‘…but the choicest of our hard wrought poems…’

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On the glass frontage of the Scottish Poetry Library in Edinburgh are the following lines, translated from Gaelic by poet Derick Thomson:

It is not gold or other treasure
that you will get from me in special;
it is not tribute, or gift of cattle,
but the choicest of our hard-wrought poems.

Amongst the ‘hard-wrought poems’ now deposited there is a signed copy of my new collection, I am not a fish, which I have gifted to the Library. It was delivered there today by my literary agent. On the same trip he also deposited a copy of my novel, Lupa, at the National Library of Scotland. Each is a drop in Scotland’s literary ocean, but it feels like a big deal to me.

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