Author details

Jim C. Wilson


I was born in Edinburgh in 1948, and lived there for almost 50 years. I now live, with my wife Mik, in the coastal village of Gullane, some 20 miles to the east.

In 1971 I was awarded an MA (Hons) by Edinburgh University, spent a year at Moray House, then taught in Further Education for nine years.

I have had my poetry and prose published and broadcast widely for over 35 years. I have been awarded two Scottish Arts Council Writers’ Bursaries (1987 and 1994) and was the Writer in Residence for Stirling District from 1989 until 1991. I have worked with and visited many writers’ groups in Scotland, and regularly judge competitions.

Since 1994 I have run Poetry in Practice workshops at Edinburgh University’s Open Studies Department. I was a Royal Literary Fund Writing Fellow at Napier University from 2001 until 2002, and an RLF Fellow at Edinburgh University from 2002 until 2007.

I took First Prize in the UK section of the Scottish International Open Poetry Competition and was awarded the Hugh MacDiarmid Trophy in March 1997 and 2005.

In March 2006 I won First Prize in the Published Writers’ section of the National Galleries of Scotland Writing Competition.

I won First Prize in the Swanage Arts Festival Poetry Competition in 1997, 1989 and 1988, and won First Prize in Southport Writers’ national competition in 1995 (and came third in 1996).

In 1997 I was Second-equal in the Canadian Sandburg-Livesay Competition.

I used to do some freelance journalism, and have had articles in such publications as The Scotsman, The Herald, Aberdeen Press and Journal, Scottish Field, She, France, Books in Scotland, Lines Review, etc.

I am an honorary member of Edinburgh’s Shore Poets who have been organising monthly poetry events since the early 1990s.

About writer's work

Although I’ve had a fair amount of prose published over the years, I now concentrate on poetry. I write light verse as well as more serious material, and very much enjoy giving readings. I use traditional forms and freer styles, and have a particular interest in tanka, renga and haiku. I write about anything and everything, from the Mona Lisa to Chet Baker’s dentures.



Websites featuring the author

Blog Website

Current events and projects

I love reading my work to an audience, and am very interested in the actual process. I do workshops with groups, and am available for one-to-one sessions where, usually, I concentrate on around six poems. I’m available to judge competitions and give general talks on aspects of poetry and verse.

I would prefer to work with teens and/or adults.

I will travel anywhere in Scotland.

