Catherine Wilson

Catherine Wilson is a poet, performer, writer, public speaker and event host. Her writing has been commissioned by institutions including the British National Gallery, BBC Radio Scotland, BBC Radio 4 and the Experimental Words project. She has spoken at two of University of Edinburgh's TEDx conferences and organised the first non-American team to compete in CUPSI in Austin in 2016. She is one of the organisers and producers of the award-winning Loud Poets: a collective of musicians, poets and filmmakers committed to making poetry accessible to everyone. With them she has performed at the Edinburgh, Prague and Brighton Fringe Festivals.

Photo: Perry Jonsson


Poetry Café: Catherine Wilson, Hannah Raymond-Cox »

Lunch and lively poetry from two of the best poets to emerge from Scotland’s spoken word scene

Fri 9 March | 13:00 - 13:50 | £6.75/£5.50 | The Byre Theatre, Abbey Street, Studio Theatre

Festival Launch Extravaganza »

A sneak peek at some of the highlights of StAnza 2018

Wed 7 March | 18:30 - 20:45 | FREE | The Byre Theatre, Abbey Street, Auditorium

Necessarily Looking Backward »

New poems commissioned by StAnza for the Muriel Spark centenary

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

Necessarily Looking Backward »

Listen to new poems commissioned for the Muriel Spark centenary

Fri 9 March | 14:15 - 15:00 | FREE | The Byre Theatre, Abbey Street, Conference Room


Scotland the More

We are Scotland
We are summers, with a handful of nettle stings
And a history full of Vikings
We are high roads, and low roads,
We are potatoes with a side of…

In the beginning
We were prehistoric
Callendish and Brodgar
Tombs where we laid the dead
Gaelic tongues that have since run themselves smooth

We were Walter Scott's daydream
Of tartan and Waverley
Swaying on til today

We are fresh seafood
Catches caught in lobster creels
Cracked hands of the fisherman
We are cliff faces
Busy Aberdonians
Winding trips down windy lanes
We are the train journeys
That take us from Glasgow Queen Street to
Edinburgh Waverley
We are the towns that could only belong in my country
Golspie, Larbert, Carnoustie, Auchtermuchty, Finstown

We are farmers,
Plumbers, engineers,
Musicians and inventors

We gave humans the Internet,
The BBC,
The pneumatic tire,
And Billy fucking Conolly!

We are Ian Rankin mysteries
Found down Fleshmarket Close,
Conan Doyle on the street,
Muriel Spark in her prime,
We are uncensored Galloway and Welsh,
what bred the words of George Mackay Brown,
Edwin Muir and Morgan

We are mouths full of rock,
That spit out runes,
We are hearts full of fire,
Ready to pass on the flame to the next generation,
We are the nation that take on seagulls in the battle for chips!

We are sand under fingernails
And stolen seashells
We are black pudding mornings
And rock pools we catch our dreams in

We are hobbled on cobbled streets,
Sung to sleep by sore feet,
We are unamused David Hume in our jayckets,
Shan, square goal and raj,
We are crabbit this morning,
Peedie and lang shanks with schmucks
Burglar alarms and curly wurlys

We are fish and chips
Salt crystals that stick

We are sweet smiles made of Irn Bru
We are highland shows
Where the sun splits the sky
And we have strong opinions over who should win best sheep

We are forests
We are mountains
Monroes and Ben Nevis
We are John O'Groats to Loch Muick
The Isle of Mull

We are low voiced men
And slow fiddle music
All of which make you decide to
Visit Scotland

And we are more
We are not Scotland the Brave
We are not one dimensional Gryffindors,
We are the Hufflepuffs of Europe
We are humble, hardworking and reliable,
We are Scotland the More!

More than
White male Etonians, making our decisions,
More than your drunk Glaswegian deep fried stereotypes,
Which are delicious by the way

More than Auld Lang Syne mispronounced at Hogmanay,
We are more
Than just Burns poetry

We have been pushed down and stepped upon
But we rise up
We are more than Margaret Thatcher's thumbprint
And a generation of stolen milk
More than being treated like a test lab to experiment policies

Because Britain is not one country
But four
Edinburgh is not the Athens of the North,
Athens is the Edinburgh of the South,


We are beautiful,
We are life changing landscapes and
Pocketfuls of fresh rain
History and geography met together in an infinite marriage
We are more cultured than any probiotic yoghurt!

We are funny,
We are smart,
We are reliable
We are here to stay
And we

Catherine Wilson