Gutter 14 Playlist

Never underestimate the power of the spoken word.

The Scottish performance poetry/spoken word scene is thriving with nights like Neu Reekie, Inn Deep, Rally and Broad, Fail Better and countless others making it hard to go out these days and not be subjected to some poetry. We wanted to represent a little of that in issue 14 of Gutter, which includes contributors Aidan Moffat, Nick-e Melville, MacGillivray, Calum Rodger, Kate Tough, and more. Conscious that performed work can’t always be represented in full on paper, your loving and considerate editors have also prepared a playlist for your aural delectation. Enjoy this selection of readings to accompany Gutter issue 14.


It’s not all hip-hip-hippity-hop in issue 14’s poetry though. We have some good old-fashioned ink-on-paper delights for you too. Amongst others, there’s new poetry from Andrew F Giles, Colin Herd, Hugh McMillan and Patricia Ace (welcome back all, it’s been a while), Jamie Norman’s wonderfully political porcine picture poem, and debut appearances in the magazine from Andrew Blair, Alison Whittenberg, Leyla Josephine and Judith Kahl to name a few.

Some writers transcend the oral and the written forms in both poetry and prose. Jim Ferguson is one of those writers and we are delighted to include his brilliant short story ‘Walmart Pants.’ Read it out loud to yourself or to a friend, or listen to it in the playlist above.

There is more excellent writing about apartheid South Africa from Lynnda Wardle. We are looking forward to seeing these stories published in book form some day soon (Freight Books, are you listening?) Other prose highlights include Donald S Murray’s ‘I Dream of Mikhail Gorbachev’, an extract from ES Thomson’s novel Beloved Poison, and two pieces from writers entirely new to Gutter: Marek O’Lasce and Stuart Johnstone.

It was with almost unbearable disbelief and profound sadness that on 22nd November 2015 we learned of the death of our friend and former Guest Editor, Alexander Hutchison – better known as Sandy. A supporter of this magazine from its inception, Sandy was a poet, translator, mentor, and above all a human being of great kindness, humour, spirit and generosity. His work and words touched a great many readers and writers across the world. It is perhaps most tragic that not long before his death he was enjoying a late flourish of acclaim: his collection Bones & Breath having won the 2014 Saltire Award for Scottish Poetry Book of the Year. There is the obvious sadness of unfinished business, but tempered with great gratitude for what Sandy gifted us during his life. His most recent collection Gavia Stellata (2015) was a translation of his best-known work into Spanish. We are honoured to reprint three poems in issue 14 of Gutter, alongside the Spanish translations by Juana Adcock. We are grateful to Hazel Frew for curating tributes from some writers who knew Sandy best. Pages 87-103 of the magazine remember a fine life lived to the fullest.

Purchase issue 14 of Gutter here or in all good bookshops, or better yet, support new Scottish writing by subscribing for only £12 annually.