Rachel McCrum

Rachel McCrum is a poet and performer who has worked across Scotland, Montreal, Haiti, South Africa, Greece and Northern Ireland. She won the Callum MacDonald Award for her first pamphlet The Glassblower Dances in 2012; was the first ever BBC Scotland poet in residence in 2015; and was awarded a Robert Louis Stevenson Fellowship in 2016. She was a founding member of Stewed Rhubarb Press and the SHIFT/ Poetry Collective, was the Broad of Rally and Broad (which made #12 of The List’s Hot 100 in 2015) and currently manages the cinepoems project with Glasgow poet Calum Rodger and Montreal poet Jonathan Lamy. She is working on her first collection, due out with Freight in 2017.

Photo: Chris Scott


Quebec-UK Connexions: cinepoems »

Meet the artists behind this acclaimed poetry film project between Scotland and Quebec

Sat 4 March | 14:15 - 15:15 | FREE | The Byre Theatre, Abbey Street, Conference Room

Poetry Loops »

Loop showings of films featuring poetry by Geneviève Gosselin-G., Jonathan Lamy, Rachel McCrum, and Calum Rodger

Wed 1 March - Sun 5 March | 10:00 - 22:00 | FREE | The Byre Theatre, Abbey Street, Conference Room


Ling Chi

Sometimes, they start with the eyes
to spare the shame.

The contentious use of opiates to distance pain.
Some say a honeyed absence corrupts what dignity is left.
(Some. Not those facing the cleaver, I'd bet.)

The merciful kill quick, stone cold.
The first stroke, deep pierce
to the heart's chamber.

The postmortem pics show
the bloodflow stopped well
before the cuts ceased.

Thick slow clots
sticking to what is left of skin,
refusing to soak back to earth.

Slice by slice by
sting by sting by
flesh by flesh by

But those eyes!
Is that an ankle bone gone now, or rib?
Buttock or breast? Shoulderblade?
What next for the carvery?

Who will dare to pull the emperor from his horse?
What voice from the crowd will first shout
stop, for the love of all that is good, stop?


Rachel McCrum