Shore Poets NOVEMBER: Anna Crowe, Christine De Luca, Tammy Adams, David Wilson + Mother Superior and the Wherewithal

Please join us for an entertaining evening of poetry and music at the last Shore Poets of 2019. We have a fantastic line-up of four established and new poetical talents. Plus musical interludes from the brilliantly named, and possibly philosophical, Mother Superior And The Wherewithal.

Wednesday 27th November 2019
7pm (doors open 6.30pm)
Canons’ Gait cellar bar 232 Canongate, Edinburgh, EH8 8DQ

Admission: £5 (concessions £3)


photo credit: Swithun Crowe

Anna Crowe, our headline poet, was born in Plymouth but has long lived in St Andrews, where she was a co-founder of the poetry festival StAnza and its Artistic Director for seven years. She has had four collections of her poems published, the latest of which is Not on the Side of the Gods, which is just out from Arc; and three pamphlets with Mariscat Press, one of which, Figure in a Landscape, won the Calum Macdonald Memorial Award. She is well-known as a translator, especially from Catalan and Castilian. You can hear her poetry on the Poetry Archive website.


Christine De Luca is one of the longest-serving Shore Poets. She is originally from Shetland but has lived in Edinburgh for many years. She writes both in English and in her mother tongue, Shetlandic. She’s had several collections of poems published and her work has been translated into many languages. A keen translator herself, she enjoys travelling to all sorts of places to speak, to read and to translate: festivals, conferences and translation sessions. She is just back from Portugal where she was taking part in a Pessoa colloquium. Christine was Edinburgh’s Makar or Poet Laureate from 2014 to 2017, when she instigated the online anthology Edinburgh Unsung. Her best-selling pamphlet from Mariscat Press, Dat Trickster Sun, was shortlisted for the Michael Marks Poetry Award in 2014. Her latest work is a series of poetic responses to the work of the sculptor Eduardo Paolozzi, Paolozzi at Large in Edinburgh, published last year.



Tammy lives in Dunbar and has been writing for just over 5 years. She had a few successes with publication in The Interpreters’ House, online poetry magazines including Lighten Up Online and PenNing, on beermats, and in the in-house magazines for The Royal Town Planning Institute in Scotland and Downs Syndrome Scotland. She has also had poems in Hedgehog Press anthologies and has been selected in several poetry competitions including Ver, Marsden Poetry Village and The Plough. She gave a ‘new poet’ reading earlier this year at Shore Poets and also read at a ‘Haverings’ fringe event for the Dunbar Coastword festival. She is an active member of her local writing group, Dunbar Writers – which is part of Tyne & Esk Writers. The group has helped with prompts, focus and feedback – helping her build up to a first collection.


David Wilson lives in North Yorkshire. He was led to poetry by a chance encounter with a stunning poem (Midsummer, Tobago by Derek Walcott) on the wall of a hospital waiting room. Paul Muldoon awarded him the 2015 Poets and Players prize for his poem Everest. His debut pamphlet Slope was published in 2016. As well as poetry, he has written short stories and a novel praised by the Times as a ‘tour de force’. His first full collection, The Equilibrium Line, poetry inspired by climbing, was published in July by Smith/Doorstop. It has just been awarded the 2019 Mountain Fiction and Poetry Award at the Banff Mountain Film and Literature Festival. It is shortlisted for the other major prize for mountain literature, the Boardman-Tasker. David chose The Equilibrium Line as his title because the poems are preoccupied with what it means to find balance: on rock and ice, within ourselves, and within threatened mountain environments that are melting in front of our eyes.


Mother Superior and the Wherewithal are Iain Clark and Chris Kant. Chris may or may not be related to Immanuel Kant. Iain states that as far as he is aware, he is not related to any European philosophers of note! They have been collaborating on and off since the early 1980s. Their music doesn’t fit neatly into categories and nor would they want it to.


We should have a wildcard spot this month. Please mention to the person selling tickets that you’d like to put your name in the hat (ideally we will ask you, but sometimes we forget to ask and then we feel sad once we remember our omission). Bring a poem to read in case you’re chosen! You’ll have three minutes (this includes any preamble or introduction – it’s a good idea to time yourself in advance to make sure you’re within the time limits).

The lemon cake raffle provides us with much-needed funds, so we very much appreciate your support. And it is a most excellent lemon cake. (Occasionally, we also have poetry books in the raffle, and are very grateful to the donors thereof.)




Our next Shore Poets event will celebrate the last ever Mark Ogle Memorial Award (MOMA). Over twelve years, the award has commissioned work from some of the UK’s finest poets. Their poems have been gathered together in a pamphlet of all the stimulus and response poems. Watching Sunlight will be launched at the event, with copies available for a donation to a cancer charity.

Please join us on Saturday March 2nd, at the Cornerstone Centre, St John’s to hear the 2019 winner of the Mark Ogle Memorial Award: Jim McGonigal.

Jim will be joined on stage by previous winners: Anna Crowe, Vicki Feaver and Tom Pow. Angus Peter Campbell hopes to be with us, as does Meg Bateman, if the tide is right. Music will be provided by Shore Poets favourites, The Whole Shebang.

