St Mungo's Mirrorball

The Glasgow network of poets and poetry lovers

Clydebuilt 15: launch call

St Mungo Mirrorball’s Verse Apprenticeship Scheme Clydebuilt

in partnership with the Edwin Morgan Trust

The Clydebuilt 15 Verse Apprenticeship Scheme Information Sheet

In partnership with the Edwin Morgan Trust, we are excited to launch our call for emerging poets to apply for Clydebuilt 15. Edwin Morgan wrote across forms, themes, and languages and supported other writers to find their voices; it is with this spirit that St Mungo’s Mirrorball designed the Clydebuilt Verse Apprenticeship Scheme. Founded in 2007, the scheme provides intensive support for poets at an early stage of their writing careers, encouraging a greater dialogue between them and more experienced practitioners. Mentors have included poets such as Liz Lochhead, Gerry Cambridge, John Glenday, Gerry Loose, Gerrie Fellows, A. B. Jackson, J. L. Williams, Miriam Gamble, and Alexander Hutchison.

The scheme recruits four poets who have yet to have a first full collection published (not counting pamphlet publication) and are not currently receiving any support with their development, e.g. not currently enrolled on an MLitt programme or fee-paying course. This mentoring will be given by an experienced poet-tutor over the course of 12 months, roughly from September 2022 to September 2023, and will consist of 5 group tutorials and 2 sets of one-to-one sessions which will be free to the participants. At these tutorials there will be a discussion of pre-submitted work with a mix of peer and tutor feedback. This will encourage participants to develop not only their own writing style but their ability to critique others. Over the year the participants will develop a portfolio of poems. Participants will give a reading of some of their resulting work along with their tutor at the end of the 12 months at a dedicated St Mungo’s Mirrorball event. 

A year of mentoring is a rare gift. I think my year on the Clydebuilt scheme enhanced my bravery: about when to be brutal and when to be playful; when to re-shape or abandon; to leave my ego outside the room and to trust the poem. Apply! 

                                              Mark Russell, Clydebuilt 5 (with Alexander Hutchison)

Clydebuilt gave me deadlines (which I need!) and a platform to try out new things in a friendly and supportive environment.

                                              Juana Adcock, Clydebuilt 9 (with Liz Lochhead)


A panel will review the applications and decide whether any interviews are necessary. The chosen tutor/mentor will be involved in the final decision on the poets for their group.  

To be eligible to be an apprentice you cannot be involved in any other writing course or receiving any other structured writing support as of September 2022 and you should not yet have brought out a full-length poetry collection. There will be a mix of online and in-person  meetings (subject to arrangement) but, on occasion, participants may need to travel to Glasgow for meetings and events.

We warmly welcome applications from underrepresented and marginalised groups. We are actively working on widening participation and representation in the Clydebuilt poetry scheme and St Mungo’s Mirrorball now and in future years.

If you are interested in applying to be one of the four verse apprentices, please provide the following: 

  • Full contact details
  • A brief biography of your writing career to date
  • 5 poems as typical examples of your work
  • A statement of your short-term and long-term poetry goals
  • An outline of what you hope to achieve from the support over the next 12 months 
  • An indication of the time commitment you are able to give both in terms of writing and attendance (online or in-person) at the tutorial programme (September 2022 – September 2023)   

 The judging panel includes: 

                        Jim Carruth: Glasgow Makar and Chair of St Mungo’s Mirrorball

                        Vicki Husband: Poet and Shortlisted for Saltire Poetry Book of the Year Award

                        Shehzar Doja: Poet and Gutter Poetry Editor / Editor in Chief of The

                                    Luxembourg Review

                        Samuel Tongue: Poet, Editor, and Project Coordinator, Scottish Poetry Library  

The mentor will be announced once the four poets have been selected.

E-mail your submission in one document to Clydebuilt Coordinator Samuel Tongue by the Closing Date of Sunday 31st July 2022.

If you have any query regarding eligibility do not hesitate to e-mail Samuel Tongue.

