Edwin Morgan wrote across forms, themes, and languages and supported other writers to find their voices; it is with this spirit that St Mungo’s Mirrorball designed the Clydebuilt Verse Apprenticeship Scheme. Founded in 2007, with sponsorship from Glasgow Life, the annual scheme provides intensive support for poets based in Glasgow and surrounding areas at an early stage of their writing careers, encouraging a greater dialogue between them and more experienced practitioners.
The programme recruits four poets a year and offers them a mix of group and one-to-one sessions over twelve months with respected mentors. Mentors have included poets such as Liz Lochhead, Gerry Cambridge, John Glenday, Gerry Loose, Gerrie Fellows, J. L. Williams, Miriam Gamble and Alexander Hutchison. Many of the Clydebuilt apprentices have gone on to publish widely and establish themselves as part of the national and international poetry scene.
Since 2020, St Mungo’s Mirrorball has been pleased to partner with the Edwin Morgan Trust, who provide full sponsorship for the programme, and ensure that focussed support remains available for emerging poets, whatever age and stage they are at in their writing careers. The Second Life Award will support Clydebuilt 15, which will take place in 2022 with four new poets in early stages of their careers.
A year of mentoring is a rare gift. I think my year on the Clydebuilt scheme enhanced my bravery: about when to be brutal and when to be playful; when to re-shape or abandon; to leave my ego outside the room and to trust the poem. Apply!Mark Russell, Clydebuilt 5 (with Alexander Hutchison)
Clydebuilt gave me deadlines (which I need!) and a platform to try out new things in a friendly and supportive environment.Juana Adcock, Clydebuilt 9 (with Liz Lochhead)
Edwin Morgan Trust has previously supported
Clydebuilt 14 (2021)
Mentor – J. L. Williams
Participants – Amy Rafferty, Lucille Ling, Xinyi Jiang, Alison Cohen
Clydebuilt 13 (2020)
Mentor – Gerry Cambridge
Participants – Sean Wai Keung, Chris Boyland, Julie Laing, Anjeli Caderamanpulle