About Me


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 nine years, including two three-year terms 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.


4 Responses to About Me

  1. HC Hunter says:

    Thanks Colin for your ebook Mementoliths 2. Your poems have come to meet me today, especially Tartuffe and Hep C. And it is an informative joy to read your geological notes.

  2. Josè Pascal says:

    Surfing the waves of the web I am pleasantly stranded in this nice blog.

    I write under the pseudonym of Josè Pascal (a descendant of the great Colonel Aureliano Buendía).

    I invite you to visit my italinglish blog http://parolesemplici.wordpress.com/mytinbox/. I define this blog “In parole Semplici” as a “virtuacultural tin” box where they are guarded thoughts, memories, images, sounds, and simple stories. ”

    If you want to participate and for have more informations send me a letter to inparolesempli@gmail.com

    Good life and I hope to soon

  3. erikleo says:

    Just to say I greatly enjoyed my first reading of Shushi & Chips. (I bought from you at the N/C Lit & Phil.)Look forward to reading more of yours Colin.

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