Clydebuilt 13 showcase

The Clydebuilt 13 Showcase will be on Thursday 2nd June 7pm on Zoom with: Chris Boyland, Anjeli Caderamanpulle, Sean Wai Keung, Julie Laing and Gerry Cambridge.
 We look forward to hearing the results of the year’s apprenticeship at the Showcase! The mentor for Clydebuilt 13 is Gerry Cambridge and the poets with whom he’s been working are:  
Chris Boyland’s debut pamphlet ‘User Stories’ was published in April 2020. Addressing the conditions of modern living (not the conditions we live in but those we’re forced to accept), ‘User Stories’ responds to Hanya Yanagihara’s challenge “poetry must be a quarrel with the times, otherwise why write?” ‘User Stories’ is available now from the independent, Edinburgh-based small press Stewed Rhubarb. You can find animated short films of two of the poems in the collection here and here
Anjeli Caderamanpulle’s debut pamphlet Boys, published in March 2020 with SPAM Press is a response to the #metoo movement, and examines celebrity idolisation, sexual abuse and gender binary. Their poetry has been published in SPAM, Gutter, Adjacent Pineapple and Blue House Journal. They have been asked to read at Soft Shell, University Camarade and for SPAM. In May 2020, Caderamanpulle was selected as a featured reader for the Scottish BAME Writers Network. 
Sean Wai Keung has released three pamphlets to date, you are mistaken (Rialto 2017), how to cook (Speculative Books 2018) and be happy (Speculative Books 2020). He has also had poems published in anthologies including Haunted Voices (Haunt Press 2019), The Dizziness of Freedom (Bad Betty 2019) and Why Poetry? (Verve 2018) and zines including Marbles Mag404InkBlood BathMonstrous RegimentZARF and SPAMZine. Wai Keung has a BA in Creative Writing from Roehampton University (2014) and an MA in Poetry from the University of East Anglia (2016). 
Julie Laing’s practice includes creative writing, photography and sound and she has exhibited in Scotland and Singapore. Her undergraduate degree was in English Literature and History and she completed a MRes in Creative Practices at Glasgow School of Art in 2016 while working as a media lecturer in a college. Laing had short stories published in magazines such as West Coast in the 1990s, then after a long hiatus, was a runner up in the 2013 Guardian/Sony Futurescapes short story competition. For the last two years she has concentrated on poetry and have been published in anthologies: Gutter 21, The Edwin Morgan Centenary Collection, Time and Tide Solstice Shorts (Arachne Press) and Molly Bloom. 
Clydebuilt 13 marked the beginning of our partnership with the Edwin Morgan Trust in 2020. Edwin Morgan was an internationalist, writing across forms, themes, and languages and yet he was also very much a Glasgow-based poet; it is with this spirit that St Mungo’s Mirrorball designed the Clydebuilt Verse Apprenticeship Scheme. Founded in 2007, the scheme provides intensive support for poets at an early stage of their writing careers, encouraging a greater dialogue between them and more experienced practitioners. Mentors have included poets such as Liz Lochhead, Gerry Cambridge, John Glenday, Gerry Loose, Gerrie Fellows, A. B. Jackson, J. L. Williams, Miriam Gamble, and Alexander Hutchison.

Mirrorball at Aye Write

Padraig Regan
Sam Buchan-Watts

Jim Carruth introduces two fine poets for this Mirrorball showcase: Padraig Regan and Sam Buchan-Watts. Join us on 12th May at 8pm, tickets available through Aye Write

Sam Buchan-Watts’ debut collection, Path Through Wood, considers the capacity contemporary lyric poetry has to reflect social change. The many ethical dilemmas these poems enact listen in to the noise which society makes to distract itself – from carceral space to questions of asylum, masculinity and the boundaries of aesthetic play. Described by the Guardian as a ‘sceptical, serious, versatile writer’, Buchan-Watts variously inhabits poetic form, exposing the interplay of sound, sense and desire. Returning repeatedly to the figure of a vulnerable boy approaching the thicket of adolescence, these are poems that are listening in when they’re not supposed to, distracted when they should be listening in, and finding secret listeners behind the arras. In this disquieting terrain we must hold ourselves to account for what we hear and what we make of what we hear.

