Shore Poets MAY: Claire Askew, Kate Hendry, Dorothy Lawrenson + William & David Hershaw

We’re moving! From this month onward, Shore Poets will be on the final WEDNESDAY of the month, at the Canons’ Gait cellar bar on the Canongate.  It’s a great, central venue which we’ve used before and we’re delighted to be returning. The evening will begin and end at the usual times (7.00-9.30) and, of course, we’ll be bringing you the same mix of excellent poetry and music. We hope you can join us on the 29th at the Canon’s Gait.

Wednesday 29th May 2019
7pm (doors open 6.30pm)
Canons’ Gait cellar bar, 232 Canongate, Edinburgh, EH8 8DQ

Admission: £5 (concessions £3)


Claire Askew is the author of poetry collection This changes things (Bloodaxe, 2016), which was shortlisted for an Edwin Morgan Poetry Award and the Saltire First Book Award, among others.  She is also a novelist, and her debut novel All The Hidden Truths won the 2016 Lucy Cavendish Fiction Prize as a work-in-progress.  The novel was published by Hodder & Stoughton in 2018, and was a Times Crime Book of the Month.  Claire’s second novel, What You Pay For, is coming in August 2019.  Claire currently works as Writer in Residence at the University of Edinburgh.


Kate Hendry is a writer, teacher and editor. She has taught English and creative writing universities, prisons and schools. She is a trustee of StAnza, Scotland’s international poetry festival. Her poetry and fiction has been widely published in magazines and anthologies. Her first poetry collection, The Lost Original was published by HappenStance Press in 2016. She has edited three anthologies for the Scottish Poetry Library: The Poem Goes to Prison(2010), Tools of the Trade: Poems for New Doctors (2016) and To Learn the Future: Poems for Teachers (2018).


Dorothy Lawrenson was born in Dundee and grew up in Fife. She holds an MFA in Poetry from Texas State University, and is currently studying for a PhD at the University of Edinburgh. She has published in journals including Gutter, Edinburgh Review, Irish Pages and Lallans, and in the anthologies Whaleback City, Double Bill, Be the First to Like This and A Year of Scottish Poems. In a previous life she was a painter and graphic designer, and the editor of Perjink Press.


Father and son duo William and David Hershaw are two of the main creative forces behind The Bowhill Players, a group who celebrate their homeland Fife and its mining heritage through music. William is an acclaimed poet who has published multiple collections. His pamphlet Winter Song won the Callum MacDonald Memorial Award in 2003, and he won the McCash Prize for Scots Poetry in 2011. David is a popular songwriter, guitarist and producer known for playing with fiddler Sandie Forbes and with Edinburgh-based americana trio Paper Sparrows.


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. We may also have some excellent poetry books to raffle. If you’re lucky, you may get to choose – cake, or poetry?

We will have a wildcard spot this month. Please mention to the person selling tickets that you’d like to put your name in the hat. 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).




Some photos from Shore Poets October

It was a dark, wild and windy night on 27th October, so we’re extra super grateful to all the lovely folks who braved the elements to come and hear poetry. Thank you!
In case you couldn’t make it, here are a few photos of our October readers.

Our fabulous host, Nancy Somerville, kicking off the night.

New poet Graeme Hawley at Shore Poets October

New poet Graeme Hawley at Shore Poets October
The new poet was the great Graeme Hawley, a Scottish Slam Champion and organiser of Tricolour, a monthly poetry night at the National Library.

I was the Shore Poet at Shore Poets October!
The Shore Poet was Claire Askew, brand new Young Adult Project Co-Ordinator at the Scottish Book Trust, and blogger at One Night Stanzas.

Music from Tea for Two at Shore Poets October
Music was provided by Tea for Two, who’d love it if you ‘liked’ them on Facebook!

The headline poet at Shore Poets October was Gerry Loose

Headline poet Gerry Loose at Shore Poets October
And our headline poet was Gerry Loose — prolific poet and writer, Writer in Residence at Dawyck Botanical Garden, and garden-builder. Find out more at his website!

Our next event is on Sunday 24th November at the usual time (7.45pm, doors at 7.15pm) and in the usual place (Henderson’s at St John’s). Details will be posted here soon!

