Magi Gibson graduated from Glasgow University with an M.A. in French and German language and literature. She trained as a secondary school teacher. Subsequently she became a workshop facilitator for the Workers’ Educational Association specializing in working with adults from marginalized groups in society. This included work in prisons. From 1994 –1999 she worked as a Special Education teacher with teenagers experiencing social, emotional and behavioural difficulties. During her residency at the Gallery of Modern Art in Glasgow in 2007, she worked with artist Anthony Schrag as part of the Blind Faith Project. This culminated in the highly praised REBELLAND exhibition. She was awarded a Scottish Arts Council Bursary in 2007 for writing for children. She is currenly working on a series of novels for Puffin.
Magi has held three Scottish Arts Council Creative Writing Fellowships.
Renfrew Council Libraries 1992-94, Aberdeenshire Council 1999-2000
West Lothian College & Council 2003-05
She was Royal Literary Fund Writing Fellow at Paisley University 01-03
She was awarded a residency at Cove Park International Artists’ Centre, 05
Major creative writing projects include:
The Women’s Library, London Metroploitan University and Barnardo’s.
Prostitution: What’s happening? May – Sept 2007. As part of this exhibition and outreach project Magi worked with a group of sexually-exploited teenagers (male and female) from Dundee. The young people worked creatively with Magi to produce short diaries as art exhibits. Five other writers worked with similar groups in England.
Prostitution: What’s happening? was long-listed for the Gulbenkian Exhibition Prize.
Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow
Rule of Thumb November 2005 – Jan 2006. Magi worked with inmates of Barlinnie Prison on the issue of violence against women. A collaborative project with visual artist and sculptor, James MacLardie, in a highly challenging setting. The resulting artwork and writings were exhibited in The Gallery of Modern Art, February - April 2006.
Writer in Residence. The Royal High School, Edinburgh June 06 – April 07
Following on the success of the Home from Home project in 2005, the Royal High School obtained funding for Magi to be the first Live Literature Scotland writer-in-residence in a secondary school.
Women’s Aid/Domestic Abuse Programme. Highland Region: In 2005 Magi helped women and children who had spent time in the Highland Women’s Refuge create poetry and text for The Book of Me, currently on exhibition in The National Library, Edinburgh. Magi again worked with them at Moniack Mhor and helped them produce the booklet I am me I am free, launched in Aviemore, August 2006.
Edinburgh International Festival Education Outreach
Home from Home Summer 2005 A series of workshops in three Edinburgh secondary schools on the theme of home - and homelessness - with digital photographer Alex Hetherington. The exhibition of poetry and photographs produced by the pupils was exhibited in the Festival’s Hub Café throughout the Festival 2005.
Poetry & Digital Art Scottish Poetry Library & Stills Gallery 2003
Cultural Inclusion Project with young ethnic minority people in Edinburgh in collaboration with Digital Artist, Catriona Grant. A short video, poetry postcards and t-shirts were produced.
Artlink Central & Cornton Vale Women’s Prison 1999
Writing tutor on multi-arts project which led to production of Elleva Day, a one hour play written and performed by inmates and staff about the prison experience of a young inmate.
Artlink Central & Cornton Vale Women’s Prison 2000
A series of poetry workshops. Poems read out at a literature event in Stirling’s Albert Hall.
Dumfries & Galloway Creative Arts 2005: Words in Place:
Enterprise and Creative Writing Project. A series of workshops in schools in Dumfries and Galloway. The pupils created products to promote the area where they live.
Moniack Mhor, Arvon Writing Courses
In 2004 & 2005 tutor on week-long residential courses for fifth and sixth year school students.
Guest poet on adult courses in 2005 & 2007.
The University of Stirling
Graffiti in Red Lipstick used in DAICE Introduction to Modern Poetry Module. Guest Reader on this course 2004 & 2005 & 2006 & 2007. Guest Reader Department of English Open Day for prospective students 2003.
The University of Glasgow.
Guest Reader on M. Litt. Creative Writing Course
Aberdeenshire Education Department
Annual Creative Writing Conference for Senior Pupils. Guest reader & workshop leader 2001 - 2005
Angus Council Education Department
Annual Creative Writing Mini -Conferences. Guest workshop leader and reader 2001 – 2007. Magi has also led creative writing professional development days for teachers in Angus.
Angus Council Education Department and Scottish Natural Heritage
Environmental Education through the Arts 2000
Magi worked with musician Malcolm LeMaistre of the Environmental Theatre Company and pupils from six schools in Angus to produce a variety of writing, poetry and theatre pieces with music and movement in which the pupils explored issues around nature and the environment. A teachers’ pack was subsequently produced by Magi and Malcolm for use in Angus schools.
Scottish Poetry Library
Magi works as a guest tutor both within the library and in schools throughout Scotland. Magi tutored Primary School Teachers as part of their professional development. 2003 – 2005. She has been invited several times to prepare poetry lesson plans for use by teachers as part of the Scottish Poetry Library Resource Packs and for publication by the SPL on their website. She led workshops for pupils from a special educational unit in the Poetry Library in 2005 - the only event of this kind so far.
As well as her Writer-in-Residence work Magi was a regular tutor of community groups in Stirling, Peebles and Stonehaven, 1999 - 2003
Pushing Out the Boat
Magi created the format for this magazine in 2000 and edited Issues 1-4. Pushing Out the Boat features new writing and visual art from the North East of Scotland. Funded by Aberdeenshire Council.
A magazine of new writing and artwork from West Lothian. Following on the success of Pushing Out the Boat, Magi was asked in 2005 to create and edit a similar platform for writers and artists in West Lothian. She designed and edited the first two issues.
Magi has read from her poetry at the Universities of Glasgow, Stirling, Paisley and Aberdeen. She has been invited to read at STANZA in 2008.
She was guest poet with Lynton Kwesi Johnston at the Edinburgh Radical Book Fair in 2002.
In 2005 she was one of the Writers Against the G8 at the Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh
She was a guest poet at Ladyfest in Glasgow in 2001 and read at a Glasgow Women’s Aid AGM. She has several times been a guest poet at the Wigtown Book Festival and has read at the Callander Poetry Weekend. She has performed her poetry in so many places and at so many events she can’t remember them all now. But she particularly recalls good nights in Orkney and Dublin. She read at The Hundred Poets at StAnza’s 10th anniversary celebration in St. Andrews 2007. Guest Reader StAnza 2008
Magi is a committed and experienced workshop leader. She has led and taken part in community-based and cross-arts projects for many agencies including Artlink, Stirling Mental Health Association, Angus Mental Health Association, Lapidus Scotland, Cornton Vale Women’s Prison, Glenochil Prison, The Arvon Foundation, The Scottish Poetry Library, the Workers’ Educational Association, Women’s Aid, the Maggie Centre, Glasgow, the Gallery of Modern Art, the Women’s Library at London Metropolitan University and Barnardo’s.
Magi holds an Enhanced Disclosure Certificate for working with young and vulnerable people. She has a clean, current driving licence.