William Letford

William Letford’s debut collection Bevel was published by Carcanet in 2012. A chapbook of his poetry, And then there was skin, was translated into Slovakian and published by Vertigo in 2014. He has performed in many countries and venues, by invitation and sometimes just for the hell of it. His work has appeared on radio and television and his second full collection, Dirt, was published by Carcanet in 2016.

Photo: Chris Scott


Poetry Centre Stage »

A double bill of poetry for Saturday evening
20:00 Reading – William Letford
21:00 Reading – Liz Lochhead

Sat 10 March | 20:00 - 22:00 | £9.75/£8.00 | The Byre Theatre, Abbey Street, Auditorium


The January fashion confession

The hat
My aunt shops online using Glens
vodka and Irn Bru to channel the Christmas        
spirit. Last year she downloaded some
knitting patterns, began a self prescribed
course of codeine, then went to work on gifts
for the family. I received the yellow and
red Mohawk hat with ear flaps and tassels 
Something magic had happened in the knit
Somewhere in the opiate induced
alcohol and Irn Bru trance my aunt
had found the shamanic. A melted quality
More like a Mohawk flame than a hat.

The coat
is a twenty-year old hand me down Parka
my uncle wore in the nineties when
he thought he was Liam Gallagher. Some of
the swagger was left in it. I find the rolling
motion helps to lift and plant the feet.

The boots
are surplus Dutch army bought during the
Forest of Ae World Ceilidh to help combat
the difficult suck of the festival quagmire
I’ve discovered they’re just as suited
to an icy pavement on a tricky Tuesday. 

The canter
is how you’ll find me, a yellow and red
flame above a nineties Parka and a pair of
Dutch army boots, sure of foot and swift
of thought with a swagger to match
cutting through the frost like a blow torch.

William Letford