Wigtown Book Festival – writer-in-residence, poetry linking people

A ‘she’ emerged in response to one of the Spring Fling artist’s work, Denise Zygadlo, her studio I dropped into on-route before the festival began, as well as with those taking the bus tour. At the time, she handed me a tiny folded poem in a matchbox drawer, words to walk away with. So much precision stitched into a moment, so many notions of ‘her’ woven into the work.  I’ll be performing the piece within a solo show at Wigtown Book Festival- ‘This Impossible Rim’




Those shoes that were “slippy on Marley tiles”

In answer to D.Z


Her room is

A windmill of intention

a bone-cold calm and curved

whitewashed clay, and today

the work is woven into everything


She keeps herself threaded into constant wonder,

Falling stillness, sun bubbling beneath

The full face of it,

Her gentle eyes beaming


On parchment, a pencil thread

Stitches lace through lead

Hitching who we are to knotted cloth

Pointing to an endless seam


Her breath, crumpling like paper

creased into the drawer of her body

stays within her, is held shut

a handle comes loose

in her palm, she walks on

with the only way

to open things up again

Bait the lull a little, wait….with a line




You can’t catch

without fishing –

got to let it dangle, bait the lull

a little, wait

with a line


These lines are string

noodles of whisper-white yarn

taughtly held, intoning silence

with promised weave

like the still piano keys

beside the loom


Put the nettle on


Watch the leaves

Slowly lose themselves

Spinning in verdure

ready the wool

dip it in to a guess

drip-dry any answer

in occasional sun, walk away –

still fishing –

don’t speak to anyone


“Before You Go…” some words from those who heard the poetry in-transit

These are some audio clips captured in-transit with those travelling on the shuttle bus service between artists studios in Dumfries & Galloway, Scotland, as part of the Wigtown Book Festival Writer-in-Residence – I installed myself on the commute, ( a kind of waiting space!) and shared poetry across distances with anyone who wanted to hear some images while staring out a window…  

Colin Hattersley photo poet-spring-680x452

Photo: Colin Hattersley, for Wigtown Book Festival – Spring Fling

This Impossible Rim…poem about centering oneself and toppling magic, Writer-in-Residence for Wigtown Book Festival 2016

Wigtown Book Festival Writer-in-Residence


This is one of a series of poems commissioned in response to the Spring Fling visual arts festival in Dumfries & Galloway in May 2016 – I’ve installed myself in-transit on the bus shuttle service that took folk around to visit these artists homes (and studios), and this is the first poem written in response to that experience. This Impossible Rim is inspired, in part, by my time spent on a potters wheel post-heartbreak, (thanks the once ‘Go Potty’ in Glasgow – nothing more cathartic than trying to centre yourself with clay) – and the professionals who spin their forms and dedicate their time and talent to working with the wheel. 

Wigtown Book Festival Writer-in-Residence