Christine De Luca is a Scottish poet and novelist who writes in English and in Shetland Dialect, which is a blend of Old Scots with much Norse influence.

She is the current Edinburgh Makar - poet laureate for the City of Edinburgh - and keeps a blog about her work as Makar.

You can view updates on Christine's latest work below or read more about her poetry and publications in her biography.

October 2015

Christine performing at the 'Ottobre in Poesia' festival

Christine was guest poet at the literature festival, Ottobre in Poesia, held in the old town of Sassari in North-West Sardinia. She took part in a seminar with students of English Literature at the local university and also a launch event for the bi-lingual version of Dat Trickster Sun (Questo sole furfante) along with her translator Professor Francesca Romana Paci. She was presented with a lovely framed 'key' to the town and hopes to return to such a warm-hearted literary community.


Scottish Poetry Library Logo

Also in October, Christine was invited to participate in a My Life In Poetry session by the Scottish Poetry Library.

In conversation with director, Dr Robyn Marsack, at the National Library of Scotland, Christine talked about her life through the poems that have affected her most at different stages in her life. She revealed that her childhood was "the start of a life-long love affair with the art of poetry".

February 2015

Dundee University Review of the Arts logo

Christine's poetry pamphlet Dat Trickster Sun has been reviewed by Dundee University's Gail Low:

"Christine De Luca's most recent collection poses, and obliquely answers, many questions so well...her English and Shetlandic sit well together in this master class in how to edit and sequence poems in a collection."

November 2014

Christine represented the Shetland dialect in the Wikitongues project. It is a global effort to record and provide access to every language in the world with a network of volunteers on every continent who work to bring new language videos every week. She was not allowed to speak English!

October 2014

In October 2014 Christine's poetry pamphlet Dat Trickster Sun (Mariscat Press) was short-listed for the Michael Marks Award for Poetry Pamphlets. This award is organised by the Wordsworth Trust and The British Library. The judges commented:

"In the Shetlandic poems of Christine De Luca we hear the cry of seabirds and the crash of the waves in the wind-borne melodies of the lines themselves. On these rocky shores, the language itself is a character - playful, wistful and ultimately indistinguishable from the world in which it belongs. But as well as celebrating otherness and difference, these poems insist on the need in all of us to unpack our hearts with whatever words we have, hurl our voices 'inta da heevens'."

The eventual winner was Laura Scott for What I Saw. Other poets short-listed were Mimi Khalvati, Ian McMillan, Richard Moorhead and Samantha Wynne-Rhyderrch. Christine had the opportunity to read a few poems from her collection at the awards' dinner in The British Library.

Christine and other poets working

Christine also took part in a Stanza event in St Andrews, reading from the contemporary Palestinian poetry anthology, A Bird is Not a Stone. This popular anthology, described as compact and compassionate, represents a dialogue between Palestinian writers and Scottish writers. An important link was literal translations of the original poems. A reviewer for Stanza wrote:

"This compassion is further reinforced when hearing the poets delivering the words they had written with other people. Harry Giles and Christine De Luca, reading in Scottish dialects and English, seemed with their brightness and humour to embody the vitality of the project. The intrinsic music of Arabic (read by Abla Oudeh) met and combined happily with Shetlandic, English and Scots to create an atmosphere of longing; when the event was over, ordinary speech came like an outburst.

I must admit that the first time I read the anthology, I didn't have patience to sift through the non-English translations (the final other tongue being Gaelic). Yet, Christine read so beautifully that it was immediately necessary to go back and reverse that mistake -with the rhythms I had just heard serving as new reference points, the poems in Shetlandic did work much easier."

September 2014

Ahead of the Scottish Referendum, Christine's poem, The Morning After has been read by Scotland's young voters. You can watch the video on the BBC website.

Young voters recite 'The Morning After' by Christine De Luca

Her poem was also published in The Scotsman and is featured on the Scottish Poetry Library's blog. Use the player below to hear Christine reading her poem:

August 2014

Christine worked on a translation of a British Sign Language (BSL) poem into Shetland Dialect. The final piece, called The Stars are a Map I Unfurl, is used in a kinetic, BSL film. The film features the creative work of BSL poet Gary Quinn, based on the epic solo voyage of Gerry Hughes, also profoundly deaf.

Kyra Pollitt, project leader, was the intermediary; she provided Christine with a BSL interpretation. From this Christine transformed it into the written poem. David Bell then applied his skills in kinetic typography to make Christine's words come alive.

You can read more about the project on the Scottish Poetry Library's Website.

June 2014

The City of Edinburgh Council hosted a Reception to welcome Christine as the new Makar on the 27th of June 2014. She is the fourth Makar, following Stewart Conn, Valerie Gillies and, most recently, Ron Butlin.

Stewart Conn, Christine De Luca, Valerie Gillies and Ron Butlin - Four Edinburgh Makars

Christine's appointment also featured in the ITV Scotland News and in the Edinburgh Evening News.

Christine De Luca's appointment as Makar in the Edinburgh Evening News, 28th June 2014

May 2014

Edinburgh Museums' Logo

Christine was appointed as the new Edinburgh Makar by The City of Edinburgh Council on the 27th of May 2014. She will hold the position for the next three years over which time she'll be involved in several poetry projects.

You can read an Interview Christine gave to the Evening News ahead of her appointment to find out more.

Cover of 'Dat Trickster Sun'

This month also saw Christine launch her new poetry pamphlet, Dat Trickster Sun, in Shetland (at the Bonhoga Gallery) and in Edinburgh (at Blackwell's bookshop). The collection offers a metaphysical take on life rooted in landscape, in nature and in the human condition.

Here is a selection of poems from the collection.

March 2014

Mariscat Logo

Soon to be launched by Mariscat, Dat Trickster Sun, is a new collection of poems by Christine De Luca. Some of the poems are in English while others are in Shetlandic.

It will be launched in Shetland on Friday May 30th at the Bonhoga Gallery at 7:00 pm She will be joined by Shetland poet Laureen Johnson.

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Events

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Reviews

  • "In this collection Christine De Luca shows herself to be not only a heavyweight poet in her own right but also a trailblazer for the rest of us."Elizabeth Rimmer, Northwords Now, Spring Issue, 10/11
  • "Christine brings us the everyday, its gentleness, its cruelties, its heartbreaks, its immense undertow."Salon International du Livre Insulaire, August 2007
  • "She manages to reach out across the world with a richness of language and thought that is intensely satisfying."The Herald, December 2005
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Poems

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