Monthly Archive: June 2015

Edinburgh and Florence – twinned for 50 years!


Palazzo Vecchio

Where the ceremony was held

On Tuesday 23rd June I had the privilege of taking part in a ceremony at the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence to mark the 50th anniversary of the city’s twinning with Edinburgh.



Lord Provost and Mayor of Florence

At the twinning anniversary in the Palazzo Vecchio




The Lord Provost, in kilt and full regalia, was the main guest of the Mayor. A framed bilingual copy of my commissioned poem Soil, Sea and Soul was presented to the Mayor. There were Scottish bagpipes and Italian brass!  Later we enjoyed a delicious Scottish-Italian meal prepared by Edinburgh chef Paul Wedgwood.



Santa Croce crypt

The venue for the book launch

Finally, in the evening we launched Like Leaves in Autumn, contemporary Scottish responses to the WWI poetry of Guiseppe Ungaretti, in the beautiful crypt of the Santa Croce Basilica.


Tommy Smith, Karma and the Makar at Edinburgh Jazz Festival

Tommy Smith

Tommy Smith, saxophonist extraordinaire!

A treat for me will be performing alongside the great jazz saxophonist, Tommy Smith and his talented band, Karma. Tommy recently commissioned Alex Cluness and me to write a series of poems (roughly themed around a history of Shetland) for which he composed new music. The event is part of the Edinburgh Jazz festival and will be on at the Edinburgh Festival Studio on Saturday 18th July. You can book tickets here.