Magi Gibson

Magi Gibson has had four collections of poetry published, including the popular Wild Women of a Certain Age. Her most recent collection, Washing Hugh MacDiarmid’s Socks, was described in the National as “a joy to read”. Her work has appeared in many anthologies, including Modern Scottish Women Poets, Scottish Love Poems and The Twentieth Century Book of Scottish Poetry. She was appointed Stirling’s first Makar in 2009 and is widely published in literary magazines. She also won the Scotland on Sunday/Women 2000 prize for poetry, has held three Scottish Arts Council Creative Writing Fellowships, and was the Royal Literary Fund writer in residence at the University of Paisley, writer in residence with GoMA in Glasgow and reader in residence with Glasgow Women’s Library. She runs Wild Women Writing Workshops in Scotland and Ireland.

Photo: Ian Macpherson


The Blaze of Day »

New poems to mark the centenary of women’s suffrage

Thu 8 March - Sun 11 March | 10:00 - 22:00 | FREE | The Byre Theatre, Abbey Street


My Father, Dreaming

The train glides through a world of frozen white,
low mists swirl and smudge the mirror of the Clyde,
Helensburgh stretches on the far shore
like a lazy cat, and we slide into Port Glasgow,
its tenements shimmering in serried rows on the steep hillside.

My father laboured here, learned his trade before the war
up on those high roofs, working long hard shifts.
A young man wrapped against the cold on arctic days like this,
fingers sore with blood-dried hacks, head down,
hammering, hammering six inch nails, heart beating
to the metal ding and ching.

The train moves off, crawls along the coast. My father
on his eyrie perch of sixty years ago stops to blow
some heat into his hands, gazes at the distant
snow-capped peaks northwards of the Firth;
the Brack, the frosted mass of Ben Narnain,
chittering Ben Ìme, the Cobbler’s craggy last.

While I sit warm and comfy in a future he will never know
he sets his hammer on the slates, clambers to his feet
in patched and mucky dungarees, his trademark black beret,
climbs to the ridge, and, arms spread eagle-wide, soars
in the timeless, ice blue sky above the dreaming Clyde.


Magi Gibson

From Washing Hugh MacDiarmid’s Socks (Luath, 2017)