Marjorie Lotfi Gill
I was born in New Orleans, spent my childhood in Tehran, and then lived in San Diego, Washington DC and New York before moving to London in 1999 and then Edinburgh in 2005. I have a BA in English Literature, a JD in law, and in 2015 received an MSc in Creative Writing (Poetry) from the University of Edinburgh.
About writer's work
I often write in response to artwork, during my residencies at Jupiter Artland and Spring Fling, and my poems responding to images and artwork have won awards, been broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and been included in a variety of journals and anthologies. Because I lived through part of the Iranian Revolution as a child, I often explore the effect of war in children in my work. I recently co-founded The Belonging Project, working with others on stories of journey and belonging (relating to refugees, but also to our everyday journeys, and looking at what all of our journeys have in common).
Websites featuring the authorTwitterFacebookShared Reading and Creative Writing with Open BookThe Belonging Project
Current events and projects
I am interested in a wide variety of creative projects, from traditional creative writing workshops to collaborations that include writing as one aspect of a larger project. I have experience working with writers of all ages (pre-school children, school children, including A-level students, young adults and adults right through to those in their 90s!), and writers from different backgrounds and circumstances (including children in care, vulnerable adults, prisoners, the elderly in care homes and those with dementia). I’m a regular performer and am happy both to read my work and work with others to perform theirs.
I’ve been involved with a number of projects that have involved writing inspired by art. As the Poet in Residence at Jupiter Artland, I’ve run many workshops to develop writing that begins with a sculpture or piece of artwork. As the Writer in Residence for Spring Fling, I also ran workshops in artist studios, using the artwork and artist’s practice as a starting place to develop new stories and poems. For these residencies, I collected the pieces written in the response to the art and presented them online, in a pamphlet and at a public reading (both at Jupiter Artland and the Wigtown Book Festival). I also run regular one-off creative writing workshops, most recently for senior school students at the Scottish Portrait Gallery for the National Galleries and the Scottish Poetry Library.
As a founder of The Belonging Project, I work with writers and those in the community to develop and produce writing considering the journeys we all take relative to the journeys of refugees. Because I grew up in Tehran during the Iranian Revolution, I’m interested in the way stories of flight, journey and assimilation intersect and parallel the stories of journey and belonging we all have, and how we can use those stories to remove barriers.
• Open Book; Development Director from 2016, Co-Founder, Trustee, 2012 – present
• The Belonging Project; Co-Founder, January 2016- present
• The Reader; Co-Editor, October 2015 - present
• Jupiter Artland; First Poet in Residence, 2014 - present
• Naked Aye Gallery, October 2015; Writer in Residence, Shapes that Shift Desire
• Radio: BBC Radio 4, Something Understood
• Print Journals: The Rialto, Gutter 14, Acumen, The Reader, Amsterdam Quarterly, Magma, The Lampeter Review, Southlight, Rooms, CURA, Gutter 12, Rattle, The North, Midwest Quarterly, Ambit and Mslexia
• Anthologies: An Anthology for Seamus Heaney, The 2015 Federation of Writers Scotland Anthology and Miscellaneous: Writing Inspired by the Hunterian