Shore Poets OCTOBER: Gerry Loose, Claire Askew, Graeme Hawley

Henderson’s at St John’s, Lothian Road, Edinburgh
7.45 pm to 10.00 pm
Sunday 27th October 2013

Happy October!

The nights are drawing in, the clocks are going back (remember this, so you don’t arrive at Shore Poets an hour late!), it’s the season for winter woollies, pumpkin-flavoured everything… and of course, poetry. Head down to Henderson’s at St John’s to hear our fantastic October line-up…

Gerry Loose, headlining at Shore Poets THIS MONTH! (October!)
Our headline poet this month is GERRY LOOSE. Gerry was recently selected to be one of the four Poets in Residence in Scotland’s Botanic Gardens as part of the Walking With Poets project. He was poet in residence at the Dawyck garden in September 2013. Much of his work has to do with gardens, plants and nature: he is the author of many books of poetry, most recently ‘the deer path to my door,’ and ‘that person himself,’ both 2009. He also writes in other genres and has received numerous awards for his creative work. You can find out more about Gerry at his website,

claire at wpm
Photo by Neil Thomas Douglas
The Shore Poet this month is CLAIRE ASKEW. Claire was recently appointed Young Adult Project Co-Ordinator at the Scottish Book Trust. Her poetry has won various accolades, most recently the 2012 inaugural International Salt Prize for Poetry. Her pamphlet, ‘The Mermaid and the Sailors,’ was published by Red Squirrel Press in 2011, and she is currently putting together a first collection MS. Find out more at

Our new poet is GRAEME HAWLEY. (Apparently, no photos of Graeme exist on the internet!) Graeme is a star of the Scottish performance poetry circuit and a former Scottish Poetry Slam Champion. His two collections, ‘Reclamation Marks,’ and ‘Everyday things,’ were both published by Colon Press. Graeme works at the National Library of Scotland, and organises and comperes Tricolour, a brilliant evening of poetry and spoken word which runs at the NLS every month. Find out more about Graeme at

Music this month is provided by TEA FOR TWO. Find them at

Remember, there are now TWO wildcard slots up for grabs, too — bring along a poem, put your name into the hat when you pay at the door, and you too could be reading your work to our lovely audience.

There’ll also be a raffle to win our [in]famous lemon cake, as well as cakes, tea, coffee, beers and other delights for purchase at Henderson’s counter of delights… and of course, a warm atmosphere!

Henderson’s at St John’s, Lothian Road, Edinburgh
7.45 pm to 10.00 pm
Sunday 27th October 2013

Bar from 7.15pm
Admission £5 / Concessions £3

Let us know you’re coming — and invite your friends — using our Facebook event!

If you would like to receive regular news about our poetry events, send e-mail to: newsletter (at)

You can also join us at our Facebook group.

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

Scottish Book Trust logo

Come along to Shore Poets: November!

Graham Fulton at Shore Poets November
Graham Fulton

It’s getting mighty cold outside these days, and it’s extremely tempting to stay wrapped up warm inside. But trust us, it’ll be worth venturing out on Sunday 25th November to see the fantastic trio of poets we’ve got lined up!

Our headline poet for November is Graham Fulton, the author of dozens of poetry pamphlets, collections and other publications. Ian McMillan praises his work highly, saying:

“Graham Fulton uses memory, observation, and invention to create a heady linguistic soup that uses poetry to make sense of the world; there’s compassion here, and anger, and a burning desire to illuminate places that don’t often get the poetic torch shone on them. Read and enjoy.”

You can find out more about Graham at his website.

Graham will be supported by our new poet, Peter MacKay, and the Shore Poet reading this month is Claire Askew.

There will also be live music from Skotebi.

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

7.45 pm to 10.00 pm
Sunday 25th November 2012

Bar from 7.15pm
Arrive early to nab a good seat!

Admission £5 / Concessions £3

If you would like to receive regular news about our poetry events, send e-mail to: newsletter (at)

Tell us you’re coming at our Facebook event! You can also join us at our Facebook group.

Claire Askew at Shore Poets November
Claire Askew

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

Scottish Book Trust logo