StAnza 2018

Scotland’s International Poetry Festival opens this week, and I am delighted to say that my poem ‘We Love Fat Nose’ is included as part of a digital exhibition.

It was commissioned by Voluntary Arts Scotland and the Scottish Poetry Library as part of their ‘My Time’ project (, funded by Creative Scotland. Copies of the pamphlet that contains all the poems from the project will be available at the venue.

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My Time has been a wonderful project, and I thoroughly enjoyed my own time attached to the youth theatre Performance Collective Stranraer, and their new show, Remote Control.

The exhibition is running throughout the festival at the Byre Theatre. There is also a free ‘Meet the Artists’ event on Saturday morning in the Studio Theatre.

If you miss it, there will be a reading at the Scottish Poetry Library on Saturday 17th March, 2-3pm. Tickets are free, and can be booked through Eventbrite.

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(Photographs from:



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Blackbox Manifold No.19

There’s a terrific start to the New Year over at Blackbox Manifold with Issue No. 19 now up online. Four poems from my new sequence about men and war are here, along with work from Tim Allen, Claire Crowther, Ian Seed, Helen Tookey, and many others.

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The Scores

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I’m fair tingling with excitement to have two new poems in this. ‘Men Looking Across Rivers’, and ‘Men on Call’, join work by Moniza Alvi, Melissa Lee-Houghton, Christie Williamson, Wayne Holloway-Smith, and many more. This is the third issue of The Scores, the journal of poetry and prose based at The University of St Andrews. Huge thanks to the editors, Patrick Errington and Rosa Campbell, for a magnificent job.

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Tenebrae I

tenebrae 1

My poems ‘Men on Horses’ and ‘Men in Retreat’ feature in the first issue of Tenebrae, Kyle Lovell’s new ‘Journal of Poetics’. They sit alongside work by Stephanie Dando, Zohar Atkins, Jack Belloli and others.

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Butcher’s Dog 10


Butcher’s Dog 10 has arrived, along with the winds of Ophelia, and my poem ‘Nightmare #17′. It is nestling up to poems by Anna Kisby, Suzannah Evans, Jacqueline Saphra, Josephine Corcoran, Martin Malone, and many others.


Issue 10 is edited by George Aird, James Giddings and Degna Stone, and the cover image
is by Mark Bletcher. It’s the last issue for a while. You can buy it here.
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‘Honest Error’

I was delighted to read at the launch of Gillean McDougall’s marvellous anthology last night. And the CCA venue was packed to the gunwales.


And what a great cover.


You can read all about it here:

All photos stolen from here: @gilleanmcd


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More gatherings

Black Market Re-View has published its 4th issue, and I’m delighted to see three new poems from gatherings title  included.


BMR4 is 96-pages of poetry, art, and prose. You can download it here.

bmr 4 contents


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Butcher’s Dog 10

The line-up for Butcher’s Dog 10 has been announced and I’m delighted to be a part of it.

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The team at BD are taking a break in 2018, so for the time being, this is the last time to pick up a copy of this beautiful mag.

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The final issue for the time being is edited by James Giddings and George Aird, along with the assistance of Joanne Clement and Degna Stone. Look out for it in October.

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Review in the House

I’m incredibly pleased to see Spearmint & Rescue reviewed by Aoife Lyall in the latest issue of The Interpreter’s House.

Some of the highlights include:

‘A timely collection, Mark Russell’s Spearmint & Rescue opens with ‘The Girl of Boscastle’. A seemingly innocuous poem depicting the once-harmless hobby of people-watching, it reminds the reader how, with the rise of social media, the habit has become an unhealthy one; the drive to efface ourselves in our eagerness to construct and ascribe exaggerated narratives to those around us. An attempt to order and control a world that exists in increasingly unified and fractured states, Russell’s remedy for this epidemic of social deference is a collection that epitomises the intrinsic worth of the personal narrative; a call to move beyond the compulsion to ‘increase the prospect and consequence/ of love, of terrible loss and grief’ of others and to give quarter to our own lives.’

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‘The concept of existing between two states of being is poignantly revisited in ‘Aisle Seat’. The speaker contemplates a recent funeral while sitting in an emptied cinema, waiting for the credits to finish ‘because I want to see who did what for whom’. His desire to create a ‘mixed media collage’ from the ashes is a powerful one, and the poem finishes with a sense of loss and regret that is devastating in its simplicity; ‘saying none of this out loud until/ the credits had rolled and everyone was gone.’

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Spearmint & Rescue…reaffirms what is rapidly being lost: the value of the individual experience; the value of ourselves.’

My thanks to all involved at the House, especially Aoife Lyall and editor Martin Malone.

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The Honest Ulsterman


My reading of ‘Some People Leave the Lights On’ is up on The Honest Ulsterman site. There are features, prose, podcasts, and 13 pages of poetry, including Christie WilliamsonRoss Wilson, and Stewart Sanderson. It’s all very fine, and you should take a look.

HU june 17

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