Magi Gibson

Poet and Writer

“It’s rare to find a poet whose ability to write wonderful poems matches their ability to teach.  I have been lucky enough to benefit from Magi Gibson’s talent as a writer, and a tutor.”
William Letford, poet


Magi Gibson is well known throughout Scotland and beyond as a poet.

"Not only is Magi Gibson an excellent poet in her own right, but she is quite simply the best creative writing tutor I've ever come across. When I was much younger and still finding my feet as would-be novelist her careful, patient wisdom was the reason why I was able to progress so quickly. She has an incredibly keen editorial eye - nothing gets past her - and knows exactly how to pitch feedback based on what stage a writer is at in their career."
Alan Bissett, novelist & playwright


She has held three Scottish Arts Council Creative Writing Fellowships and one Royal Literary Fund Writing Fellowship with the University of Paisley. She was the first Makar (Poet Laureate) of the City of Stirling in 500 years, and in 2009 was awarded a major Scottish Arts Council bursary. She was Reader in Residence with Glasgow Women’s Library from 2012 - 2015, where she ran many creative writing workshops and hosted poets from India, Australia, South Africa, Canada, Jamaica and Palestine. She is a patron of the Federation of Writers Scotland.

Magi looking up laughing smallest


She is a regular tutor at St Andrews University International Summer School, an Arvon tutor, and a regular guest reader at Stirling University. With thirty years experience at every level, she has taught several courses at Glasgow University and has been a mentor for Book Trust Scotland’s New Writers’ Bursary scheme. This year she is running 3 and 5 day workshops at Listowel Writers’ Week and West Cork Literary Festival, both in Ireland. For the past four years her workshops at West Cork Literary Festival have been sold out. She has contributed to National Poetry Day teaching packs, as well as packs for the Scottish Poetry Library.

The title of her poetry collection ‘Wild Women of a Certain Age’ is a fitting description for her exquisite set which mixed sassiness with sensitivity to winning effect.
Untitled #6 Live (performance) - December 2015 Falkirk Herald

As well as having had three full-length collections of poetry published, she has written three novels for older children, published by Puffin. She started up
Pushing Out The Boat, the new writing and art magazine from North East Scotland, which is still being published over ten years later. She read her poem, Scotland Oh Scotland for Melvyn Bragg’s Travels in Written Britain on ITV.

Her poetry sequence, The Senile Dimension, won the Scotland on Sunday/Women 2000 Writing Prize. Her work appears in Scottish Love Poems and Modern Scottish Women Poets (both Canongate), and The Twentieth Century Book of Scottish Poetry (Edinburgh University Press), as well as in numerous other anthologies and literary magazines. Her hugely popular third poetry collection, Wild Women of a Certain Age, published by Chapman, is now in its fourth print run, and led to her founding the Wild Women Writing Workshops.

She is currently working on a long-awaited new collection.

Details of the collections, anthologies and literary magazines where Magi’s poetry has been published can be found below. This is not a complete list, as she’s lost track a bit.



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Poetry Collections:
Graffiti in Red Lipstick (Cencrastus/CurlySnake) 'Full of thought-provoking poems, expressed in a language which is elegant but direct. An excellent collection.' Poetry Scotland

Wild Women of a Certain Age (Chapman) 'Reflective, compassionate and carefully wrought pieces which are accomplished and clever, highly readable, thought-provoking and moving. Gibson amply demonstrates that for wild women, especially poets, maturity is a most becoming state.' Scottish Studies Review 'A collection for anyone who imagines that sensitively wrought lyric poetry cannot also be tough and pungent.' The Scotsman

Strange Fish (with Helen Lamb) (Duende) 'A terrific collection. Insightful, communicative poems that use skilful imagery. Tender, skilful love poems. Can’t recommend it highly enough.' Chapman
'There’s soul in this work; writing which is food and wine to the senses. The passion of the South American poets and writers is here, as is the fire of the Celt. This is open and free art, extremely sound.' West Coast Magazine

Kicking Back (Taranis) In a decade where so many authors seem to think it’s natural to sharpen their pencils with a chainsaw, Magi Gibson cuts to the empathetic nerves with a skilful scalpel. Her collection is a gutsy and passionate report from the battlefront of everyday human suffering – a successful operation of language….' The Scotsman

Poetry Pamphlets:
Premier Results with Brian Whittingham (Neruda Press)
Death of a Wife - hand-stitched short run special edition.

