Roseanne Watt

Roseanne Watt is a poet, filmmaker and musician from Shetland. She is currently poetry editor for The Island Review and was the winner of the 2015 Outspoken Poetry Prize (Poetry in Film) and runner up in the 2018 Aesthetica Creative Writing Award. In 2018, her debut collection Moder Dy won the Edwin Morgan Poetry Award; Moder Dy is also shortlisted for the 2019 Saltire Society Poetry Book of the Year Award. She lives and works between Edinburgh and Shetland.


Edwin Morgan Trust showcase »

Three recent winners and runners up of the EMT prize share a stage

Sat 7 March | 13:00 - 14:00 | £4.50/£3.50 | Parliament Hall, South Street

Poetry Loops »

Loop showings of filmpoems

Thu 5 March - Sun 8 March | 10:00 - 22:00 | FREE | Byre Theatre, Abbey Street, Conference Room


Saat i de Blöd

Lass, du’s parched dy tongue
o dy ain laand. Knappit
dy wirds sae dry dey sift
atween dy teeth lik saand
sprittin doon an ooer-glass.
I gied dee a langwich, wan
dat cud captir de percussion
o waves apo its consonants,
unravel de treads o de sowl
wi a single wird; shoormal,
mareel, bonhoga; a gift
dat du’s left oot tae mulder
i de rees.

Lit me start ower:
Lass, du dösna hae de wirds
tae haad me on de page,
an du’ll nivir fin me dere
until du understaands

de saat dat coorses trowe
dy veins is de lifeblöd
o an aulder converseeshun,
wan dat ebbs and flodds
joost as de tide. Dese wirds
ir my hansel tae dee;

Tak dem; gie dem
   a pulse

Salt in the Blood

Lass, you’ve parched your tongue of your own land.
‘Propered’ your words so dry they sift between
your teeth like sand flitting down an hour-glass.
I gave you a language, one that could capture
the percussion of waves on its consonants,
unravel the threads of the soul with a single word:
shoormal, mareel, bonhonga;
a gift that you’ve left out to moulder in the gales.

Let me start over:
Lass, you don’t have the words to hold me
on the page, and you’ll never find me there
until you understand the salt that courses
through your veins is the lifeblood
of an older conversation, one that ebbs and floods
just as the tide. These words are my gift to you.
Take them; give them a pulse.

Roseanne Watt

From Moder Dy (Polygon, 2018)