Please note the different day, time and venue:

  • Saturday 2nd March, 7.30pm – 9.45pm
  • The Cornerstone Centre, St John’s (at the junction of Princes Street & Lothian Road). 
  • Admission: £5 (includes a drink and some nibbles)

MARK OGLE (1948-1999)

Mark was one of the earliest members of Shore Poets and one of the first to read at the group’s original venue, the Shore Gallery in Leith. His untimely death left his considerable poetic talent under-realised. His family decided to commission an annual award in which a poet, selected from the poets who had read at Shore Poets in the previous season, responded to one of Mark’s poems.

The Mark Ogle Memorial Award



His poetry includes the prize-winning Passage/An Pasaíste (2004) and Cloud Pibroch (2010), both from Mariscat Press, and The Camphill Wren (2016) from Red Squirrel Press. His most recent work is Turning Over in a Strange Bed (Mariscat Press, 2017). His biography Beyond the Last Dragon: A Life of Edwin Morgan (2012) won a Saltire Award, and he co-edited The Midnight Letterbox (Carcanet Press, 2016), a selection of the poet’s correspondence 1950–2010.

ANNA CROWE (winner 2013)

photo credit: Swithun Crowe


VICKI FEAVER (winner 2016)

TOM POW (winner 2012)

and hopefully…

ANGUS PETER CAMPBELL (inaugural winner 2008)

MEG BATEMAN (winner 2014)


The Whole Shebang is an Edinburgh-based collective, formed in 2011, who play good-time music, from show tunes and standards through blues, country and western to contemporary pop.

The full line-up is: Kerry Houston (vocals), Fiona Shivas (vocals), Gail Turpin (vocals), Frank Glynn (fiddle and viola), Doug Govan (guitar and ukelele), Al Gray (bass), Bill Haddow (mandolin), and Hamish Whyte (percussion).

Some photos from our MOMA 2014 prize-giving

MOMA2014: winner Meg Bateman, and some alumni!

Here’s our very deserving 2014 winner of the Mark Ogle Memorial Award, Meg Bateman. From left to right: 2012 MOMA winner Tom Pow, Jane Read, 2014 MOMA winner Meg, Deborah Mather, Sandra Engstrom, 2013 MOMA winner Anna Crowe.

MOMA2014: winner Meg Bateman, and some alumni!

Congratulations to Meg! And thank you very much to everyone who attended our February event!

Shore Poets: February

Cheryl Follon. Photo by Gerry Cambridge

Henderson’s at St John’s, Lothian Road, Edinburgh
7.45 pm to 10.00 pm
Sunday 24th February 2013

Bar from 7.15pm
Admission £5 / Concessions £3

You’ve already read our recent news — now it’s time for our latest event. This month, our headline reader is Cheryl Follon.

Cheryl Follon was born in Ayrshire, where she grew up. She studied Law and then English and Scottish Literature at Glasgow University before taking an MPhil in Creative Writing at Trinity College Dublin, and now teaches at a college of further education in Glasgow. She has received two writer’s bursaries from the Scottish Arts Council, and has published two collections with Bloodaxe, All Your Talk (2004) and Dirty Looks (2010). Her essay on the Mojave desert was shortlisted for the Shiva Naipaul Memorial Prize for travel writing in 2012. (via)

Here’s an extract from Cheryl’s poem, Dinner. You can read the whole thing at the Scottish Poetry Library website.

As you shucked the last oysters
onto your side plate
and ordered a lemon ice

I found myself in the guise of a large beetle
down amongst the spilt salt grains
and your slim-line after-dinner cigarettes.

I was a swarm of fifty thousand bees
floating up towards the Venus de Milo
and the damp patches on the ceiling.

miriamg and christinedl

Also on our bill for February are new poet Miriam Gamble, and Shore Poet Chrstine de Luca.

In addition, we’ll also be presenting the 2013 Mark Ogle Memorial Award to Anna Crowe, for her poem “Swallows”. The award is given in February to one of the new or headline poets from our previous season’s events. They are selected and commissioned by the Shore Poets to create a poem for the award. Previous winners include Tom Pow, Frances Leviston and Elizabeth Burns. We’re delighted to be welcoming Anna to the event this month!

Remember, we’ve also introduced a Shore Poets wildcard slot, an idea we’ve borrowed from poetry slams. Basically, if you think you’d fancy reading at Shore Poets, all you have to do is come along and stick you name in the hat when you pay at the door. One name will be drawn, and that person gets to read one poem / for three minutes (no running over!) at the start of the night. Go on… be brave!

There will also be music from Andy Miller.

As always: incredible poetry, live music, a friendly and cosy atmosphere and delicious cakes and other refreshments provided by Henderson’s!

The venue is Henderson’s at St John’s, Lothian Road, Edinburgh

7.45 pm to 10.00 pm
Sunday 24th February 2013
Bar from 7.15pm
Arrive early to nab a good seat!
Admission £5 / Concessions £3

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Readings by mainly Scottish poets
on the last Sunday of every month

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