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Aves Aves
Essence Press, 2007.
64p. Textured card cover. ISBN: 978 1 904211 06 8.

Read three prose-poems | Read the TLS review | Buy online

I wrote Aves at the request of the publisher, Julie Johnstone of Essence Press, who said: "Why don't you write something, not poetry, about birds? They seem to have been a big part of your life." So I did, and the result is this—I think, elegant—small format book. Its content is, I suppose, difficult to categorise. It's prose poetry with a documentary element. Or it's a little handbook about wild birds. Or really it's a sequence about adolescence and a life-altering obsession. Its twenty-two prose-poems are rounded off with a quirky little essay, 'A Dropped Feather', about a teenage obsession with ornithology. Because Essence is a small—but wonderful—publisher, you won't be able to find Aves in many bookshops; copies are mainly available direct from Essence, and online at The London Review of Books' fabulous bookshop.

Imagined Space Imagined Space
Fablevision, 2006.
48p. Full colour. ISBN: 978-0-9554353-0-0

Read sample text and images

This publication, which I designed and typeset, came out of a two month residency along with the Drama Artist Mona Keeling for the Glasgow-based arts organisation Fablevision. The "imagined space" of the book's title referred to the possibilities for renewing Glasgow's Royston Road "Backlands", formerly a waste dump, as community- and green-space; it is also the title of a poem I wrote as the centrepiece for the book. Mona Keeling and I worked together with various sections of the community exploring the concept of the "imagined space". Interviews, children's artwork and poems, 'before' and 'after' images of the Backlands, my own nature photography, and an essay by the Glasgow critic of public art, David Harding, also form part of the publication.

Building a New PathBuilding a New Path Building a New Path
East Kilbride Arts Centre, South Lanarkshire Council, 2006.
48 p. ISBN 10: 0-9553127-1-X; ISBN 13: 978-0-9553127-1-7

Read sample page 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

This pamphlet attempts to be about perception, about the "creative moment", when apparently dissimilar things, connected, marry intriguingly, or puzzlingly, or quirkily, in the mind. It is about "new paths", letterforms, ways of looking, about making connections; and about being as unsolemn as possible. I enjoyed taking images for it, and incorporating them in a design with children's artwork, as well as the chance it provided for a typographical jeu d'esprit, the playful focus on words and letters as graphic objects. It was commissioned by Hamish Neilson of South Lanarkshire's Greenspace and by Keith Donnelly, Visual Arts Officer for South Lanarkshire Council, and was a collaboration with the stonemason Andrew Bradley of the National Trust for Scotland.

Dynamite! The Dynamite Project
Dynamite, North Ayrshire Council, 2005.
32 p. Limited edition of 200 copies.

Dynamite Poem

  Typescript page from the Dynamite poem

A 270 line poem based on Alfred Nobel and his explosives factory at Ardeer near Stevenston, Ayrshire, which was active from the 1890s through to the 1980s, forms the centrepiece for this pamphlet, designed around the idea of a school jotter. Skratch design of Glasgow used my typescript of the poem, with handwritten amendments, as the basis for the published piece. The pamphlet also contains an exchange of letters between the project artist, Rachel Mimiec, and Alfred Nobel, for whom I acted as amanuensis. Cover lettering individually hand-coloured, in random sequence, so no two copies are the same except by happenstance.

Madame Fi Fi's Farewell Madame Fi Fi's Farewell and other poems
Luath Press, 2003.
126 p. ISBN: 1842820052

Read 7 poems | Read 6 reviews | Buy from

"This is a fine new collection from a country-bred Scottish poet with a keen ear for the music of poetry. Gerry Cambridge captures the essence of people (as of birds) as well as any poet now writing." (Anne Stevenson)

"This new book by Gerry Cambridge is like a pint of Scottish ale in the hot and dusty Sahara. In Cambridge's poems, neither consummate skill nor deep feeling have gone out of style." (X.J. Kennedy)

"One of the most promising and original of modern Scottish poets ... a master of form and subtlety." (George Mackay Brown)

Blue Sky, Green Grass Blue Sky, Green Grass
Lawthorn Books, 2003.
32 p. Limited edition of 170 copies

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A 600-line poem I wrote about 'one day in the life' of Lawthorn Primary School in Ayrshire. It interweaves occasional lines written by the P6 (10 to 11-year-old) children in my workshops, and is illustrated mainly by their artwork. In 2004 the pamphlet won the Callum Macdonald Memorial Award administered by the National Library of Scotland.

The Praise of Swans The Praise of Swans
Shoestring Press, 2000.
28 p. ISBN: 1899549498

This pamphlet's 22 poems, published by the enterprising Shoestring Press of Nottingham, run by poet and man of letters John Lucas, were reprinted in Madame Fi Fi's Farewell (above).

Nothing But Heather! Nothing But Heather!
Luath Press, 1999.
128 p. ISBN: 0946487499

Bluebells | Great Water Boatman | Shore Crab | Young vole | Short-eared owl | Maple leaf |
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48 poems matched with 48 captioned photographs featuring natural history found in Scotland. This project brought together my interests in poetry, nature and photography, and was written and published when I lived as the Brownsbank Fellow from 1997-1999 at Hugh MacDiarmid's last home, Brownsbank, near Biggar in Lanarkshire.

Note: these 'Heather' PDF images, between 80 and 180 KB, may take a short while to download.

The Shell House The Shell House
Scottish Cultural Press, 1995.
53 p. ISBN: 189821834X

Read 5 poems | Read 1 review | Buy from

My first book of poems, written when I lived in my caravan in Ayrshire, and featuring an introduction by the Orkney writer George Mackay Brown, an early encourager.

The Dark Gift The Dark Gift and other poems
St Inan's Press, 1994.
16 p.

Read 1 poem and 1 review

I used to produce this tiny pamphlet from my breast pocket at poetry readings, and announce I would read from my complete and unexpurgated works.