For our May readings, we’re delighted to welcome two brilliant Edinburgh-based poets to Shore Poets – Alan Gillis and Sarah Stewart. They’ll be joined by Rob MacKillop, performing a world premier of The Manfred Suite by guitarist-composer, Gordon Ferries. Please join us on the last Sunday of the month for a great line up. If you’d like to read a poem alongside our trio of wonderful poets, please bring a poem with you and put your name in the hat at the door – we’ll pick a ‘wildcard’ poet to open the evening.

Sunday 27th May 2018
 7pm (doors open 6.30pm)

Oh! Outhouse, 12a Broughton Street Lane, Edinburgh, EH1 3LY

Admission: £5 (concessions £3)

Please be there in plenty of time to get a seat. Unfortunately, fire regulations mean we have to turn people away if the room becomes overcrowded.


Gillis Photo 2014

Alan Gillis is from Belfast and now lives in Scotland, where he teaches English at The University of Edinburgh. He has published four poetry collections with The Gallery Press: Scapegoat (2014), Here Comes the Night (2010), Hawks and Doves (2007) and Somebody, Somewhere (2004), which won the Strong Award for Best First Collection in Ireland. He has also been shortlisted for the T. S. Eliot prize, and for the Irish Times Poetry Now Award. In 2014 he was selected as a ‘Next Generation Poet’ by the Poetry Book Society in the UK. As a critic he is author of Irish Poetry of the 1930s (2005), and co-editor of the Oxford Handbook of Modern Irish Poetry (2012), both published by Oxford University Press. From 2010-2015 he was editor of Edinburgh Review. A Selected Poems entitled Scapegoat and Other Poems was published in the USA by Wake Forest Press in 2016.



Frank has been writing poetry and prose for many years, with several novels in his drawer. He plays violin and viola in several ensembles around Edinburgh, in The Whole Shebang, in Holm, and in the St Andrew Orchestra. He is the music facilitator for Shore Poets.


SS shore poets

Sarah Stewart is a writer and editor based in Edinburgh. She was a UNESCO City of Literature Writer in Residence in Krakow in 2017, and her poetry has appeared in Anon, Gutter, The Honest Ulsterman, Mslexia, New Writing Dundee, The Pickle Jar, The Scotsman, and in the anthologies Be The First To Like This: New Scottish Poetry and Best Scottish Poems 2014. Her first pamphlet, Glisk, was published by Tapsalteerie this month.


Guitar (25)

Rob MacKillop is guitar player with a wealth of experience in different styles and periods, from medieval Scottish music on lute, through to free improvisation on acoustic archtop guitar. For his visit to the Shore Poets he will be showcasing a new guitar (if it arrives from the luthier in time!), and will include a new improvisation based on the poetry readings he hears at the meeting. Rob will be playing a world premier of a specially commissioned piece by guitarist-composer, Gordon Ferries. It is a five-minute piece for classical guitar, based on the Byron play, Manfred.

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.)

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).

See you on 27th May!

Useful information:
1) we have a mailing list, and if you haven’t signed up yet, here’s your chance: just click right here and fill in the few bits of information. This is usually only for event notifications and things like ‘looking for slam/open night participants’. You can unsubscribe anytime you want to, although we would be sad if you did.
2) Our email address (take out spaces on either side of the @) is shorepoetsedinburgh @ Emails sent to any other email address go to the great rubbish bin in the virtual sky.

Shore Poets FEBRUARY: Conn, Hendry, Glaister & MOMA

Happy February, friends! Thankfully, winter is nearly over, and Spring is coming. To celebrate, we have a massive event for you this month, with lots of special happenings. Have a look!

Henderson’s at St John’s, Lothian Road, Edinburgh
7.45 pm to 10.00 pm
Sunday 23rd February 2014

Bar from 7.15pm
Admission £5 / Concessions £3

stewart conn

Our headline poets (no Shore Poet slot this month!) are Diana Hendry and Stewart Conn. Stewart Conn is one of Scotland’s leading poets. He was born in Glasgow but has lived in Edinburgh since 1977, where until 1992 he was head of radio drama for BBC Scotland. He was Edinburgh’s first Makar, or Poet Laureate, 2002-2005. His collection The Breakfast Room (2010) won the SMIT Book Awards Poetry Book of the Year. His most recent publication is Estuary (Mariscat Press 2012) and The Touch of Time: New & Selected Poems is forthcoming next month from Bloodaxe Books. He is Honorary President of Shore Poets.

Diana Hendry is an Honorary member of Shore Poets. She has published five collections of poems. Her latest, published last year, is The Seed-box Lantern: New & Selected Poems (Mariscat Press). She has also written over forty books for children, including Harvey Angell, which won a Whitbread Award, and recently The Seeing, which was shortlisted for the Costa Prize.
She has been Writer in Residence at Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary and a Royal Literary Fund Fellow at Edinburgh University. She lives in Edinburgh.

In a change to our original billing, our new poet will now be Lesley Glaister. Lesley is well-known for her fiction writing, but has only recently begun to compose poetry. The Shore Poets feel privileged to offer her a first-ever poetry reading slot in Edinburgh. We hope lots of you will come and help us to welcome her.
We hope that William Letford, originally billed as our new poet for the month, will join us sometime in the 2014/15 season.


This month we will also be presenting the Mark Ogle Memorial Award to Meg Bateman. Meg Bateman was born in 1959 in Edinburgh, studied Gaelic at the University of Aberdeen, and holds a PhD in Classical Gaelic religious poetry. Her first collection, Òrain Ghaoil / Amhráin Grá was published, with facing Irish translations by Alex Osborne, in 1990. In English, the title is “Love Songs.” Poems from Òrain Ghaoil were republished in Aotromachd agus Dàin Eile in 1997. Meg’s third collection, Soirbheas, was published in 2007. She lives in Skye with her son and teaches at the Gaelic college, Sabhal Mòr Ostaig.

We’ll have live music this month from Holm. Holm is Frank Glynn (violin/viola) and Stewart Veitch (electric guitar). They are an eclectic duo who play arrangements of music by Ron Sexsmith, Charlie Haden, Erik Satie, Manuel de Falla, Elvis Costello and Hildegard of Bingen among others, as well as their own compositions. They have a Facebook page at

As usual, we’ll also have our two wildcard slots up for grabs, where YOU can read alongside this amazing line-up! Just bring a poem you’d like to perform, put your name in the hat when you arrive at the door, and wait to see if your name is picked!

All topped off by our delicious lemon cake raffle.

See you there!

Henderson’s at St John’s, Lothian Road, Edinburgh
7.45 pm to 10.00 pm
Sunday 23rd February 2014

Bar from 7.15pm
Admission £5 / Concessions £3

Let us know you’re coming at 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