The poems of Padraig Regan’s Some Integrity (Winner of the Clarissa Luard Prize 2021) bring something new to the Irish lyric tradition. Queerness is a way of looking, a perspective, grounded in an awareness of the porous and provisional nature of our bodies. The book’s social encounters and exchanges, its responses to the work of artists, its figures in a landscape, and its considerations of food and desire, work as capsule narratives and as an exhilarating extension of that lyric tradition.

April Mirrorball

  • WE have a fantastic line-up of poets for Mirrorball’s April’s showcase with: Hannah Lavery, David Kinloch, Carol McKay and Mhairi Owens. Join us on Zoom on April 28th at 7pm (at present online events are for members only)

Hannah Lavery is an award-winning poet and playwright and the current Edinburgh Makar. She is an associate artist with the National Theatre of Scotland and one of the winners of the Peggy Ramsay/Film4 Award 2022. From her pamphlet, Finding Seaglass (Stewed Rhubarb 2019), ‘Scotland You’re No Mine’ was selected as one Scotland’s Best Poems for 2019. In 2020, she was selected as one of Ten Writers Asking Questions That Will Shape Our Future for the International Literature Showcase, a project from the National Writing Centre and the British Council. Hannah’s debut poetry collection Blood Salt Spring is newly published by Polygon and a selection of  its poems have been made into an audio-visual album with the filmmaker Beth Chalmers and musician Beldina Odenyo, in association with National Theatre of Scotland and Push the Boat Out Festival.

David Kinloch was born, brought up and educated in Glasgow. He is Emeritus Professor of Poetry and Creative Writing at the University of Strathclyde. The author of five full collections of poems, he is also a critic and scholar and is published widely in the fields of French literature, Translation Studies and Scottish Literature. He is a Trustee of The Edwin Morgan Trust which administers the Edwin Poetry award, and he helped to set up the Scottish Writers’ Centre. David’s new pamphlet Iggleheim’s Ark(Stewed Rhubarb 2022) is at once poetic fable and true story. On this ark all that is left of the animals are the painted images Count Iggleheim has rescued from his cabinet of curiosities. A sequence that speaks to our millennial fears of a coming apocalypse, it approaches its theme with a gentle, melancholy humour.

Carol McKay’s poetry has appeared in GutterIstanbul ReviewThe Blue Nib and elsewhere over the last two decades. She was shortlisted for the Indigo Dreams Geoff Stevens poetry pamphlet competition in 2018 and won the Hedgehog Press White Label ‘Quatre’ pamphlet competition in 2020. Her pamphlet Reading the Landscape appeared as a result. Carol was awarded the Robert Louis Stevenson Fellowship on the strength of her short fiction in 2010. Her short story ‘Her Body was an Aviary’ appears in this year’s New Writing Scotland. She taught and mentored in creative writing through The Open University from 2004 till 2018.

Mhairi Owens lives in Pittenweem, Fife, and works for a community addictions service, as well as The Scottish Fisheries Museum. She has tutored in poetry with the University of St Andrews International Summer School and writes in both English and Scots. Her poems have appeared in various anthologies and journals, including Plough Quarterly, Poetry Salzburg ReviewThe MothThe North and The Rialto. Mhairi’s poem ‘Shiftin’ won the 2019 Wigtown Poetry Prize – the first Scots language poem to win the international prize. She also won the 2021 Rhina Espaillat Poetry Award and Mhairi’s new collection, Nine Notes on Slippage, took Templar Poetry’s 2021 Straid Collection Award

February Mirrorball

For the next Mirrorball showcase we are delighted to welcome poets Katharine Towers, Stewart Sanderson, Sam Tongue and Laura Fyfe reading for us. The event will be held on Thursday 17th February at 7pm on Zoom.

