Category: Poetry

Website of poet Elizabeth Rimmer

The Stone Age Jen Hadley

Published by Picador Poetry I wrote last time about feeling like ‘a person’ through connections to place and community, and through the ways we communicate with them remember them and draw close. Jen Hadfield has a neurodivergent experience of being a person, and in The Stone Age she explores this. This is particularly fascinating to…
Read more


May 17, 2021 0

A Sup from the Well

I think of The Well of the Moon as a transitional book, perhaps more personal than the previous ones, certainly more ‘human’. There are a few poems about the brain-glitches that happened under stress, in revisiting painful memories or under medication (for migraines in this instance), glitches that made me feel lost, depersonalised, not properly…
Read more


May 3, 2021 0

The Marks on the Map

Brian Johnstone ARC Publications Ltd.Brian Johnstone has been a pillar of the Scottish Poetry scene for the last thirty years – founder of Edinburgh’s Shore Poets, and the wonderful Platform at the Off the Rails Arthouse in Ladybank, and President of StAnza, his years of dedication have made an enormous contribution to putting poetry firmly…
Read more


April 1, 2021 0

StAnza On-Line

This is a picture from 2019, an exhibition in the foyer at the Byre Theatre, by the artist Nicola Martin. You might notice, along the bottom row, Haggards (launched at StAnza in 2018) peeping out from behind a picture. We weren’t there this year, but I have to admire wholeheartedly the way StAnza embraced the…
Read more


March 16, 2021 0

Poetry As Conversation

Back in 2017 I wrote a piece called Speaking Beings, about the film, Paterson, in which I talked about the social, conversational nature of poetry. Since lockdown, this has been hard to achieve, except on-line, and I have clearly missed it. No readings, little writing, even less conversation, and very few submissions – most of…
Read more


February 10, 2021 0

The Well of the Moon

This was taken at New Grange, looking over the Boyne Valley, where Finn got his wisdom. The famous story, which you’ll find referred to on the poetry page is about cooking the salmon of wisdom and is all about how destiny will get the good stuff to the right person, but there is another story,…
Read more


January 14, 2021 0

The Season of the Witch

This is the title of a song by Donovan – you can hear it here. But it’s also an appropriate title for what’s happened here in the Haggard. Lockdown has given me more chance to read, and though its fair to say a lot of it has been thoughtless escapist reading, there has been a…
Read more


November 27, 2020 0

And So Today

A springtime poem, but this is the mood for today. The world seems to be going to hell in a handcart, and there isn’t anything I can do about it, apart from this.


October 6, 2020 0

Tongues of Fire by Seán Hewitt

This book is the one I waited for most anxiously, having read Seán Hewitt’s debut pamphlet Lantern last year. It didn’t disappoint. Right from the opening poem, the quiet, but not at all understated Leaf, you have some idea what you are in for: For woods are the form of griefgrown from the earth. For…
Read more


September 25, 2020 0

Living La Vida Lockdown -The Burnedthumb Ring

I expect a lot of us have made random purchases during the lockdown. I know one family who bought a tap floor for dance practice, and a lot of people who got seriously obsessed with Animal Crossing. Then there are customised facemasks and wish-listed box sets, plus all the things we bought to help out…
Read more


May 27, 2020 0