Living Published Women Poets in the UK
Valerie Gillies
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Valerie Gillies poet

Valerie Gillies was born in Canada and grew up in Scotland and now lives in Edinburgh.


The Spring Teller (Luath, 2008)

The Lighting Tree (Polygon, 2002)

Men and Beasts: Wild Men and Tame Animals of Scotland with photographer Rebecca Marr (Luath Press, 2000)

St Kilda Walking collaboration with Will Maclean (Morning Star, 1998)

The Ringing Rock (Scottish Cultural Press, 1995)

The Chanter’s Tune (Canongate, 1990)

The Jordanstone Folio with twelve artists (Tay Press, 1990)

Tweed Journey (Canongate, 1989)

Leopardi: A Scottis Quair (Edinburgh University Press, 1987) translation

Bed of Stone (Canongate 1984)

Kim (York Notes Longong, 1981)

Each Bright Eye (Canongate 1977)

As Editor

East Coast Writers (East Lothian District Library, 1993)

Poetry Installations

Inscription for the opening of the new Edinburgh City Council headquarters at Waverley Court, 2007

A Place Apart text screenprinted by Evelyn Pottie for The Quiet room, Marie Curie Hospice, Edinburgh 2005

Below the Surface text screenprinted by Brian McBeath for Trimontium Trust Museum, Melrose, 2002

Quick Water text in bronze with sculptor Jake Harvey at Kirroughtree Galloway Forest Park, 2001

The Glide text in bronze with sculptor Denys Mitchell at Coldstream, 2001

The Ballad of Leaderfoot text on stone seats with sculptor Gary Fay, Leaderfoot near Melrose, 2001

Tweed’s Well text in stone with sculptor Fly Freeman at source of River Tweed, 1998

Exhibitions – cross-media work with visual artists

Dewpoint with Carol Dunbar and Rebecca Marr, 2008

Close, Closer, Closest with Anna S King, 2007

Men and Beasts with Rebecca Marr, art tm gallery Inverness and tour, 2000

Pax Romana City Art Centre Edinburgh Festival Exhibitions

Poems by Prescription Artlink Hospital Galleries, Edinburgh and Lothian, 1998.

A Night of Islands with Will Maclean, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art and Yale Center New Haven, 1996

River Spirits touring Dundee, Inverness, Aberdeen, Glasgow, Edinburgh, 1994

Tweed Journey with Shelley Klein and Savourna Stevenson, Scottish Borders, 1990

Valerie Gillies continued her studies in Mysore, India before returning to Scotland to work as a freelance writer. She now teaches Creative Writing and her poetry takes all over the Scottish regions. Valerie Gillies edited the Scottish Poetry Library’s first Poetry Map of Scotland, mapping locations and living writers on an interactive website.

Valerie Gillies has also collaborated with other artists, including writing poems to accompany Rebecca Marr’s photographs which resulted in a book and exhibition at Royal Edinburgh Hospital organised by hospital arts charity Artlink.

In 2005 she won a Creative Scotland Award to work on a collection of poems, The Spring Teller, inspired by Scotland’s springs and wells. In the same year Valerie Gillies became Edinburgh’s Makar, a post she held until 2008. She official poems include The Balm Well, A Place Apart and To Edinburgh, the latter composed for the new Edinburgh District Council Building opened by HRH The Princess Royal in 2007.

“Gillies’ poetry shows a masterly fluency with form kept taut by its over-riding themes… this is polyglot poetry, yet it has a remarkably unbookish and outdoors feel.” S B Kelly (Scotland on Sunday)

Official Website http://www.valeriegillies.com/index.html

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