Category Archives: Blog

Arp, Arp and me

Last week I went to the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art to see Cut and Paste, an exhibition of collages. One of the works included from the early twentieth century is ‘According to the Laws of Chance’, created by the German/French artist Hans/Jean Arp in 1933 when he ripped a sheet of black paper […]

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A Place They Called Home

My essay ‘A random walk between Germany and Scotland’ is included in ‘A Place They Called Home’; an anthology of work by Jewish people exploring their new German citizenship, edited by Donna Swarthout and published by Berlinica Press.

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A Year of Scottish Poems

My poem ‘Physics for the unwary student’  (one of the Best Scottish Poems of 2016) is included in a beautiful new anthology; ‘A Year of Scottish Poems’, edited by Gaby Morgan and published by Pan Macmillan.

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‘Moonrise’ and ‘Lost Mars’ SF anthologies review

I recently had published in the TLS a review of two SF anthologies; ‘Moonrise’ and ‘Lost Mars’, both edited by Mike Ashley and published as part of the Science Fiction Classics series by the British Library.

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Multiverse – SF poetry anthology

I’m chuffed that four of my poems are included in Multiverse, the upcoming anthology of SF poetry to be published by award-winning Shoreline of Infinity (British Fantasy Society Award 2018 for best magazine!) in December.

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Re-reading Orwell

‘Down and Out in Paris and London’ is one of my favourite books. I first encountered it when I was about 14 or 15 years old, a pretentious teenager who liked to wander around with books that I thought would show how clever I was, without actually going to the bother of reading them. (In […]

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Being stationary and also falling

I’m coming to the end of my stay here in Dilsberg/Heidelberg and am thinking about what the next stage is for the ‘something’ that I’ve started writing. I am working out how to convey facts as well as my musings on the gaps between the facts – I think the narrative will require a hybrid […]

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Turning the pages of the forest

I’m in Germany to write about my grandfather, who came from Offenbach am Main (a city not far away from where I’m staying near Heidelberg), before he moved to England in the late 1930s. In the past I’ve written a flash fiction about him, and more recently an essay and a couple of poems. I’m […]

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Being (not) at home and feeling (un)canny

I started as a writer in residence here a few weeks ago, and I spend a lot of time working in a small studio that resembles a box. This boxy environment feels a bit like a creative experiment, what will I produce when I’m in here? Putting particles of light, or people, or animals into […]

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Walking and writing on small scales

This morning I went walking in the forest near Dilsberg (in southern Germany, where I’m staying on a three-month writers residency). Most of the trees in this forest are oak and beech trees, which makes it feel very different to those at home in Scotland. And walking through this forest I’m noticing very small scale […]

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