Sheila Wakefield

Sheila Wakefield is a poet, editor and publisher. Born in Durham and now based in South Lanarkshire, she founded the independent and self-funded Red Squirrel Press in April 2006. Over two hundred titles have been published to date, showcasing young poets such as Claire Askew and Andrew McMillan as well as more established names James McGonigal and Tim Turnbull. She founded Postbox Press (the literary fiction imprint of Red Squirrel Press) in 2015 and launched Postbox – Scotland’s International Short Story Magazine in 2019. She holds an MA in Creative Writing and her pamphlet, Limerance, was published by Talking Pen in 2012.

Black and white headshot of Sheila Wakefield

Photo: Moira Conway


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


Sprint Finish Haibun

Mario Cipollini is a legendary sprinter, noted for the longevity of his dominance (also known as the Lion King, Super Mario).

Sunday morning, sipping cappuccino courtesy of the Saeco promotion vehicle in front of the Hotel de Ville. Their theme song blasts out, crowds gather, roads closed. Saeco’s star, my hero, roams free, no Armstrong-style security. I catch his scent, masculine, powerful. I act immediately, ‘Mario’, I shout. He turns, never one to ignore a female voice. ‘Please may I have your autograph and take your photograph?”. His English is probably better than it appears when he’s interviewed, breathless after stage wins but I mime writing and point at my camera, to be sure. He nods, grins, steadies himself on his bike, the ultimate pose. He looks directly into the lens, I take the shot, and a second. He signs the cover of my L’Equipe, his image of course. He is even more attractive close-up, his physical power and charisma are overwhelming. ‘Grazie mille’, I say, he flashes his broadest smile. After the Caravan passes, he rides out, remains safe all day, powers through the sprint finish, takes the stage.

Always be aware
lion kings creep up on you
Cipo hunts alone


Sheila Wakefield

From Tour de Vers (Red Squirrel Press, 2014)