Katharine Towers was born in London and now lives in Derbyshire with her family. Her debut poetry collection The Floating Man won the Seamus Heaney Centre Prize and was shortlisted for the Jerwood-Aldeburgh First Collection Prize and for the Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry. A poem from the collection ‘The Way We Go’ appeared as a Poem on the Underground and was also set to music by the composer Laura Stevens. Her second collection The Remedies was shortlisted for the TS Eliot Prize. Her latest collection Oak was published by Picador in November 2021. Katharine’s poems have been broadcast on Radio 3 and Radio 4 and have appeared in several anthologies, as well as in The Guardian, Poetry Review and Poetry London. From 2016 – 2018 Katharine was Poet in Residence at the Cloud Appreciation Society.

Stewart Sanderson is a poet from Scotland, recently returned after a time spent living in the English West Midlands. Recipient of an Eric Gregory Award, as well as Robert Louis Stevenson and Jessie Kesson Fellowships, he has been three times shortlisted for the Edwin Morgan Poetry Award. The author of two pamphlets, Fios and An Offering, his first full-length collection, The Sleep Road was published by Tapsalteerie in 2021.

Sam Tongue‘s first collection is Sacrifice Zones (Red Squirrel, 2020) and he has published three pamphlets: Stitch (Tapsalteerie, 2018), Hauling-Out (Eyewear, 2016) with The Nakedness of the Fathers (Broken Sleep) as his third. He is a Scottish Book Trust New Writers Award winner and poems have appeared in BansheeButcher’s Dog, MagmaThe CompassFinished CreaturesPBLJ, The Interpreter’s House, Under the Radar and elsewhere. His work has also been translated into Latvian, Ukrainian, and Arabic. More detail at

Laura Fyfe suffers from a chronic low boredom threshold. She writes poetry out of necessity, teaches out of compulsion, and writes stories for fun. She facilitates workshops for writers across Scotland, both online and in person. Her work has been published in Butcher’s DogPostbox and Northwords Now. She lives in river deep, mountain high Stirlingshire. She is the current makar for Stirling. Her new collection The Truth Lies is forthcoming from Red Squirrel Press.

All events are currently on Zoom, and are for members only. For information on how to become a member please email membership secretary Vicki Husband:

January showcase

Thursday 20th January at 7pm on Zoom

We have an excellent line of poets to kick off our first Mirrorball of 2022: Leela Soma, Hamish Whyte Eveline Pye, and Jason Allen-Paisant.

Jason Allen-Paisant is a writer, academic and the Director of the Institute for Colonial and Postcolonial Studies at the University of Leeds. Born in Jamaica and currently living in Leeds, he holds a doctorate in Medieval and Modern Languages from the University of Oxford and speaks seven languages. He serves on the editorial board of Callaloo: Journal of African Diaspora Arts and Letters. His debut book, Thinking With Trees, a poetry collection that examines and navigates themes including nature and race, leisure, property and space was published by Carcanet in 2021.

Eveline Pye worked in the Zambian Copper Mining Industry and lectured in applied mathematics and statistics at Glasgow Caledonian University. Her first collection, Smoke That Thunders, was published by Mariscat Press (2015) and, from it, the poem Mosi-Oa-Tunya was chosen for the 20 Best Scottish Poems of that Year. Her new pamphlet, STEAM, places A for Arts within the STEM subjects. Published by Red Squirrel Press, it explores the inner world and external perspective of her scientific mind.

Hamish Whyte was born near Glasgow where he lived before moving in 2004 to Edinburgh. Paper Cut is his fourth collection with Shoestring Press. He has edited many anthologies and runs the award-winning Mariscat Press. He’s been a librarian, indexer and crime fiction reviewer. For Edwin Morgan’s 100th birthday year in 2020 he edited his Centenary Selected Poems (Carcanet) and published a memoir, Morgan & Me (HappenStance). He’s a member of Edinburgh’s Shore Poets and plays percussion and drums in a couple of bands.  

