Recent Poetry Publications from Scottish Book Trust Awardees and FellowsBy Scottish Book Trust
Marjorie Lotfi£10.99 £10.44
From her childhood dislocation to settling in Scotland, this debut collection explores making a home in a new place and the things we carry with us when we move.
William Letford£14.99 £14.24
William Letford's much anticipated third collection unpacks class struggle in a near future dominated by artificial intelligence. Weaving poetry and prose, From Our Own Fire explores dystopia, utopia, and beyond.
Patrick James Errington£15.99
Through an exacting meditation on nature and wilderness, Patrick James Errington's debut collection explores the human condition. the swailing looks at our emotional realities with both grace and urgency.
Roshni Gallagher£7.99 £7.59
Roshni Gallagher is a poet from Leeds living in Edinburgh. She is a winner of the Edwin Morgan Poetry Award 2022 and a Scottish Book Trust New Writer’s Award 2022. Her work has appeared in a variety of literary publications including Best Scottish Poems, Gutter, New Writing Scotland, Propel, and more. In her work, she explores themes of nature, connection, and memory.
Nasim Rebecca Asl£7.99 £7.59
In Nemidoonam, Nasim Rebecca Asl explores the intricacies of language, identity and belonging. Her poems take us on a journey through childhood into young adulthood while weaving between a range of worlds, both in the UK and abroad. Her work flickers between natural and imagined landscapes.Readers will travel between North East England and Iran, go clubbing in Newcastle and spend time in dreams and the Caspian Sea. They’ll play childhood games, date, and consider the translation of language, the ownership of the body and what it means to belong.
Taking his cue from pop culture titans and classics - Death Becomes Her, First Wive’s Club, Friends to name a few - Thomas Stewart writes poems that look at the complexities of modern queer lives and how cinema and TV can help heal, empower or, in some cases, shame. Pop culture, Stewart argues, is formative to our identities. Based on a True Story also include Stewart’s Grindr poems, which take a nuanced look at sex in the modern transactional age, exploring desire, lust, the need for validation through a authentic lens devoid of judgement.
Claire Askew£10.99 £10.44
Claire Askew’s electrifying second collection is an investigation of power: the power of oppressive systems and their hold over those within them; the power of resilience; the power of the human heart. It licks flame across the imagination, and rewrites narratives of human desire. It is a collection for anyone who has ever run through their life ‘backwards/ in the dark,/ with no map’ – these bright poems illuminate the way. How to burn a woman throngs with witches, outsiders, and women who do not fit the ordinary moulds of the world. It is a collection which traces historic atrocities, and celebrates the lives of those accused of witchcraft with empathy, tenderness and rage. It lifts a mirror up to contemporary systems of oppression and, in language that is both vivid and accessible, asks hard questions of our current world. These poems also delve deep into love in all its forms: from infatuations to the bitter ending of relationships. They ask what it is we want, how we might go about getting it, and what its cost might be. How to burn a woman sweeps the world up in its arms and presents it: a rough bonfire of London buses, Salem streets, Edinburgh closes. Askew’s astute, incisive language lifts from every page, throwing sparks.
Garry MacKenzie£16.99 £16.14
Ben Dorain: A Conversation with a Mountain draws on the work of an eighteenth-century Gaelic poem by Duncan Ba n MacIntyre, rendering it into English.Where it does so, this is not to present MacIntyre's poetry per se to an English-language reader, as is customary with a translation or version.
Molly Vogel's first collection of poems, Florilegium is an exploration of life written in 'the language of flowers'. The poems regard flowers as both symbols and means of communication; in a broader sense, they deem the natural world essential to our understanding of words, ourselves, and the divine. Like Coleridge's rook in 'This Lime-Tree Bower My Prison', the flower is a sign that connects those disparately placed, both geographically and emotionally. Florilegium finds its blooms in Scotland as well as California; in free verse as well as stricter form; in books as well as dreams; on streets and at shrines as well as in wild gardens. Fittingly, the poems are varied and vividly colourful, inviting and surprising. They precede a long-form glossary, a meditation growing out from the poems' words but also from the entire history of literature and thought around flowers. Though intertwined with the poems, the glossary is a collection in itself: in equal parts literary criticism, philosophical treatise, and prose poem.
Louise Peterkin£9.99 £9.49
Dynamic first collection from this popular Scottish poet, The Night Jar lifts the lid on a fizzing range of personas, dramas and states of mind – presenting them for our delight: ‘I collect the materials of the small hours, / all that gorgeous paraphernalia.’ Peterkin explores the expectations and limits of being human with lashings of wit and sometimes a disquieting note of threat. Mad cap, extravagant, urban and questioning, this is a collection no one will forget.
Nadine Aisha Jassat£8.99 £8.54
Let Me Tell You This is a vital exploration of racism, gender-based violence, and the sustaining, restorative bonds between women, told with searing precision and intelligent lyricism. Nadine takes you on a journey exploring heritage, connection, and speaking out. These poems demonstrate the power of heart and voice, and will stay with readers long after the last page.
William Letford£9.99 £9.49
There are all types of bodies.If you're lucky you'll find someone whose skinis a canvas for the story of your life.Write well. Take care of the heartbeat behind it. Billy Letford's Dirt revels in the fallow, the tainted, the off , and the unloved. The poems embrace a good life stitched together with bad circumstances, bungled chances, missed callings. Whether loitering on the street corner, 'poackets ful eh ma fingers', or stumbling from a bar 'like a monkey in the jungle of traffic, stinking, wild and free', the characters in Letford's poems deliver one thing in spades: heart. 'On Friday I visit my seventy-seven-year-old granny. She's smoking a joint. It's not a surprise.' Letford's words are lightly worn yet carefully measured; they move between English and Scots, lyrical and concrete, accumulating what the poet has described as an array of textures. Resisting modernity's unearthly glare, it is a life with grain, with grit, 'rotten with wonder', that Letford seeks. The poems dig for a grace within dirt's humble endurance. 'There's dignity there. Lay yourself open.'