Em Strang

Em Strang is a Lead Reader for Open Book, facilitates workshops in Embodied Poetry and has spent the last five years teaching in HMP Dumfries. She is currently setting up a Centre for Embodied Arts, which will offer outreach for ex-prisoners and refugees, as well as workshops in embodied creative practice – what is the role of the artistic mind and body in authentic self-expression? Her writing preoccupations are with 'nature', spirituality and the relationship between the human and nonhuman. Em’s first full collection, Bird-Woman (Shearsman, 2016), was shortlisted for the Seamus Heaney Best First Collection Prize and won the 2017 Saltire Poetry Book of the Year Award.



Photo: Heshani Sothiraj Eddleston


Scottish/Hungarian Translation Workshop Showcase »

Join us for the first outing of work created at this year's Edwin Morgan Trust translation workshop

Sat 9 March | 13:00 - 14:00 | £4.50/£3.50 | The Town Hall, Queens Gardens, Council Chamber


Doing Bird
for the incarcerated

You hear nothing, not even the unseasonal rain.
Flinch-brains like flick-knives fighting the rain.

You have tight bodies, mouths like beaks.
I show you white feathers, wet with rain.

You're here longer than me, you know more,
but knowing's a loose thread, the silver of rain.

You're wing-men and claw-men, faces like cliffs
where you hunker and squawk in the crumbling rain.

You know carelessness like you know love,
a popped eye, a broken lip, hopeless in the pouring rain.

And in your palms, reversed love, others' blood,
homeless pain. You wrestle with the indifference of rain.

On Fridays you watch me and call out my name.
Your stories unwing me. I walk home in the rain.


Em Strang

From Bird-Woman (Shearsman, 2016)