Published at the Scottish Centre for Ecopoetics
When I was 22 and everyone I knew was starting to think in a very serious way about their futures and their jobs, I went to Iona as a volunteer for six weeks. Six weeks turned into a year and a half, and besides being Abbey housekeeper I became a d.j., was allowed to drive the ferry (once), and had a fairly riotous time. Every cove and corner of that island had a song, and there were people on the island who could sing them all. While living there I met and worked with people from all over the world and from all walks of life. Being on that island introduced me to a radical democracy, a way of being that allowed for parity between all people and all things. A revolutionary way of seeing and being that had justice and love at its heart. I guess these things are still my guiding principles.
After working for Glasgow Association for Mental Health and the Richmond Fellowship in Glasgow, I moved back south to do an MA in Creative Writing. For the past twenty years I’ve been a self-employed poet and have been lucky enough to do some fantastic residencies and collaborations with other artists. I run an international poetry-as-public-art project, The Migration Habits of Stones, which involves siting stones in different parts of the world with words carved into them. They all say the same thing: and they’re all rooted in the awareness that the very materiality of our world, i.e. rocks and stones, are alive and moving albeit in a very different time frame.