Other work


THE PRIZEWINNERS FROM THE SCOTTISH NATIONAL OPEN POETRY COMPETITION, Wilfion Books, 1987, ISBN 0 905075 26 9. (My poem: The Student Flat.)
THE POETRY SHOW 2, Macmillan Education, 1987, ISBN 0-333-39786-X. (Poem: The Last Lie.) 
2PLUS2, Mylabris Press, Switzerland, 1987, ISBN 2-88172-002-1. (Poem: The Student Flat.)
POETRY STREET 1, Longman, 1990, ISBN 0 582 03924 X. (Poem: Sarah and Teddy.)
SIX 20th-CENTURY POETS, Making Waves Press, 1991, ISBN 09511290 8 2. (A limited edition of poems and etchings, exhibited at The Barbican in 1993. My poem: Autumns.) 
THE SCOTIA BAR POETRY PRIZE ANTHOLOGY, Taranis Books, 1992, ISBN 1-873899-20-3. (Poem: Oradour.)
RETURN TO SENDER, Headlock Press, 1994, ISBN 1 898987 03 3. (Poems: At the Public Baths, Solitary Way.) 
POETS AT WORK, Poetry Now, 1995. (Poem: Liberal Studies.) 
NORMAN MacCAIG, AN 85th BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION, Chapman, 1995. (Poem: The Jewish Musician.) 
MR BURNS FOR SUPPER, Greit Bogill Publications, 1996, ISBN 0 9521329 2 3. (Poems: Joe, Snow on Snow, Wintertime, A Clerihew, Keeping out Winter.) 
100 MAJOR MODERN POETS, Orbis, 1996, ISBN 0 9529013 0 7. (Poem: Year’s End.) 
DOORS OF THE MORNING, Unfinished Monument Press, 1997, ISBN 1-884206-03-4. (Poems: At Edlingham Church -Northumbria, The Dark Bird.)
NEW WRITING SCOTLAND 15 (SOME SORT OF EMBRACE), ASLS, 1997, ISBN 0 948877 33 2. (Poems: Retired, Death in Venice.)
NEW WRITING SCOTLAND 18 (GOING UP BEN NEVIS IN A BUBBLE CAR), ASLS, 2001, ISBN 0 948877 43 X. (Poem: Little Folk.) 
NEW WRITING SCOTLAND 20 (LUNCH AT YES), ASLS, 2002, ISBN 0-948877-51-0. (Poem: Utter.) 
NEW WRITING SCOTLAND 21 (MILKING THE HAGGIS), ASLS, 2004, ISBN 0 948877 57 X. (Poems: Goodbye, Things That Matter.) 
NEW WRITING SCOTLAND 24 (MAKING SOUP IN A STORM), ASLS, 2006, ISBN 0-948877-72-3. (Poems: What’s Left, The Next Poem.) 
NEW WRITING SCOTLAND 33 (THE ROOFTOP BUSKER), ASLS, 2015, ISBN - 978-1-906841-24-9. (Poem: Gifts).
PRESENT POETS, National Museums of Scotland, 1998, ISBN 1-901663-14-0. (Poem: East Neuk Triolet.) 
PRESENT POETS 2, National Museums of Scotland , 1999, ISBN 1-901663-39-6. (Poem: RLS.) 
EDINBURGH: AN INTIMATE CITY, City of Edinburgh Council, 2000, ISBN 0-905072-93-6. (Poem: In Milne’s Bar.) 
VARIATIONS ON A NEW SONG, Scottish Poetry Library, 2000, ISBN 0 95232235 3 1. (Poems: Holyrood, Walking For Centuries, The Ballad of the Temporary Sheriffs.) 
NO CHOICE BUT TO TRUST, Unfinished Monument Press, 2000, ISBN 1-884206-08-5. (Poems: On Exmoor, The Loutra 
SUCH STRANGE JOY, (TEN YEARS OF SHORE POETS), iynx publishing, 2001, ISBN 095405831 3. (Poem: The Crossing.) 
A BOOK OF SCOTTISH VERSE, Hale, 2001, ISBN 0 7090 69014. (Poems: The Beasts, Last Summer in the Hebrides.) 
POET IN PUBLIC, Scottish Poetry Library, 2005. (Poem: Holyrood.) 
THE EDINBURGH BOOK OF SCOTTISH 20th-CENTURY POETRY, Edinburgh University Press, 2005, ISBN 0 7486 2015 X. (Poems: Pruning, Death in Venice.) 
60/60, Survivors’ Press, 2005, ISSN 1368-3055 26-7. (Poem: Golgotha.) 
RIVER, British Haiku Society, 2005, ISBN: 0-9545630-9-3. (Poem: Weed Clings.) 
THE WRITER’S CRAFT, Hodder Gibson, 2006, ISBN 0-340-91371-1. (Poems: 12 haiku.) 
100 FAVOURITE SCOTTISH POEMS, Luath Press, 2006, ISBN 1-905222-61-0. (Poem: Intérieur Jaune et Bleu.) 
THERE’S A POEM TO BE MADE (Anthology for Stewart Conn’s 70th birthday.) Shore Poets, 2006. 
UNSUITABLE COMPANIONS, HappenStance, 2007, ISBN 978-1-905939-03-9. (Poems: When Pennies Dropped, Alphabet of Ills.) 
SKEIN OF GEESE (StAnza Anthology), The Shed Press, 2008. (Poem: RLS.) 
CAT’S WHISKERS (Mariscat Anthology), 2012, ISBN 978 0 946588 61 9. (Poem: Pruning.) 
THE SMEDDUM TEST (Kennedy & Boyd), 2012, ISBN 978 – 1849211246. (Poem: Thi Time O Ma Life.)
BLAME MONTEZUMA! HappenStance, 2014, ISBN 978-1-905939-82-4. (Poem: Dark Choku.) 
STANZA POETRY MAP, 2015 (Poem: Auchindrain).  
SCOTIA EXTREMIS WEBSITE, 2015 (Poem: The Alexander Brothers).   
WHATEVER THE SEA, SPL & Polygon, 2016, ISBN - 978 1 84697 3383. (Poem: Pruning).      


