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Promoting Creative Writing in Scotland


Poet of the Month



Magi Gibson


Magi Gibson's second collection of poetry, Wild Women of A Certain Age was published by Chapman of Edinburgh in 2000.  Nine years on it has never been out of print and is Chapman's best-selling poetry collection. She was appointed the first Makar for the City of Stirling in 500 years. Her third poetry collection is 'Graffiti in Red Lipstick'. She also won the Scotland on Sunday/Women 2000 Poetry Prize.


            'I like writing poetry that is clear and accessible, yet connects with the reader or listener,' says Magi who has recently been launched by Puffin as one of their authors for children.  'As well as writing poetry about serious subjects, I like too to have fun in my poems.  Poetry is about all of life.  As well as being thoughtful and contemplative I feel it's important that my poetry is celebratory too.'


            As well as being published in countless literary magazines, Magi's poetry has appeared in many anthologies, including Modern Scottish Women Poets (Canongate), Scottish Love Poems (Canongate), Original Prints (Polygon),  New Writing Scotland (ASLS), and the groundbreaking Fresh Oceans from Stramullion.


            Her poems have been used on the SAC website and have often been chosen for National Poetry Day postcards.  For more info visit her website




Poetry Collections






Graffiti in Red Lipstick (Curly Snake)

'Full of thought-provoking poems, expressed in a language which is elegant but direct. An excellent collection.'Poetry Scotland
Available from www. or direct from Magi





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
Available direct from Chapman  or



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
Available from or direct from Magi


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
available from


Here's a small selection of some new poems from Magi. 



slip into the moment

slip into the moment

between night and day

slip into the moment

between the breathing in

and the breathing out

into the moment between

the thought and the word

that moment between

the silence and the noise

imagine stepping from a dancing boat

onto the solid shore

imagine that split second where

you are suspended in mid air –


if just then a passer-by

taking a photo of the view beyond -

the sparkling sea, the far horizon,

the white clouds drifting - caught you,

spirit-like, hovering

not in the boat,  not on the land

suspended, defying the weight of flesh and blood and bone

slip into that moment if you can

slip into that moment if you dare

slip into that moment if you care

to find out who you really are



love poem

you have knocked me off-balance

I walk like a drunk

tripping over

dogs, falling off

kerbs, walking out in front of

cars and trucks

this is so physical

this disorientation

this disintegration

a woman is at the door

returning a leg

I left at the local store

I look in the mirror

surprised I'm still there

picasso has been messing with my face

my eyes are on my nose

my ears are on my chin

and salvador has curled my hair

into a lovesick grin

I daren't go out

my body is diffused with light

I might dissolve in the sun

I defy gravity

my head hurts from bumping off clouds

I search books for a cure

letters dance on the page

refuse to be read

leap and spin a crazy jig

to the rhythm of my heart

to the music in my head

I would call out for help –

but my voice has grown wings

it's perched out on the widow ledge

chirrupping your name

you have knocked me off-balance

I think I'm going insane

I think I'm going

I think I'm going to tell you soon

I        love        you

When I am an old woman…

When I am an old woman, I shall wear beige

a bloodless, weary colour. And I shall let my hair turn grey

and wispy as a winter's day.

I will keep myself to myself

in a room filled with photographs

of grandchildren I never see

I'll flick idly through my memories

chuckling wryly at the wildness of my youth

I shall never go out in the rain

for fear of shrinkage

and sudden disappearance down a gushing drain.

On dry days I'll wrap up sensibly and venture forth

to gather from my garden the lost footballs of the neighbours' children.

Quietly and with dignity

I will stab them with my kitchen knife

and rejoice

that at last I am old enough

to be the grumpy old lady who lives next door.

I will expect young people

to stand up on the bus to let me have their seat.

Oh what glee I'll feel to know

I AM that elderly disabled person on the window sticker.

I will demand my place - after all these years – at last! At last!

I'll have a zimmer too, and a tartan shopping trolley

and make a point of tripping up young mothers

with impossibly cheery, cherub-cheeked children.

I will lean into prams and oooh and aahhh

and quietly nip the sleeping babes

then tut my disapproval at their wailing.

Oh really I can't wait to be old and grumpy!

I'll wear wrinkly support tights

and big comfy knickers

and never worry about getting knocked down by a bus – why

I'll be half-dead already - what will I care!

I'll blow on my tea, and moan about my haemorrhoids

when the minister comes to call

and dunk my custard cream and slurp my soup

and chomp my gums …

But if ever, ever that day comes

when I want to wear purple -

shove me in a home without delay

and with my blessing throw the key away.


Magi Gibson




All poems on this page are the copyright © of Magi Gibson










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