a member of Shore Poets 1997-2015 and convenor 2010-2014. In 2004 she co-edited with Stewart Conn, ‘Goldfish Suppers’, an illustrated poetry anthology for families with young children. Her poetry collection, ‘Waiting for Zebras’ was published by Red Squirrel Press (Scotland) in 2008.