Paris Notes, Irina: in ACUMEN 7. ISSN 0964-0304. Chance: in ACUMEN 18. The Greens of May, Thin: in ACUMEN 29. In the Louvre: in ACUMEN 48. Kardamili, Nightlines: in ACUMEN 61. Your Classical Station For Gentle Sedation: in ACUMEN 63. Naturally, Vincent Exercising (1890): in ACUMEN 66. After Midnight, As It Is And Like It Was: in ACUMEN 69. Two haiku: in ACUMEN 72. Without a Song: in ACUMEN 76. The Magician in ACUMEN 78. Stolpersteine: in ACUMEN 87.   

Young Americans, At The Disused Mineral Well: in ANON 2. ISBN 0-9545156-1-7.Haiku featured in issues of BLITHE SPIRIT (Journal of the British Haiku Society) Vol 15 nos. 1, 2, 3, 4. ISSN 1353-3320. Sophia Plays the Piano, Eggs, September Night, Montfort, On Exmoor, After the Readings, Claret: in BOOKS IN SCOTLAND 66. ISSN 0143-1285.

My Old Teacher, At the Turkish Butcher’s Shop: in CENCRASTUS 31. ISSN 0264-0856. John: in CENCRASTUS 42. Dancing Days (story): in CENCRASTUS 50. Paper Run: in CENCRASTUS 51. New Year 1957: in CENCRASTUS 53. The Nature of Happiness (story): in CENCRASTUS 55. Stones, In the Torture Museum Amsterdam: in CENCRASTUS 59. Remo’s Café: in CENCRASTUS 64. The Ballad of the Temporary Sheriffs: in CENCRASTUS 66. 1936: in CENCRASTUS 70. Chet Baker’s Dentures: in CENCRASTUS 74.

Untitled, The Last Lie, Dried Flowers, Night Visitor, The Laird’s Yew Tree, Accident: in CHAPMAN 39. ISBN 1-903700-17-5. Simeon, He Once was a German Lad, Wondering, At The Public Baths, Gent, The Isle of the Dead (story): in CHAPMAN 54. Extract from an Unfinished Autobiography (story): in CHAPMAN 65. Auchindrain: in CHAPMAN 69&70. At Edlingham Church Northumbria, Gifts from the Sea, Woman of Somalia, Troywood, Away for it All, Soul Triolet: in CHAPMAN 88. Genesis Revisited: in CHAPMAN 94. Still Life, Come Close and Listen, The Sea’s Message, Love, Ending: in CHAPMAN 102&103. Three Tanka Concerning Loss, Their Garden, Thirteen Lines, Adelaide at Saranac, Two Cinquains: in CHAPMAN 108

Flowering Late: in THE DARK HORSE 2. ISNN 1357-6720. Life Looked Out: in THE DARK HORSE 8. Intérieur Jaune et Bleu: in THE DARK HORSE 11. An Evening in: in THE DARK HORSE 17. Six stanzas from Then: in THE DARK HORSE 19. It's Magic: in THE DARK HORSE 25.

The Trees Seem Still in THE EILDON TREE 23. Going to Write: in ENCOUNTER Vol LXX No. 5. ISSN 0013-7073. Duets in THE ENGLISH CHICAGO REVIEW 4. ISSN 2051-7998. Wireless Set, Barriers: in FIFE LINES 4. ISSN 1462-5563. Autumn Leaves: in FIFE LINES 5. Beyond the Dunes: in THE FROGMORE PAPERS 57. ISSN 0956-0106. After the Readings: in ‘14’ 2. ISSN 1744-7763. Creative Writing: in ‘14’ 7. Last Summer In The Hebrides: in ‘14’ 8. So Close: in '14' 10. Last Night, Tinderbox: in GUTTER 6. My Man, Landscape With Figures in GUTTER 10. ISSN 2041-3475 A selection of haiku in HAIKU SCOTLAND 17, 23. ISSN 1744-7232. Ulysses Resting at Corfu Airport: in THE HONEST ULSTERMAN 93. ISSN 0018-4543. At the Beach: in IMAGO (Australia) Vol 11 No. 1. ISBN 0-7022-3123-1. Words for an Unknown Adagio, Arabesque, Family, A Scottish Exile in Chicago, Radio Times: in InScotland 3. ISBN 1-873921-07-1. Train Strain: in THE INTERPRETER’S HOUSE 32. ISSN 1361-5610. Infection: in THE INTERPRETER’S HOUSE 42. Joggers: in IOTA 47. ISSN 0266-2922. Sarah and Teddy, Miss Smith at Home: in IRON 49. ISSN 0140-7597. The Miss MacDonald Affair (story): in IRON 57. RLS: in The Journal of Stevenson Studies 3. ISSN 1744-3857.

