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Book Launch
Watersong by Michael Stephenson

Join poet Michael Stephenson as he launches his new title from Mariscat Press, Water Song

Event Category:
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Free Admission
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25.07.24. 6.30–8pm. Free. Click here to book

Water Song: warm, affectionate, tender, moving poems, sometimes sentimental, but in the best way – often about family but also alert to the wider world. Plus: Tang dynasty poems live again – and prove their relevance – in Stephenson’s clear, concise Scots.

Stephenson writes with clarity, honesty and empathy, whether his subject is a close family member (his wife, his boys, his mother) or someone unknown to him living in challenging circumstances. The poem ‘Hallowe’en’ powerfully juxtaposes the loving intimacy of helping his son with face-paint for guising, with a Gaza mother writing the names of her children on their limbs, just in case. These poems are interspersed with Scots versions of old Chinese poems which add a contrasting texture to this fascinating and profound collection.


Michael Stephenson lives in Bathgate with his wife and sons and teaches in a West Lothian school. Water Song is his second pamphlet. His first, Starsailor (2019) is also published by Mariscat.

Mariscat Press is now one of the longest-running self-funded small presses in Scotland. The ‘jewel in the Scottish poetry crown’ (Ian McMillan), Mariscat has twice won the Michael Marks Publishers’ Award (2023 & 2015). The press is known for its tastefully designed publications and a quality backlist which includes work by figures such as Douglas Dunn, Diana Hendry, Stewart Conn, Jackie Kay and Michael Longley, as well as many publications by Edwin Morgan, Whyte’s friend for over 30 years.

Published by Mariscat Press

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