Anne Stewart

Anne Stewart was born and grew up in Kirkcaldy, before moving to London at 15. Her UK collections are The Last Parent (Second Light, 2019) and The Janus Hour (Oversteps Books, 2010). Two short bilingual collections (English/Romanian) were published in Bucharest: Let It Come to Us All (Integral & Contemporary Literature Press, 2017) and Only Here till Friday (Bibliotecha Universalis, 2015 and, in English/Spanish, 2016). Her awards include the Bridport Prize, the Southport Prize, Silver Wyvern (Poetry on the Lake, Italy) and a Hawthornden Fellowship. She has an MA (Dist) in Creative Writing from Sheffield Hallam University. She founded an online poet showcase in 2005 and is administrator for Second Light, a network of women poets.

Headshot of Anne Stewart laughing

Photo: from an original photograph by Elena Nistor


The Red Letter Library »

An installation of poems responding to book cover designs by Talwin Morris

Thu 5 March - Sun 8 March | 10:00 - 22:00 | FREE | Byre Theatre, Abbey Street, Level 2 Foyer


Two Nights Ago Mum Phoned

back from the dead, fifty again,
but happy this time, and healthy,
Dad there in the background. Both more
showy in love than I’ve ever seen.
He, attentive to her. Calm.

‘Your dad and I are coming round,’
she said ‘probably pop along in the afternoon’.
Something important to tell me, it seemed.
The phone went dead. I found myself,
despite the obvious, expecting them to come.

It was as though they’d been replaced,
those first thirty married years, without the mistakes
and hurts, the malice that set them hard,
two gruff brickies, ever bolstering
a wall of uncompassionate views.

Why come to me as these kind strangers?
These were two in love from the first day. Why
take away the toughness that saw them through?
And what would they tell me now? There was always
something important that slipped away.


Anne Stewart

From the poem sequence The Last Parent in the collection of the same title (Second Light Publications, 2019)