Magi Gibson


“Sappho with a laptop”

“There is no doubt that Gibson is an important poet in Scotland today, arguably one of the most important, as her growing readership attests.”

HG upstairs II

bat song

So, our features offend?
Too shrunken-skulled, too rat-eyed,
ugly web-winged embryos.

Skinny in leather and slinky
fur, do you find our forms
too nazi for your civilised sensibilties?

You blame the moon for our presence.

But we have always been/are
always here –

armies of us sleeping
in your soul-less churches,
fornicating in the rafters,
pissing on prayerbooks and pews.

Or lurking in dark dank
places your kind once too

We stream at dusk like smoke
into your streets, scribe
the thin black air with
strange graffiti.

You claim we make your
flesh crawl, appearing
out of darkness and silence.

Is it our fault, Sir,
that you are deaf
to the beauty of our songs?

Just like Eve

I could have brought you
whisky to warm you on winter nights,
poems full of words to fill your silences

I could have brought you
armfuls of flowers
to fill your rooms with summer,
scented petals to scatter where you dream

I could have brought
olives, shiny, black and green,
anchovies and Parmesan,
Chianti, deep blood-red

I could have brought
figs, dates, cumquats, lychees
tastes to make your senses sing
to set your soul adrift

Instead I brought
forbidden fruit
the one and only gift
you would not accept

The title of her poetry collection ‘Wild Women of a Certain Age’ is a fitting description for her exquisite set which mixed sassiness with sensitivity to winning effect.
Untitled #6 Live (performance) - Falkirk Herald


they found me in the corner
way at the back
of my mother’s wardrobe

at first they thought I was a button
broken loose from a frayed thread
or a mothball, happy in the dark

then as I grew, they thought I was
a shoe without a partner, but
they were busy folk – it was easier
to poke me back beside the fallen
jumpers and the missing socks

as for me, I was quite content
tucked up in the folds of mother’s frocks

from time to time she’d drag me out
wear me, dangled prettily
on the end of her arm – the ultimate accessory
a quiet daughter

Poetry Collections:
Graffiti in Red Lipstick (Cencrastus/CurlySnake)
'Full of thought-provoking poems, expressed in a language which is elegant but direct. An excellent collection.' Poetry Scotland

Wild Women of a Certain Age (Chapman)
'Reflective, compassionate and carefully wrought pieces which are accomplished and clever, highly readable, thought-provoking and moving. Gibson amply demonstrates that for wild women, especially poets, maturity is a most becoming state.' Scottish Studies Review
'A collection for anyone who imagines that sensitively wrought lyric poetry cannot also be tough and pungent.'
The Scotsman

Strange Fish (with Helen Lamb) (Duende)
'A terrific collection. Insightful, communicative poems that use skilful imagery. Tender, skilful love poems. Can’t recommend it highly enough.' Chapman
'There’s soul in this work; writing which is food and wine to the senses. The passion of the South American poets and writers is here, as is the fire of the Celt. This is open and free art, extremely sound.' West Coast Magazine

Kicking Back (Taranis)
In a decade where so many authors seem to think it’s natural to sharpen their pencils with a chainsaw, Magi Gibson cuts to the empathetic nerves with a skilful scalpel. Her collection is a gutsy and passionate report from the battlefront of everyday human suffering – a successful operation of language….' The Scotsman

Poetry Pamphlets:
Premier Results with Brian Whittingham (Neruda Press)
Death of a Wife - hand-stitched short run special edition.

Poetry published in the following anthologies:

Modern Scottish Women Poets. Canongate
Scottish Love Poems. Canongate
The Edinburgh Book of Twentieth Century Scottish Poetry. Edinburgh University Press
100 Favourite Scottish Love Poems edited by Stewart Conn, Luath Press
New Writing Scotland 14 (Association for Scottish Literary Studies)
New Writing Scotland 2001 (ASLS)
Original Prints, New Writing from Scottish Women, Polygon
Meantime, Prize Winning Writing from Scottish Women, Polygon
I wouldn’t thank you for a Valentine, Viking in UK, Henry Holt in USA
Fresh Oceans, Poetry from Scottish Women, Stramullion (ground-breaking anthology)
Across the Water, Irishness in Scottish Writing, Argyll 2000
This is not a complete list…

And in many literary and new writing magazines including:
Chapman, The Stinging Fly, The Poet’s Republic, Cencrastus, Northwords Now, Southlight, Cutting Teeth, Radical Scotland.

Two new poems have appeared in 2017 on BellaCaledonia online.
Her poem
Och Scotland was published in The Butterfly Rammy (The Common Weal).
She was one of the poets involved in the translation of
A Bird is Not a Stone, Poems from Palestine.
She was one of the poets commissioned to write a poem for the Mirrorball Commonwealth Poetry Anthology
The Laws of the Game, 2014.
Her poem,
So much depends on a red lipstick… was commissioned for New Boots and Pantisocracies in 2015.
She was commissioned to write a new poem for
Scotia Extremis, which will appear in their 2017 anthology.

Poems have also appeared many times in The Scotsman and The Herald.

Some of her poems are studied in schools in Scotland, England, Australia, and South Africa.
Poems have been translated into German and Spanish.

Don't Panic – 100 Poems to Save your Life, Macmillan
Scottish Poems, Macmillan 2001
Parents Keep Out, Macmillan 2000
My Mum’s a Punk, ALCS (with teaching notes)
The Thing that Mattered, Poetry for Children, The Scottish Poetry Library 2006
The Herald CD and Website for Scottish Secondary Schools 2000
The Scottish Poetry Library Website children’s section
See you, see me. Booklet produced as part of the highly acclaimed REBELLAND exhibition at GoMA.

The Scottish Arts Council Website Poem of the Month October 2007
The Scottish Arts Council official Christmas card 2004 snowflake
Amnesty International/Big Issue postcard 2005 Bonsai Wife 2006
National Poetry Day official poetry postcard 2006 My dad says..
National Poetry Day official poetry postcard 2000 Just Like Eve
National Poetry Day official poetry postcard 2002 Greylag Geese
Scottish Poetry Library/Institut Francais Translations Dec. 2003
Featured poet in Scottish Child’s fifth anniversary issue