Ross Wilson

Ross Wilson comes from Kelty in West Fife. His first full collection, Line Drawing, was published by Smokestack Books in 2018. A pamphlet, The Heavy Bag, appeared in 2011. His poems, short stories, essays and reviews have appeared in a number of literary magazines and anthologies including Edinburgh Review, Poetry Salzburg Review, Books in Canada, Honest Ulsterman and New Writing Scotland. He was also credited as a writer on The Happy Lands, an award-winning feature film in which he had an acting role. The recipient of a Hawthornden Fellowship in 2004 and a Clydebuilt Apprenticeship in 2017/18, he works full-time as an auxiliary nurse.

Photo: Amanda Leckie


Taking Poetry to New Places »

Drop by in your lunchbreak for some poetry

Fri 8 March | 12:30 - 12:50 | FREE | The Preservation Trust Museum, North Street



No man knocked Chuvalo down.
After fifteen rounds with Ali,
Ali went to hospital;
Chuvalo went dancing with his wife.

Frazier hit him like a Pontiac at 100mph.
Foreman’s fist was a big Mack truck
crashing into his face at 50mph.
Chuvalo’s bone structure absorbed it all

like a tower shaken to its foundations
by the tremor of an earthquake.
Out on his feet, he would wake
and go on.

It was his sons that took him down.
One, two, three, gone to addiction;
with his wife the count reached four.
In the middle of his life

Chuvalo was lost in a dark room, alone.
An old man, he toured schools,
talking in a voice remarkably clear
after all the blows endured in a long career.

Footage shows him rocking back and forth.
Tears glisten in grooves that fists and time
scored upon his skin.
Teenagers listen,

rapt by and wrapped up in
a tone warm and deep as a cradling arm.
Chuvalo, strongest, toughest of men,
gathered all that was torn inside him

and reached out to them.
Love yourselves.
Love yourselves.
Love yourselves.


Ross Wilson

From Line Drawing (Smokestack Books, 2018)