I was born in Edinburgh in 1942, and mostly lived in West Lothian before settling in Dunbar in 2000. I was a librarian for 35 years, before becoming a senior manager at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. In 2000 I was President of the Scottish Library Association. I served on the Board of the Scottish Poetry Library for ten years, the last four as its Chair. I served on the Board of StAnza: Scotland’s International Poetry Festival, for five years, the last three as Convener. I stepped down from the Board for the first time in December 2009. I rejoined the Board in 2013 and became Convener again from 2014 to 2017, stepping down finally in April 2017. I’m very proud of my long association with StAnza.
My first poetry collection was Thirteen Ways of Looking at the Highlands (1996), followed by Seven Senses (2000). Both collections were published by diehard publishers of Callander and are now out of print. A chapbook – Mementoliths – was published in 2005. It too is out of print. A diehard paperback – Sushi & Chips – was published in 2006 and is also out of print.
Thirteen Ways, Seven Senses and Mementoliths 2 are now available from Amazon as Kindle editions. Recycled Cards is another ebook mini-collection compiled from poetry cards. It too is available as a Kindle edition.
A new collection – The floor show at the Mad Yak Café – was published by Red Squirrel Press in March 2010, and a further collection, The Propriety of Weeding, was published by Red Squirrel Press in September 2012.
In 2013 I was awarded a Hawthornden Fellowship, during which I completed writing a book-length collection of haibun, The Book of Ways, published by Red Squirrel Press in 2014. My first short story pamphlet, Getting On, was published by Postbox Press in 2016, and my ninth book of poems, The Night I Danced With Maya, was published by Red Squirrel Press in 2017. I’m now working on a full-length short story collection to be published by Postbox Press in 2018.
I’m a musician, playing clarinet, bass clarinet, soprano, alto and tenor saxophones.
Full biography and sample poems on my website.