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New Writer 2020: Anne Hay

Poetry

Anne Hay grew up in Perth and lives in Edinburgh. Her writing life started with short fiction and comedy, broadcast on Radio 4 and Radio Scotland. Her career was in adult education teaching mostly creative writing, adult literacy and study skills, always with an underlying message of learning to be yourself. She is a member of The Other Poetry Group and Southside Writers and is a Lead Reader with Open Book Reading at Scottish Portrait Gallery.

She published her first poems in Orbis and Northwords Now at 61. She found a stronger voice after attending a creative writing group with Valerie Gillies at Maggies Cancer Care Centre in 2018. Since then her work has been published in Magma, Gutter, Envoi and Black Agnes Press anthology for children ‘Are We In A Book?’. She won third prize in 2019 Grey Hen Press poetry competition. Poetry keeps her sane, but not overly so. She enjoys swimming, meditation and dance.

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Writing Sample

Writing a poem for homework, Primary Six

To Lizzie

A poem starts in your head:

I splashed in the sea.

The waves were bendy.

You rub out bendy,

write flexible instead.

It’s the sort of word

Miss Clark will tick.

But something sticks.

Your head is empty.

Go back to bendy. It has the energy

that hurled you cartwheeeeeeling over and over on Belhaven Beach.

Poems love a sea-breeze

and the feel of grit on skin.

They come out to play if it’s fun. Stay bendy.

Anne says:

"I started to shake when I heard I’d got this award. It’s an enormous opportunity and I’m looking forward to getting started. Thanks to everyone whose work has made this possible."