Duets: in ENGLISH CHICAGO REVIEW 4. ISSN 2051-7998.

Beyond Horizons: in LINES REVIEW 116. ISSN 0456-4541. Love Poem, Crab, At Abercorn: in LINES REVIEW 123. Swans at Night, The Jewish Musician, The Perfect Beach: in LINES REVIEW 127. 12 haiku, Poet, My Hundred Best Tunes, East Neuk Triolet: in LINES REVIEW 139. Darkness at Dawn: in LINES REVIEW 143.

My Man, Landscape With Figures: in GUTTER 10.   

Last Summer in the Hebrides: in THE LITERARY REVIEW 118. ISSN 0144 4360. In The Garden: in NORTHLIGHT 4. ISSN 0961-7558.

Forty (story): in NORTHWORDS 6. ISSN 0964-6876. 12 clerihews: in NORTHWORDS 10. A Clean Sweep (story): in NORTHWORDS 14. You, Berries, The Dark Bird: in NORTHWORDS 28. The Rain, Unseen: in NORTHWORDS 30. At the Beach, Exile in Chicago: in NORTHWORDS NOW 3. From The Hill, The Wreck, Nowhere, Sophia Plays The Piano: in NORTHWORDS NOW 11. The Hunchback at the Bar: in NORTHWORDS NOW 15. The Hoard, The Visitor, Dreamlands, After The Readings: in NORTHWORDS NOW 19.   J.W Lennon, 1957 in NORTHWORDS NOW 23. Miserere in NORTHWORDS NOW 28. Eggs: in NORTHWORDS NOW 31.   

Train Strain: in THE OLDIE, June 2010. ISSN 0965-2507. Extract from SPALEBONE DAYS in THE OLDIE, November 2010. Listening: in The Oldie, July 2013. 

Keeping out Winter: in ORBIS 63. ISSN 0030-4425. The Medical Dictionaries: in ORBIS 64. The Night Gates: in ORBIS 69&70. Leaving the Supermarket: in ORBIS 79. Sun and Candlelight: in ORBIS 82. The Edge of the Lake: in ORBIS 85. City Trees: in ORBIS 91. Year’s End: in ORBIS 100. I Want to Hold You Now: in ORBIS 107. Autumns, The Last Tram: in ORBIS 114. Year’s End (republished): in ORBIS 115. So Close: in ORBIS 122. Pen Friends (story): in ORBIS 131. Rhymes, The Hidden Place: in ORBIS 149. Events At The Lake Isle Retreat: in ORBIS 171.

Waiting our Turn: in OUTPOSTS 152. ISSN 0950-7264. The Beasts: in OUTPOSTS 163. Pen Friends (story): in PASSPORT 3. ISSN 0960-3697. My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys (story): in PASSPORT 4. The Student Flat, A Small Affair: in POETRY CANADA REVIEW Vol 8 No. 1. ISSN 0709-3373. The Wild Dogs: in POETRY CANADA REVIEW Vol 10 No. 1. The Magician; in POETRY NOTTINGHAM Vol 42 No. 3. ISSN 0143-3199.

Woman - Central Scotland, Tree Triolet: in POETRY SCOTLAND 7. ISSN 14460-681X. The Clock’s Hands Close to Midnight: in POETRY SCOTLAND 9. Bestiary (extracts), Listening: in POETRY SCOTLAND 11. Watermarks: in POETRY SCOTLAND 13. A Love Miscellany: in POETRY SCOTLAND 16. Medusa, Sapphic: in POETRY SCOTLAND 19. Englyn for Emily: in POETRY SCOTLAND 20. Without a Poem: in POETRY SCOTLAND 22. October Song: in POETRY SCOTLAND 25. Haiku: in POETRY SCOTLAND 27. Haiku: in POETRY SCOTLAND 37. Mr MacCaig Came to Stirling: in POETRY SCOTLAND 38. Somonka: in POETRY SCOTLAND 46. Miserere, Some Names, Radio Times, Summit Meeting, Pissed Off, How: in POETRY SCOTLAND 55.

