Poetry News

Delighted that my poem Sixteen was Highly Commended as part of the Mist and Mountain Gerard Rochford Poetry Prize. The theme was family and the highly commended poems, including mine, can be read here: https://mistandmountain.co.uk/commendations-poems/

Also delighted that my poem Tino Dog – a poem about my black Labrador dog Tino – was highly commended in the Lord Whisky Animal Sanctuary Poetry Competition. Fifty per cent of all entry fees are used for the care of animals at the sanctuary and you can read the results and judges’ comments here: https://irp.cdn-website.com/2fbdca3a/files/uploaded/RESULTS%20FOR%20WEBSITE.pdf

Me with my latest black Labrador – Elsie.

And finally, my poem about my love for Scotland called Nobody Told Me, was shortlisted for the Deidre Roberts poetry competition as part of A Write Highland Hoolie. It’s a poem I enjoy reading as part of the show Contrappuntistica, which is next coming to DunsPlayFest on Monday, 1st May, 2023 for which tickets are available here: https://www.tickettailor.com/events/dunsplayfest/881310

Iced Gems

Delighted to have a number of stories and flash fictions included in this anthology of stories, poems and reflections which includes writing from respected authors Margaret Skea, Oliver Eade and Kathleen Mansfield with beautiful illustrations from Lisa Ainslie. It’s a perfect read at any time!

Currently available on Amazon in Kindle format at a cost of just £1.99, it will shortly be published in paperback and hardback.

Newcastleton Music Festival

Delighted to be this year’s Poetry Judge at the 49th Newcastleton Traditional Music Festival. It was a great weekend with much poetry, music and singing. One of the highlights had to be Aly Macrae’s rendition of the traditional song “John Barleycorn.” Right from the start he managed to get the audience singing along to the chorus and by the end of the song we were belting it out!

Some great original poetry to be heard too, mostly ballads, one of the most memorable of which included a summary of the 1525 Curse of the Borders Reivers by the Bishop of Glasgow. The story of this curse can be read here: The winner of the competition had written a beautiful lyrical poetry about the power of love over greed.

The sun shone on the Music Festival this year, which was a good thing because we were camping all weekend. Each morning we woke to the cries of the rooks and jackdaws, replaced later in the morning by the sounds of fiddles, accordians, tin whistles and the song of human voices. Next year will be the 50th year of the Festival. Not to be missed! For more information, see here: