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New Writer 2022: Roshni Gallagher


Roshni is a poet and writer – her work is published in Gutter, The Scotsman, Butcher's Dog, and Middleground. She has previously been commissioned by the Scottish Poetry Library and her poem 'The Whitby' was selected for the SPL's Best Scottish Poems of 2020 anthology. She has read and performed her work at various events including Edinburgh Multicultural Festival and Counterflows Festival. She facilitates writing workshops and recently ran one for the Scottish BAME Writer's Network.

Roshni graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 2019 for English Literature and History. Whilst studying she was president and editor-in-chief of Nomad Magazine. She received a special mention for UofE's Grierson Verse prize in 2019.

Roshni is originally from Leeds and now lives in Edinburgh. She has Guyanese and Irish heritage.

You can find out more about Roshni on her website(this link will open in a new window).

Writing sample

Bird Cherry

To teach myself belonging.
I try to find the name
of the blossom tree darkening
by the window.
Bird cherry or sweet cherry –
from the curve of its leaves
I hold each possibility of its ungrown
berries in my mind.

If I met my great-great Grandmother
I wouldn’t know the name
of the language she spoke.
Bird cherry or sweet cherry.
In the dusk, the petals fall in drifts
like sea foam.
The soil remembers
everything it used to be –
carbon, fracture, petal.
Last month, the full white blossoms
swelled and blotted out the sky.

Roshni says:

'I was amazed to hear I'd received a New Writer's Award – it's such an honour and a bit surreal! I’m so excited for all the opportunities that this award will bring and I look forward to continuing to grow as a poet.'