If This Were Real
Published by Smokestack Books
Appearing at the Edinburgh Festival, August 2013.
If This Were Real is a kind of autobiography in verse: beginning in the lost Eden of childhood, the warmth of family life and the wildness of weather in her native Scotland, then on to intense snapshots of a wider, troubled world: Bosnia, Iraq, Syria. From Pentland rain to Sarajevo roses, these are poems that demand not just to be read, but to be performed, ‘spot-lit lies, / floodlit truths, and shadowed ambiguities / in our retellings of the world’s old tales’.
Gerda Stevenson is well-known for her work in theatre, radio, film and TV. She appeared in the Hollywood blockbuster Braveheart (1995), and won a BAFTA Best Film Actress award for Margaret Tait’s Blue Black Permanent (1992). Her TV roles include Midsomer Murders, Heartbeat, Taggart and The Bill. Her poetry has appeared in the Scotsman, the Herald, New Writing Scotland and the Cork Literary Review, as well as the Smokestack anthology A Rose Loupt Oot: Poetry and Song Celebrating the UCS Work-In (2011). She has also written extensively for radio. Her stage play Federer versus Murray was shortlisted for the London Fringe Theatre Writing Award 2010, and toured to New York in 2012. She lives with her husband, the poet Aonghas MacNeacail, in the Pentland Hills in the Scottish Borders.