And they shall be accounted poet kings
Who simply tell the most heart-easing things.

John Keats ‘Sleep and Poetry’ 1817

The poet & the collections

Mary Thomson
I am a Glasgow based writer and poet. Born in Cheshire, my working life in Yorkshire was spent in the arts as a curator, critic, gallery owner and writer, before moving to Scotland in 2006.

I have published five collections of poems and make handmade books of individual poems. I have exhibited at By Leaves We Live at the Scottish Poetry Library, at Scottish Pamphlet Poetry events at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, Stanza and at the Glasgow International Artists Bookfair. In 2010 I read at the Ilkley Literature Festival, and again in 2011 when I presented a two-woman show based on A KINDNESS OF WOMEN with my daughter, actress Cathy Sara, since reprised in Essex in 2012.

A KINDNESS OF WOMEN celebrates six decades of a woman’s experience and reflects on the way that women value kindness as much as talent and generosity. Memories of girlhood and the inspiration of women in art and history colour its pages.

The genesis of SOME CONSEQUENCES OF SAYING YES was a brief encounter between two married people in 1979: their first and last meeting for 25 years. Then he (a Scot) set out to find her (me in Yorkshire); I was found and in 2006 I married him and came to live in Scotland. These poems describe and celebrate some aspects of the ultimate consequences of that long-ago saying “Yes” and the collection was shortlisted for the Callum Macdonald Memorial Award 2012.

The third collection, COMINGS AND GOINGS, is not only about stimulating travels in Europe and Scotland and its islands but a daily life which can be seen to be full of different kinds of arrivals and departures, real and metaphysical.

Finally, the newest pamphlet, EAST END, is a short sequence celebrating the new perspective on the area and city life that living in the East End of Glasgow has given me. The delights and enigmas of it’s history and daily life are beautifully caught in Mandy Sinclair’s witty and empathetic illustrations in response to my poems.

SEE THE NEWS PAGE FOR DATES OF READINGS.

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Click the images to see a poem from each collection:

East EndA Kindness of WomenSome Consequences of Saying YesComings and Goings