Leela Soma was born in Madras, India and now lives in Glasgow. Her poems and short stories have appeared in many anthologies and publications. She has published three novels and two collections of poetry. Her pamphlet Chintz was published recently by Dreich. She has served on the East Dunbartonshire Arts & Culture Committee and is chairperson of Bearsden Writers. She is the Scriever of The Federation of Writers Scotland for 2021.  Some of her work reflects her dual heritage of India and Scotland. She was nominated for the Pushcart Prize 2020.

All events are currently on Zoom, and are for members only. For information on how to become a member please email membership secretary Vicki Husband:


November Mirrorball Showcase

The next Mirrorball showcase will be on Thursday 18th November at 7pm on Zoom.

Cynthia Miller is a Malaysian American poet and innovation strategist living in Edinburgh. In 2021, her debut book Honorifics was awarded an Eric Gregory Prize from the Society of Authors and is shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection. She co-founded the award-winning Verve Poetry Festival and sits on the advisory board of its sister publishing house, Verve Poetry Press. She has been long-listed for the Women Poets Prize and shortlisted for the Bridport Prize and Jerwood Compton Fellowship. She has performed at the Cheltenham Literature Festival, Birmingham Literature Festival, National Writers’ Conference and Poetry Swindon.

Garry MacKenzie is a poet and non-fiction writer based in Fife. His poetry has been published in journals and anthologies including Antlers of WaterDark Mountain and The Clearing. He is a recipient of a Scottish Book Trust New Writers Award and was shortlisted for an Arts Foundation Environmental Writing Fellowship in 2021. He has won the Robert McLellan Poetry Competition and the Wigtown Poetry Competition. His book-length poem Ben Dorain: a conversation with a mountain is published by The Irish Pages Press. Ben Dorain explores the ecology of a Scottish Highland mountain and its herd of red deer – drawn in part from Garry’s translation of an eighteenth-century Gaelic poem, and incorporating contemporary environmental knowledge.

AC Clarke has published five full collections and six pamphlets, two of the latter, Owersettin and Drochaid, in collaboration with Maggie Rabatski and Sheila Templeton. She was one of four winners in the Cinnamon Press 2017 pamphlet competition with War Baby and in 2019 won the Second Light Long Poem competition for the second time. She was commended in the National Poetry Competition in 2005 and longlisted for it in 2014. She has been working on an extensive series of poems about Gala Éluard, later Gala Dalí, and the Surrealist circles in which she moved. The first set of these, Wedding Grief, was published by Tapsalteerie in 2021. A second set was shortlisted for the Cinnamon Poetry Pamphlet Prize in 2021.

Trisha Heaney began writing poetry after retiring. She attended Donny O’Rourke’s class and was delighted to discover a vibrant, eclectic poetry scene in Glasgow. Alongside Gerry Loose and Lynnda Wardle, Trisha recently took part in Mirrorball’s collaboration with Interfaith Glasgow’s Weekend Club project for refugees in a poetry workshop in the Botanic Gardens. Awarded in their Bread and Roses Competition – Trisha’s debut collection Apricot Sunis published by Culture Matters, the literary branch of Unite union. Apricot Sun glows with warmth and compassion whether the focus is on the solidarity experienced growing up on a Glasgow housing scheme, or on the sense of belonging she discovered as a teacher in Sudan. 

All Zoom events are currently only open to members – see the Join Mirrorball page re: how to join

Billy Bonar Celebration Event

Billy Bonar

We’re holding a special event on Thursday 11th November at 7pm on Zoom. This will be an opportunity for Mirrorball members to celebrate the life of Billy Bonar, a founder member of St Mungo’s Mirrorball. 

October Showcase

The October Mirrorball Showcase will be held on Thursday 28th October at 7pm on Zoom with a great line up of poets: Harry Josephine Giles, Chris Agee, Imogen Forster and Lynn Valentine.

