Brian Johnstone

Brian Johnstone is a poet, writer and performer whose work has appeared throughout the UK, in the Americas, Australasia and Europe. He has published seven collections, most recently the pamphlet Juke Box Jeopardy (Red Squirrel Press, 2018), shortlisted for the Callum MacDonald Memorial Award 2019. A regular performer solo and with his poetry and jazz group Trio Verso, his poems have been translated into over a dozen languages and are included in the UK Poetry Archive website. His memoir Double Exposure was published by Saraband in 2017. He is a founder and former Director of StAnza: Scotland’s International Poetry Festival.

Photo: Ross Wilson


Hamish Matters »

A celebration of the life and legacy of Hamish Henderson through music and poetry collected, written and inspired by him

Sun 8 March | 20:00 - 21:30 | £10.00/£8.00 | Byre Theatre, Abbey Street, Auditorium

Imprisoned Poets Reading »

Readings from the work of imprisoned poets

Fri 6 March | 15:30 - 16:30 | free / ticketed | Byre Theatre, Abbey Street, Auditorium



Gone when you come back, the house
an empty jest. Your neighbours missing also,
doors nailed shut. No-one in the street but dogs

you think you might remember, rapidly
becoming strays. An army has been here,
their spoor is evidential, scratched on gable ends,

spare bits of timber roughly nailed to posts,
making play with occupation you realise
leaves little room for hope. It must begin again,

the trail you have been following as blindly
as the months, the changing seasons you already
struggled through, boots tied on with twine.

They’re out there, lurking in the mists
of your unknowing, the dearth of any news.
The keys you’ve carried now for years are useless.

You turn again, step back to the encrypted road.


Brian Johnstone

From The Darg (Poets Republic, 2019)