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Festival Poets


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Hugh McMillan is a poet and writer. He has eleven collections of poetry and has won many awards. He has appeared many times on radio and Literary Festivals, most recently in performances at the Stanza International Festival, Wigtown International Book Festivals in Scotland, and the Edmonton Poetry Festival in Canada.

He has been involved in many collaborations and has been commissioned for work in both poetry and prose.

Hugh is an experienced facilitator and teacher of poetry and creative writing, and has taught in schools, festivals and community groups. In 2017 he was Writer in Residence at the Harvard Summer School.

He has edited the magazine Poets Republic since 2016, and the first two of its pamphlet series ‘Bearings’. He is an editor for Drunk Muse Press. In 2020 he was appointed a ‘Poetry Champion’ for the Scottish Poetry Library, to commission new workers for its platforms. In 2021 he was chosen as Editor of the SPL’S annual anthology ‘Best Scottish Poems’.

From Here to the Sea

Hugh McMillan

I have flushed out animals today: 

a young deer bolting across 

wet grass near Kilmaurs

and a hawk at Garelochhead  

arrowing between trees.


Maybe it was the train did it,  

but I think it was me nosing north

like the hawk on a wing and a prayer,

like the deer on a body swerve.

Sunlight is strung through cloud 


and ahead the weather is bending

like a bar round mountains.

This is as ever a journey 

from the central belt of my life 

to the high hills of my imagination,


hard to describe:

sometimes I run beside the train,

sometimes the dead live, 

their conversation 

frozen in the silver air. 


The country is alive too-

the rocks breathe and even

the rain is saying something 

dripping in a romance language

down wet windows.


Oh a heron! Sheet music

beating from here to the sea.



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...

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