SHORE POETS MARCH: Helena Nelson, Martainn Mac an t-Saoir, Roseanne Watt + Andy Shanks

We’re back at The Outhouse at the end of March for a terrific line-up of poets; Helena Nelson, Martainn Mac an t-Saoir and Roseanne Watt, supported by fantastic singer-songwriter Andy Shanks.

Sunday 31st March 2019
7pm (doors open 6.30pm)
Oh! Outhouse, 12a Broughton Street Lane, Edinburgh, EH1 3LY
Admission: £5 (concessions £3)

MAIN POET: Helena Nelson

Helena Nelson is a poet, critic, editor and publisher (HappenStance Press). Her first collection was Starlight on Water (Rialto 2003). This was followed by Plot and Counter-Plot (Shoestring, 2010), and a light verse collection Down With Poetry! (HappenStance, 2016). Another light verse pamphlet (Branded) is due out from Red Squirrel later this year.

SHORE POET: Martainn Mac an t-Saoir | Martin MacIntyre

Martin MacIntyre

Màrtainn Mac an t-Saoir (Martin Macintyre) and his family live in Edinburgh. He has been a Shore Poet since 2010.  He works as a medical doctor and a writer and is involved in a number of Gaelic initiatives in the city. He was brought up in Lenzie near Glasgow, his father being originally from South Uist.

He is an author, bard and storyteller and has worked across these genres for many years.  His early poetry was published in Let Me Dance With Your Shadow in 2006, and in 2007 he was crowned ‘Bard’ by An Comunn Gàidhealach. He has been interested in Gaelic songs and singing for many years and has competed at various National Mods and reached the final on a number of occasions including 2017.

Besides his poetry and two novels he has written two collections of short stories: the first in 2003, Ath-Aithne (Re-acquaintance) – recently translated into French – won The Saltire Society First Book Award; while his latest collection, Cala Bendita ’s a Bheannachdan (Cala Bendita and its Blessings), was shortlisted for both The Donald Meek Award and The Saltire Literary Book of The Year in 2014.

NEW POET: Roseanne Watt

Roseanne Watt is a poet, filmmaker and musician from Shetland. She was the winner of the 2018 Edwin Morgan Poetry Award, and runner-up in the 2018 Aesthetica Creative Writing Award. Her first collection, Moder Dy, will be published by Polygon in May 2019

MUSICIAN: Andy Shanks

Andy Shanks is an award-winning singer-songwriter from the North East of Scotland. He is best known for his work with Jim Russell on their critically acclaimed album ‘Diamonds in the Night’ and for his songs which have been recorded by many artists, most notably June Tabor.

His solo set is a journey though stories and characters he has met on the way, often moving from traditional to jazz and country depending on the tale. Lyrically, his songs conjure up close observations of the characters and landscapes of Fife and Aberdeenshire, often taking a swipe at contemporary Scots culture. Andy has toured extensively in Scotland and as far afield as North America, recording and performing with many fine musicians. He most recently worked with Christine Kydd on her new album ‘Shift and Change’.

He is also a passionate advocate for Scottish writing and culture, most recently appearing in the BBC documentary ‘The Promised Land’ championing MacDiarmid’s ‘A Drunk Man Looks at a Thistle’ and its place in Scotland’s cultural revolution.

A remarkable talent … beautiful, sinewy, meaningful songs, lovely stuff’ The Scotsman


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 – what will it be? 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).


Shore Poets SEPTEMBER: Donny O’Rourke, Richie McCaffery, and Martin McIntyre

Welcome back to another season of Shore Poets, everyone! We’re glad to have survived the festivals, and by the time this event rolls around, we’ll have survived the Referendum.  (Unless we don’t, in which case we would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your support.)

We hope you can join us for the opening event of our new season.

Sunday 28th September 2014, 7.45 pm to 10.00pm (doors open 7.15pm)
Henderson’s at St John’s, St John’s Church, corner of Lothian Road and Princes Street, Edinburgh
Admission: £5 (concessions £3)

Headline poet: Donny O’Rourke
New poet: Richie McCaffery
Shore Poet: Martin McIntyre
At least one wildcard poet
Live music by Karen Dietz and Richard Klein
and, as always, the lemon cake raffle

Our headline poet is Donny O’Rourke:

“Poet, songwriter, film maker, critic, editor, teacher and translator, Donny O’Rourke was born, brought up and educated in Renfrewshire and has degrees from the University of Glasgow and from Cambridge. Many fellowships and awards have come his way including the Hermann Kesten Stipendium which took him as Glasgow’s representative to its twin city, Nürnberg, in May 2004. After several years (and very senior positions) in television and journalism, Donny went freelance. He still broadcasts regularly and is the author or editor of more than a dozen books, CDs and works for the theatre including translations, mostly from French. He edited the landmark anthology Dream State: the New Scottish Poets, published in 1994 and updated in 2001.”

His page on the Scottish Poetry Library website (from which the above was taken) has even more information and links to a few of his poems.

