Harry Giles

Harry Giles is from Orkney and lives in Edinburgh. Harry's latest publication is the collection Tonguit from Freight Books, which was shortlisted for the 2016 Forward Prize for Best First Collection. They’ve twice been shortlisted for the Edwin Morgan Poetry Award and have a second full-length collection, The Games, forthcoming from Freight. Harry was the 2009 BBC Scotland slam champion, co-directs the live art platform ANATOMY, and has toured participatory theatre across Europe and Leith.


Photo: Rich Dyson


Making a Living as a Poet »

Join the Society of Authors discussion on how to make poetry pay

Fri 3 March | 11:30 - 12:30 | £4.00/£3.00 | The Town Hall, Queens Gardens, Council Chamber

Poetry on the Move (I) »

Get your poetry kicks on route A91

Sat 4 March | 10:00 - 12:30 | FREE | St Andrews Bus Station

Autoflâneur »

Lose yourself to find a poem with this guide to getting lost

Wed 1 March - Sun 5 March | 10:00 - 20:00 | FREE | The Byre Theatre, Abbey Street


Instructions for Behaviour at Border Control

Wear a red dress. Paint your eyebrows green. Ensure
your gait mimics the gait of a lion who's fallen
awkwardly from the sofa and is pretending he hasn't.

Hop sideways and shifty across the line that reads PLEASE
STAND HERE. Throat lustily Now you see me Now
you don't.
Fall to one knee with a ring made of luminous

plastic and zebra-skin. Ask the loneliest guard to marry you.
Stroke her gun. Whisper in earnest I studied witchcraft
then grin because with your green eyebrows they can't but know

you are telling a truth. While stamping out hours of queue,
ignoring the teeth of glossy instructional vids, invent
a Magnificent Teleportation Device, and with its tachyon trails

write theories of history to gut the future. Return, steaming,
and sing of this to the queue and the guards and the screens and the signs
till the thrice-damned terminal implodes from the singular weight

of its own internal contradictions. And breathe again. And spell
again the teleportation device, the manifesto, the implosion.
Make a lever of your time. Handle yourself with care.


Harry Giles

From Tonguit (Freight, 2015)