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Brian Johnstone

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Contact: brian@brianjohnstonepoet.co.uk
Local authority: Fife
Languages: English
Brian Johnstone's headshot

Brian Johnstone is a poet, writer and performer. His poetry has been described as "vigorous and muscular in its language which, in its gravity and resonance, recalls early Heaney" while his readings bring "the complex sonic patterns of the poems to life through his rich, expressive delivery." (Oli Hazzard, The Poetry Archive)

He has published seven collections, most recently Juke Box Jeopardy (Red Squirrel, 2018) and Dry Stone Work (Arc, 2014). His poems have appeared in print and online throughout Scotland and UK, as well in the Americas and Australasia, and have been translated into over a dozen languages.

In 2015, his work was selected to appear on the UK's Poetry Archive website. His memoir Double Exposure was published by Saraband in 2017. He has given spoken word performances with the poetry and jazz group Trio Verso since 2007, and has toured The Fields of War, a multi-media collaborative performance with poet Chrys Salt around Scotland since 2014.

A founder of StAnza: Scotland's International Poetry Festival, he served as Festival Director from 2000-2010. He was also a founder of Edinburgh's Shore Poets and ran Cave Readings for the Pittenweem Arts Festival for five years in the '90s. (Photo credit: Ross Wilson)

Local authorities can visit

Aberdeen City; Aberdeenshire; Angus; Argyll and Bute; Clackmannanshire; Dumfries and Galloway; Dundee; East Ayrshire; East Dunbartonshire; East Lothian; East Renfrewshire; Edinburgh City; Falkirk; Fife; Glasgow City; Highland; Inverclyde; Midlothian; Moray; Na h-Eileanan Siar (Western Isles); North Ayrshire; North Lanarkshire; Orkney Islands; Perth and Kinross; Renfrewshire; Scottish Borders; Shetland; South Ayrshire; South Lanarkshire; Stirling; West Dunbartonshire; West Lothian

Events can deliver

Performance; Reading; Residency; Talk; Chairing events

Topics of work

Biography & memoir; Childhood; Event production; Family; History; Music; Nature; Wars & conflicts; World War 1; World War 2

Age groups published for


Age groups can work with

15-18; Adults

Audience size

0-10; 11-30; 31-100; 100-500; 500+