Valerie Gillies is known as the poet of the healing springs of Scotland. Her journey to the springs is mapped in The Spring Teller, a collection of poems inspired by the sonic signature of each place. Her most recent book is The Cream of the Well: New and Selected Poems, which was shortlisted for the Saltire Award in 2015. Gillies was the Edinburgh Maker, or poet laureate, from 2005 until 2008. She often works collaboratively with visual artists, and has held several writing fellowships across the country.