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).


Happy New Year! The first Shore Poets event 2019 season is almost upon us and we’d love you to join us! Please come along and help us celebrate our first selection of poets for this year. We’re delighted to welcome back honorary Shore Poet and much-loved Edinburgh poet Diana Hendry. She’ll be reading alongside her partner; the poet, publisher and current Shore Poet, Hamish Whyte. If you haven’t heard them read together before, you’re in for a treat. They’ll be joined by Rex Sweeny who is this month’s new poet and our musicians – the talented trio, Tribaiser.

Sunday 27th January 2019
7pm (doors open 6.30pm)
The Outhouse, 12a Broughton Street Lane, Edinburgh, EH1 3LY
Admission: £5 (concessions £3)


Diana Hendry

Diana has published six collections of poems, including Making BlueBorderers and Late Love & Other Whodunnits (all Peterloo Poets) and The Seed-Box Lantern: New and Selected Poems (Mariscat). Her most recent collection is The Watching Stair (Worple Press, 2018). In 2015 she collaborated with Douglas Dunn and Vicki Feaver in Second Wind (Saltire Society/Scottish Poetry Library): poems on ageing.

She has also written over 40 children’s books, including the Whitbread-winning Harvey Angell and recently The Seeing which was shortlisted both for the Costa Prize and Scottish Book of the Year. A junior novel, Out of the Clouds, came out from Hodder in 2016, with a sequel, Whoever You Are, in 2018. Her short stories have been widely published and broadcast.

She was the first writer in residence at Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary and from 2008 to 2010 she was a Royal Literary Fund Fellow at the University of Edinburgh.  She has recently co-edited New Writing Scotland.

Janice Galloway has commented: ‘Diana Hendry’s poetry has a wonderful sense of the author’s voice, dark and bitterly sweet at the same time, like high-grade chocolate.’

Diana will be reading at StAnza on March 9th.



Hamish has had three collections of poems published by Shoestring Press, A Bird in the HandThe Unswung Axe and Things We Never Knew (the last published 2016). A pamphlet Now the Robin came out from HappenStance Press in 2018.

He has also edited many anthologies of Scottish literature, including Mungo’s Tongues: Glasgow Poems 163-1990An Arran AnthologyKin: Scottish Family PoemsScottish Cats (Birlinn 2013) and most recently Ten Poems About Robins (Candlestick Press, 2018).

He runs Mariscat Press, publishing the poetry of Edwin Morgan, Stewart Conn, Douglas Dunn, Jackie Kay, Gael Turnbull, Christine De Luca, Diana Hendry and Jim Carruth among others. In 2015 Mariscat won both the Callum Macdonald Memorial Award and the Michael Marks Award for poetry pamphlet publishing. He is an Honorary Research Fellow in Scottish Literature at the University of Glasgow, a member of Edinburgh’s Shore Poets and plays percussion with the band The Whole Shebang.

His long poem Window on the Garden was reviewed in Scotland on Sunday as ‘impossible to describe, like Joni Mitchell and James Joyce deciding to rewrite Thomson’s The Seasons in the style of Sappho.’


rex sweeny

Originally from Sussex, Rex Sweeny spent twelve years in Oxford before moving to Scotland and has lived in Edinburgh since 1989. He organises and hosts the annual CultFusion poetry event for Leith Festival and his work has appeared in The One O’Clock Gun, Torn Pages and the 2013 anthology New T@les From The Old Town.


A group of three Heriot-Watt musicians, and more so very good friends, comprising of Fraser Sharp, Kyle Kinnear and Jack Lodge playing drums, jazz keys and trombone respectively. The trio is set to enjoy its second consecutive year playing at the event following a year of musical road trips and music courses around the West and North coasts of Scotland!


The lemon cake raffle provides us with much-needed funds, and of course provides one lucky winner with a very excellent lemon cake. Sometimes we have poetry pamphlets in the raffle too.

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Shore Poets OCTOBER: Brian Johnstone, Ken Cockburn, Lindsay Macgregor, and Angela McSeveney

October already! Time for woolly scarves and pumpkin-spice flavoured everything, including – I am not making this up; they exist at Trader Joe’s – pumpkin-spice flavoured pumpkin seeds.

Whether Henderson’s @ St. John’s has pumpkin-spiced cake, I do not know, but they definitely have warming treats so you can enjoy those during our October event.

[Update! Claire assures me that Henderson’s have a “spiced ginger flapjack with pumpkin seeds on top”. I’m not one for ginger but it does sound nice.]

Sunday 26th October 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 poets: Brian Johnstone and Ken Cockburn
New poet: Lindsay Macgregor
Shore Poet: Angela McSeveney
At least one wildcard poet
Live music by Ros, Roy & Corinne
and, as always, the lemon cake raffle

Our headline poets are two honorary Shore Poets: Brian Johnstone and Ken Cockburn.

Brian Johnstone has published six 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. (In fact, as of the time this blog entry was being written, Brian was appearing at a festival in Canada!) He will be reading from his most recent book, as well as a few favourites from previous publications, with his poems ranging over subjects from travels in Greece to Scottish history, from life in the circus to cartoon characters, from 40s jazz stars to 60s pop groups.

