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Festival Poets


Lydia McMillan

Lydia McMillan is a poet from Dumfries and Galloway, currently living and studying in Edinburgh. She has been shortlisted for the Wigtown Fresh Voice Award and in 2022 was selected for the Scottish Poetry Library’s Next Generation Young Makars programme. She has been published in numerous magazines, and has read at literary festivals including Dandelion, StAnza, Wigtown and the Edinburgh Fringe. In March 2024 she opened for UK poet laureate Simon Armitage on tour in Kirkcudbright.


Into the hard air you are delivered coiled like a seahorse / there is the mother’s tongue wet and heavy the saline scent of life / the hills around you are the breasts of fallen sparrows / there in the little marbles of your feet lies the secret of being /


I am trying to write something but there is light in the trees 
in the car park. behind them is a garden. a woman emerges 
shouting from a curtain of bedsheets and three children drop 
their toys on the lawn and follow her out of favour.
in their absence the little red house is dirty plastic
the dolls and soft animals shed their names and lie misty
eyed among the ferns. 
a man on the radio says schools will open again tomorrow.
I dreamt that eden wilted, it was empty for so long.


Cáit O'Neill McCullagh

to remind me that the sun will return
I paint ochre onto your body
this unruly loll of limbs and hair
and I chew the deer’s hide soft...

Clobhsa Mhargaidh an Fheòla / Fleshmarket Close

Ceitidh Campbell

’S e a’ chiad shealladh a tha gad fhàilteachadh,
gad phurradh eadar mòrachd Scott
gu saoghal cruas Rankin –
am baile mòr ag iarraidh a punnd feòla...

Lesley Benzie

Fessen in the Vernacular

Lesley Benzie

At times, life can be
a North Sea wave, brakkin ower me
caul an hard, like a fist
ah’m nae quick enough tae sidestep...

Foghar Dhùn Èideann

Martin McIntyre

Tha foghar Dhùn Èideann
a’ fàgail na cuimhne
gun phuinnsean:
na dhonn-bhlàths...

The Dead

Rafael Turrubia

Like distant ships in mist, or bells
the ghosts of the dead are leaving at last
every filament of their bodies given up to sea foam
or wandering onwards to light

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