Harry Josephine Giles is a writer and performer from Orkney, living in Leith. Their verse novel Deep Wheel Orcadia has just been published this month by Picador. Their poetry collections The Games (Out-Spoken Press, 2018) and Tonguit (Freight Books, 2015) were between them shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection, the Saltire Prize and the Edwin Morgan Poetry Award. They have a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Stirling. Their show Drone debuted in the Made in Scotland Showcase at the 2019 Edinburgh Fringe and toured internationally, and their performance What We Owewas picked by the Guardian’s best-of-the-Fringe 2013 roundup – in the “But Is It Art?”

Chris Agee was born in San Francisco and grew up in Massachusetts, New York and Rhode Island. After high school at Phillips Academy Andover and a year in Aix-en-Provence, France, he attended Harvard University and since graduation has lived in Ireland. His third collection of poems, Next to Nothing, was shortlisted in Britain for the 2009 Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry, and its sequel, Blue Sandbar Moon, appeared in 2018. He is the Editor of Irish Pages and recently edited Balkan Essays, the sixth volume of Hubert Butler’s essays. His most recent collection Trump Rant came out in Spring 2021.

Imogen Forster lives and works in Edinburgh. In 2017 she completed an MA in Writing Poetry at Newcastle University, and her pamphlet, The Grass Boat, was published earlier this year by Mariscat. She is currently working on what she hopes will become a second pamphlet or a longer collection. She tweets as @ForsterImogen

Lynn Valentine‘s debut poetry collection Life’s Stink and Honey will be published by Cinnamon Press in April 2022, after winning their Literature Award. She has a Scots language pamphlet A Glimmer o Stars out with Hedgehog Poetry Press, after winning their dialect competition. Lynn was one of five ‘North’ poets to be commissioned by the Scottish Poetry Library as part of their Champions project 2020.

Mirrorball events are currently being held on Zoom and are restricted to members only. If you wish to become a member please email (membership fee is usually £20 per year October to May but, as MB doesn’t want to exclude anyone who cannot pay the fee, this is negotiable).

Clydebuilt 14

St. Mungo’s Mirrorball are pleased to announce that Alison Cohen, Xinyi Jiang, Lucille Mona Ling and Amy Rafferty are the poets chosen for the Clydebuilt 14 apprenticeship scheme, to be mentored by J L Williams. Congratulations!

Alison Cohen lives with her husband in Glasgow where she is stepmum to four adult men, keeps bees and an allotment. She started to write poetry in 2017 not long after she retired from working as a psychotherapist. Her enjoyable route to Clydebuilt 14 has included an Introduction to Writing Poetry week at Moniack Mhor, Donny O’Rourke’s weekly poetry classes, two Poetry School courses as well as regular meetings to share writing with poetry pals. Thank you to all of these for getting her to this point. She is very much looking forward to the coming year of working with Jennifer Williams and the other mentees. She has had a small number of poems published – in Federation of Writers (Scotland) anthology 2018, Obsessed with Pipework, Ink, Sweat and Tears and an Extinction Rebellion collection ‘Rebel Voices’ (forthcoming). She was the winner of the Hugh Miller Poetry Prize in 2020.

Xinyi Jiang was born in Qingdao (old spelling is Tsingtao as the beer), went to study in Nanjing and Shanghai and taught in Fudan University before coming to the UK. She completed a PhD with Cardiff University, worked in London and has since settled in Scotland. Xinyi discovered poetry when studying Writing Practice & Study with University of Dundee.

Lucille Mona Ling is a poet and visual artist currently living and studying in Glasgow. Her poetry can be found in The Dark Horse and in an online exhibition at Berlin 2021

Amy Rafferty is a writer and photographer from Glasgow. She studied poetry at Glasgow University and has been tutored by Donny O’Rourke, Michael Schmidt and Kei Miller. She writes in both Scots and English and her work has been published in Magma, Envoi, Causeway/Cabshair, The Interpreter’s House, Lallans, Ink, Sweat and Tears, From Glasgow to Saturn and Poetry Scotland. She is currently working towards finishing two collections of poetry and has recently been collaborating with film makers, composers and musicians to create pieces of film and music with spoken word at their core.