Poetry published in the following anthologies:

Modern Scottish Women Poets. Canongate
Scottish Love Poems. Canongate
The Edinburgh Book of Twentieth Century Scottish Poetry. Edinburgh University Press

100 Favourite Scottish Love Poems edited by Stewart Conn, Luath Press
New Writing Scotland 14 (Association for Scottish Literary Studies)
New Writing Scotland 2001 (ASLS)
Original Prints, New Writing from Scottish Women, Polygon
Meantime, Prize Winning Writing from Scottish Women, Polygon
I wouldn’t thank you for a Valentine, Viking in UK, Henry Holt in USA
Fresh Oceans, Poetry from Scottish Women, Stramullion (ground-breaking anthology)
Across the Water, Irishness in Scottish Writing, Argyll 2000
This is not a complete list…

And in many literary and new writing magazines including:
Chapman, The Stinging Fly, The Poet’s Republic, Cencrastus, Northwords Now, Southlight, Cutting Teeth, Radical Scotland.

Her poem Och Scotland was published in The Butterfly Rammy (The Common Weal).
She was one of the poets involved in the translation of
A Bird is Not a Stone, Poems from Palestine.
She was one of the poets commissioned to write a poem for the Mirrorball Commonwealth Poetry Anthology
The Laws of the Game, 2014.
Her poem,
So much depends on a red lipstick… was commissioned for New Boots and Pantisocracies in 2015.
She has recently been commissioned to write a new poem for
Scotia Extremis.

Poems have also appeared many times in The Scotsman and The Herald.

Some of her poems are studied in schools in Scotland, as well as on a course at the University of Mainz, Germany, and schools in South Africa and England.
Some poems have been translated into German and Spanish (in Mexico).


POEMS FOR CHILDREN & TEENS appear in
Don't Panic – 100 Poems to Save your Life, Macmillan
Scottish Poems, Macmillan 2001
Parents Keep Out, Macmillan 2000
My Mum’s a Punk, ALCS (with teaching notes)
The Thing that Mattered, Poetry for Children, The Scottish Poetry Library 2006
The Herald CD and Website for Scottish Secondary Schools 2000
The Scottish Poetry Library Website children’s section
See you, see me. Booklet produced as part of the highly acclaimed REBELLAND exhibition at GoMA.

POEMS FEATURED ON
The Scottish Arts Council Website Poem of the Month October 2007
The Scottish Arts Council official Christmas card 2004 snowflake
Amnesty International/Big Issue postcard 2005 Bonsai Wife 2006
National Poetry Day official poetry postcard 2006 My dad says..
National Poetry Day official poetry postcard 2000 Just Like Eve
National Poetry Day official poetry postcard 2002 Greylag Geese
Scottish Poetry Library/Institut Francais Translations Dec. 2003
Featured poet in Scottish Child’s fifth anniversary issue

NOVELS FOR CHILDREN

Three novels for 10 - 13/14 year olds. Published by Puffin.

Pinch me cover high res crazy days cover seriously sassy cover small


Seriously Sassy
Seriously Sassy: Pinch Me, I’m Dreaming
Serioulsy Sassy: Crazy Days


SHORT STORIES

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Harlot Red, in Harlot Red (Serpent’s Tail) Shortlisted in the Asham/Waterstone’s Short Story Competition
‘a sensuous tale with a deceptively powerful kick’ The Herald
'Harlot Red' is the title of a story about 'fucking in the morning' by Magi Gibson, a poet. It fits right into this collection of work by acclaimed writers such as Carol Shields and AL Kennedy.’ The Guardian
Dream Lover in Damage Land, New Scottish Gothic Fiction
‘The poet, Magi Gibson, turns in a fine performance. Her story begins quietly enough, but surprises the reader by the way in which it artfully winds up the tension in the final pages.’ The Scotsman

The Loneliness of the Stars, short story in
Northwords Now (2015)
Haunting The Shadows, short story, in
Glasgow, a City in Architecture 2013


TV, DRAMA, FILM & RADIO

Magi has written one play, Our Boys. A scene was selected for From Page to Stage at the CCA, Glasgow. Our Boys was selected for mentoring in Talkfest at the Tron 2015.
Her short filmscript,
Falling, was a finalist in Tartan Shorts (2006) and the full length rom-com script she co-wrote with husband, Ian Macpherson, was a finalist in Scottish Screen's New Found Films competition (2005). Ian and Magi have also co-written radio drama for BBC Radio 4, and TV sitcom, Byron’s Women had two episodes commissioned by BBC Scotland Dec 05. With Hopscotch Films and Scottish Screen she trained as a story editor for film.


AGENT FOR CHILDREN’S BOOKS
Caroline Walsh, David Higham Literary Agency, London