Ken Cockburn was born in Kirkcaldy. He studied French and German at Aberdeen University, and Theatre Studies at University College Cardiff. From 1996 to 2004 he worked at the Scottish Poetry Library, as Fieldworker and Assistant Director. With Alec Finlay he established and ran pocketbooks, an award-winning series of books of poetry and visual art (1999-2002), and was subsequently a director of platform projects, its successor company. Since 2004 he has worked as a freelance writer, translator, editor and writing tutor. His first collection of poems, Souvenirs and Homelands, was shortlisted for a Saltire Award in 1998, and a collection of his translations of contemporary German poets, Feathers and Lime, was published in 2007, as was a new collection of poems, On the flyleaf. His poems have been published in translation in French, German, Hungarian and Slovakian.

Both Brian and Ken have pages on the Scottish Poetry Library website, where you can find more information and links to their poems.

Our new poet is Lindsay Macgregor.

Lindsay is co-founder and co-host of Platform poetry and music nights at Ladybank Station in Fife. She writes online poetry reviews for Dundee University Review of the Arts and co-edits Dundee Writes, a small magazine of prose and poetry by students and staff from across the University of Dundee. Her poems have been published in Northwords Now, Gutter, New Writing Scotland, Poetry Scotland, Ink, Sweat and Tears and New Writing Dundee. She is currently working on a text and image collaboration with Sutherland artist Merran Gunn.

Our Shore Poet is Angela McSeveney.

Angela’s first collection of poems, Coming Out With It, was published in 1992, after she received advice and encouragement from fellow writers Liz Lochhead and Ron Butlin. She has since published three pamphlets, the most recent of which, Still Bristling, was published by Mariscat Press in 2012.

Our live musicians are traditional musicians Ros, Roy & Corinne.

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 breathlessly 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. Often, the raffle includes other prizes donated by our readers or Shore Poets. So even if you don’t win the lemon cake, you could walk away with a prize!

Those all-important details again:

Sunday 26th October 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 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: some photos

Thanks to everyone who came along to the last night of our 2012-13 season! We thoroughly enjoyed all the readings and felt like we went out with a bang this year! We’ll be back on 29th September 2013 with a brand new season programme, packed with exciting poets and musicians. In the meantime, you can stay in touch via Twitter, and you can also peruse these photos of the June event!

Tracey S Rosenberg reads at Shore Poets June 2013
Tracey S Rosenberg took the final Shore Poets Wildcard slot of the season! We loved her poem about Doctor Who companions.

Tom Fairnie plays at Shore Poets June 2013
A good friend of Shore Poets, Tom Fairnie played us songs about “woman, the creator and destroyer,” among other things!

Samuel Tongue at Shore Poets June 2013
Samuel Tongue was the first of the Clydebuilters to take the mic. Among his poems was a brilliant piece of ekphrasis.

Eveline Pye at Shore Poets June 2013
Eveline Pye, also representing Clydebuilters, began a poem with the great lines, “In the dream I know he’s dead / but I also know he’s going to be hungry.”

Nuala Watt at Shore Poets June 2013
Nuala Watt, the third Clyebuilter to come to the mic, impressed us with her feisty comebacks in response to Milton and others.

Irene Hossack at Shore Poets June 2013
The final Clydebuilter of the night was Irene Hossack, whose poem for the Red Road asylum seekers was really moving.

Nancy Somerville at Shore Poets June 2013

Nancy Somerville reading at Shore Poets June
Our Shore Poet was the always excellent Nancy Somerville, who delighted everyone by bringing out the old favourite “A Bucket of Frogs.” Many thanks to Alan Coady for the second of these two photos of Nancy.

Don Paterson at Shore Poets June 2013

Don Paterson at Shore Poets June 2013
Our headliner was the inimitable Don Paterson, who read some fantastic new work, including a found poem full of bizarre things people have written about him on the internet.

Enjoy your summer, and see you in September!

Happy New Year! Come and celebrate 2013 at Shore Poets: January

Helena Nelson

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

Bar from 7.15pm
Admission £5 / Concessions £3

Happy New Year to all our friends and followers!

We’re starting the new year with a bang this month at Shore Poets: January! Our headline reader is Helena Nelson.

As well as being a poet and critic, Helena also founded the wonderful Happenstance Press. Her two collections of poetry are Starlight on Water and Plot and Counter-plot. The former was joint winner of the Jerwood Aldeburgh Prize; the latter is her most recent collection, published by Shoestring Press in 2010. Helena has also self-published two short pamphlets of light verse.

At the Scottish Book Trust website, Helena says:

I love reading and writing poetry. I enjoy light verse very much, as well as the heavier variety, and I specially favour lyrical, musical poetry. I can’t write to order: I have to wait until inspiration strikes, but after that I beat the poem into shape remorselessly. As an editor, I love talking to other writers about their work; I love the fascination of seeing a poet develop, grow in confidence and finally soar. I think being a good reader of poetry is just as important as writing well: that’s why I continue to review widely. And finally I think poets, like most other people, need to cultivate a sense of humour to stay sane. The themes I explore include love, loss, anorexia, fun, poetic personae.

Also on our bill for January are new poet Nick Brooks, and Shore Poet Ian McDonough.

Ian McDonough and Nick Brooks

As always, there’ll be 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 27th January 2013
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.

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

Scottish Book Trust logo