The Dry Hibiscus: in THE RED WHEELBARROW 5. ISSN 1462-2998. Mother and Child: in THE RED WHEELBARROW 11. What They Did On Their Holiday: in THE RED WHEELBARROW 15. Mother in: THE RIALTO 14. ISSN 0268-5981. Suzanne et Gérard à La Jarissie: in THE RIALTO 31. SCOTTISH ARTS COUNCIL POEM OF THE MONTH, November 2008: Pruning. The Visitor: in STAND Vol 37 No. 2. ISSN 0038-9366. Joggers: in Zed2O 2. ISBN 0962-418X. Haiku in: still Vol 5 No. 2. ISSN 1365-3334. Poems and stories also in several other magazines.




Mr MacCaig Came to Stirling (5.3.97), Silver Wedding (12.11.97), Moonlines (2.1.98), Death in Venice (22.5.99), Infection (18.10.99), Pruning (31.3.00), The Greens of May (18.5.00), The Fly in the Poetry Book (23.8.00), Letters (1.11.00), Creative Writing (8.3.01), Travelling (19.10.01), A Reading by George Bruce (3.8.02), Composed upon Westminster Bridge (9.9.02), One to One (4.6.03), In the Louvre (30.7.03), The Next Poem (10.7.03), 2004 (9.1.04), Untreated, Unkindest (6.3.04), And Now, The Sport (13.3.04), Beyond a Yolk (12.6.04), Then (16.7.04), Last Night (4.6.05), Family (20.9.05), Their Garden (15.11.05), Goodbye to All That (25.3.06), Train Strain (28.8.06), On The Painting Of The Steel Beam At The Garage Ceiling (17.12.07), Stations (5.9.08), First Winter After Flitting (6.3.10).


Burials (story in Colour Magazine, 2.12.85), The Chill (9.12.85), Spring Visitors (4.6.88), The Fly in the Poetry Book (9.12.89), The Dove (1.12.90), Wintertime (11.1.92), Border Town (3.4.93), The Launch (2.7.94), Flowering Late (11.5.96), Christmas Present (19.12.98), Mr MacCaig Came to Stirling (23.1.99), A Reading by George Bruce (27.2.99), Eggs (3.4.99), Walking for Centuries (19.2.00), Still Life (19.4.06). Stations (9.2.13), Westminster Bridge Revisited (29.11.14).


Local authority where they are based

East Lothian

Local authorities where they can work

Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Angus, Argyll and Bute, Clackmannanshire, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (Western Isles), Dumfries and Galloway, Dundee, East Ayrshire, East Dunbartonshire, East Lothian, East Renfrewshire, Edinburgh, Falkirk, Fife, Glasgow, Highland, Inverclyde, Midlothian, Moray, North Ayrshire, North Lanarkshire, Orkney, Perth and Kinross, Renfrewshire, Scottish Borders, Shetland, South Ayrshire, South Lanarkshire, Stirling, West Dunbartonshire, West Lothian

Age groups

Teens, Adults

LL funded


BRAW network


Author type

Poet, Writer



Books written

Come Close and Listen

Author(s): Jim C. Wilson
Published by Greenwich Exchange.

Will I Ever Get To Minsk

Author(s): Jim C. Wilson
Published by HappenStance Press.

The Loutra Hotel

Author(s): Jim C. Wilson
Jim C Wilson's first poetry collection, published by Making Waves Press

Cellos in Hell

Author(s): Jim C. Wilson
A collection of poems which tackle the woes as well as the joys of the world with a mixture of sensitivity, mordant humour, and a vein of nihilism. Published by Chapman.

Paper Run

Author(s): Jim C. Wilson
A selection of Jim Wilson's poems from the 1980s until 2007. Published by Mariscat.

Spalebone Days

Author(s): Jim C. Wilson
Prose reminiscences of Jim Wilson's childhood in 1950’s Edinburgh. Published by Kettillonia.

The Happy Land

Author(s): Jim C. Wilson
Biography of Edinburgh character and entrepreneur, Howard Denton, born 1914. Much detail of Jewish life in Edinburgh’s South Side.