Our new poet is Richie McCaffery:

Richie recently published his debut collection, Cairn, with Nine Arches Press. He also has two pamphlets, Spinning Plates (HappenStance, 2012), and Ballast Flint (Cromarty Arts Trust, 2013), the latter of which was written in collaboration with artist Hannah Rye. He’s won an Edwin Morgan Travel Bursary and has been a Hawthornden Fellow, and was shortlisted for the 2013 Melita Hume Poetry Prize.

He too has a page on the Scottish Poetry Library website, where you can find more information, though only one link to a poem.

Our Shore Poet is Martin McIntyre:

An acclaimed author, bàrd and storyteller, Martin has been working across these genres for a number of years now. His early poetry was published in Let Me Dance With Your Shadow in 2006, and in 2007, at The Lochaber National Mòd, Martin was crowned ‘Bard’ by An Comunn Gàidhealach. In April 2014, he was a panellist in the Commonwealth Writers Conversation “The Untold Story: By Our Own Tongues” as part of the Aye Write festival.

And yes, Martin also has a page on the Scottish Poetry Library website, including links to poems in both English and Gaelic.

Our live musicians are Karen Dietz and Richard Klein.

And who will be our wildcard poet? Maybe you! 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!

Of course, you’ll have a chance to support Shore Poets and win the amazing lemon cake by participating in our raffle.

Those all-important details again:

Sunday 28th September 2014, 7.45 pm to 10.00pm (doors open 7.15pm)
Henderson’s at St John’s, St John’s Church, corner of Lothian Road and Princes Street, Edinburgh

See you there!

P.S. If you would like to receive regular news about our poetry events, e-mail us at 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

(Photo credit)

Shore Poets June: Tom Leonard, Theresa Munoz and Nancy Somerville

It’s almost time for Shore Poets to take our annual summer holiday, and for all of you to dive into the delights of Edinburgh’s various amazing festivals. But before we go, we have a cracking June line-up for you. We hope you can join us on Sunday 29th June to warmly welcome these three great poets!

Henderson’s at St John’s, Lothian Road, Edinburgh
7.45 pm to 10.00 pm
Sunday 29th June 2014

Bar from 7.15pm
Admission £5 / Concessions £3

Tom Leonard's Kinetic Poem

Our headline poet is the inimitable Tom Leonard.

Born in Glasgow, Tom Leonard is best known for poetry written in the urban speech of that city. […] He received a Scottish Arts Council Bursary in 1971 and 1978. While Writer in Residence at Renfrewshire Libraries he researched and compiled an anthology of local poets, Radical Renfrew (published in 1990). His poem on the Six O’Clock News (‘Unrelated Incidents 3’) is compulsory reading in the AQA English language GCSE course in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. In 2001 he was appointed, with Alasdair Gray and James Kelman, joint Professor in Creative Writing at the University of Glasgow, from which he retired in 2009. […] Tom Leonard has written plays, sound poetry, political polemic and a biography of the 19th-century Scottish poet James ‘B.V.’ Thomson, Places of the Mind. He is best known for his poems in Glasgow speech, heralded by the epoch-making Six Glasgow Poems of 1969… It could be argued that Leonard has dedicated his life to answering W.S. Graham’s question, ‘What is the language using us for?’

To find out more about Leonard and his work, we suggest you read the rest of his page at the Scottish Poetry Library.

Our new poet this month is Theresa Munoz.

Theresa was born to Spanish-Filipino immigrants in Vancouver, BC and now lives in Edinburgh, Scotland. Her debut pamphlet Close chronicles her move from Canada to Scotland and was launched at StAnza 2012.
Theresa’s poetry has appeared in journals across the Atlantic, including Poetry Review, Canadian Literature, New Writing Scotland, Stand, Under the Radar and many others. She was an Overseas Research Scholar in Scottish Literature at the University of Glasgow where she wrote the PhD dissertation on the work of none other than Tom Leonard. She has won a British Columbia Arts Council Award and has also been a prize winner in the McClellan Poetry Prize and the Troubadour International Poetry competitions.
You can visit Theresa’s website here.

This month’s Shore Poet is Nancy Somerville.

Nancy was born in Glasgow and is now based in Edinburgh. Her work has been widely published in magazines and anthologies. She edited Goldfish Suppers, an illustrated poetry anthology for families with young children, with Stewart Conn in 2004. Her first collection, Waiting for Zebras, was published by Red Squirrel Press in 2008.
You can read more about Nancy at the Scottish Book Trust website.

YOU could read alongside these brilliant folk, in one of our TWO wildcard poet slots. Just bring a poem along, and put your name in the hat at the door!

We’ll also have live music and our famous-for-a-reason lemon cake raffle!

We very much hope you’ll join us!

The venue is Henderson’s at St John’s, Lothian Road, Edinburgh
7.45 pm to 10.00 pm
Sunday 29th June 2014
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)

You can also join us at our Facebook group.

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

Scottish Book Trust

(Photo credit)