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David Linklater’s poetry
“Some of these books explore the voices and landscape of Scotland and some look further afield but all of them are passionate, inquisitive, invaluable and powerful works spanning time and place”
curation – david linklater
This list could be pages long but I need to keep it short so I’ll limit it to 12 books from 12 poets and performers, all of which have either influenced me or inspired my writing. Some explore the voices and landscape of Scotland and some look further afield but all of them are passionate, inquisitive, invaluable and powerful works spanning time and place. From contemporary poets like Alycia Pirmohamed [winner of the 2020 Edwin Morgan Award] to the late, great Norman MacCaig, there’s much here to devour.
01_Roseanne Watt – Moder Dy (Polygon)
Translating to ‘Mother Wave’, this collection is beautiful and profound from start to finish and explores the land, heart and soul of Roseanne’s home, Shetland.
02_William Letford – Dirt (Carcanet)
One of the best to come out of Scotland and one of my favourite poets, ‘Dirt’ contains finely honed and beautiful poems that stay with you long after you’ve put the book down.
03_Seán Hewitt – Tongues of Fire (Jonathan Cape)
This is one of the few poetry collections that I have preordered.
04_Samuel Tongue – The Nakedness of the Fathers (Broken Sleep Books)
Possibly my favourite pamphlet I’ve read this year, just full from start to finish of powerful poems that at once move and challenge you.
05_Hannah Lavery – Blood Salt Spring (Polygon)
One on my own reading list, a great poet and the current makar of Edinburgh. This will be a brilliant book.
06_Mary Jean Chan – Flèche (Faber)
A vital inclusion to any contemporary poetry list. I bought this last Christmas and finished it by Boxing Day, then read it again.
07_Hollie McNish – Nobody Told Me (Blackfriars)
Wonderfully absorbing and passionate poetry that sticks with you. Hollie is also an incredible performer – one of the best.
08_Colin Bramwell – The Highland Citizenship Test (Stewed Rhubarb)
Runner up of the 2020 Edwin Morgan award, this pamphlet contains moving, playful, funny and potent poetry.
09_Sean Wei Keung – sikfan glaschu (Verve Poetry Press)
Sean’s work makes me want to write; possibly the greatest gift a writer can give another. Even if you’re not a writer, there’s a lot to enjoy.
10_Leyla Josephine – Hopeless (Speculative Books)
Leyla is one of the best in the business; if you’ve ever seen her perform you’ll know what I mean. If not, this is a good place to start that journey.
11_Alycia Pirmohamed – Hinge (ignitionpress)
Winner of the 2020 Edwin Morgan Award, Alycia is an extraordinary poet who we will all be hearing from for a long time to come. Wonderful work.
12_Norman MacCaig – The Many Days (Selected Poems)
He said so much in so few words. I could never not include this man in a poetry reading list. He’s perfect poetry to me.
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