Poet returns with school visits

Poet and writer Chrissie Gittins, who was writer-in-residence in Shetland in September 2010, is returning to the isles in May.

Gittins, who writes poetry, poetry for children, short fiction and radio drama, will be escaping her London home to stay at The Booth in Scalloway for the month.

She said the warmth of the islanders and the contours and colours of the isles were some of the many things she was looking forward to. She would be fascinated to discover just how much more light there would be further north, and she was particularly excited about the seals she would see in the voe just beneath The Booth.

Gittins was born in Lancashire and studied

at Newcastle University and St Martin’s School of Art.

All three of her children’s poetry collections – Now You See Me, Now You …, I Don’t Want an Avocado for an Uncle and The Humpback’s Wail are “Choices for the Children’s Poetry Bookshelf” and two were shortlisted for the CLPE Poetry Award.

Her poems have been widely anthologised and have been animated for CBeebies Television. She is included in the British Council Contemporary Writers directory of the UK and Commonwealth’s “most important writers”.

Gittins has also toured 10 primary and second­ary schools on the west coast of the Highlands and was appointed as the first honorary writer-in-residence in the borough of Lewisham where she lives in 2010.

In 2010 she made double visits to six Shetland primary schools and in May she will be visiting schools again. If any schools have not yet signed up and are thinking they might like her to visit – primary or secondary – they can contact her via email at chrissie.gittins@btinternet.com to discuss possibilities.

Gittins will also be reading her poetry, with musical support, at the Shetland Library on Wednesday 22nd May (adult event). She said she would like to thank the library and Shetland Arts for sponsoring and supporting the event.


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