New Writers Awards 2016: Rachel Plummer


Rachel Plummer was born in London, grew up in East Anglia and Paris, and has spent most of her adult life in Edinburgh, where she lives with her husband and two young children.

She has had poetry published in magazines, including Agenda, RAUM, Skylark Review and Dactyl. She is a Troubadour prizewinner and was runner up in the 2014 Penfro Poetry Competition. In 2015 she was second runner up for Canterbury Festival's Poet of the Year award. Her sonnet 'Potterrow' was selected by Sir Andrew Motion to be displayed on public transport as part of the Poetry on the Move scheme.

She has performed her poetry in Glasgow and Edinburgh, London and as far afield as Italy. She is currently working on a first collection of poems.


Writing sample

Postcard from the Ferris Wheel

The drop from here is lethal, but the view
somewhat makes up for that. Out there the Forth
is silver, fat under the patchy blue
cloud-mottled sky, a ribbon in the North
or strand of grey roving, Falkirk its drop
spindle. Up here the Castle, where we stood
and looked out from the rampart at the top
of its rock face, our hands held hard. I could
almost catch sight of our lookout point past
the red and white axle, the wheel's slow spin,
if only it would pause a moment. Last
July I waited for you here, mired in
a dense summer. Higher, now, the wheel
rotates above a city framed in steel.


Rachel says:

"I was delighted! Recognition of this sort is hugely encouraging and motivating. I'm grateful to Scottish Book Trust for the opportunities this year presents."