In 2022, the Edwin Morgan Trust partnered with Moniack Mhor to offer support to writers from underrepresented Scottish identities through our funding stream The Second Life Awards. We asked Scottish BPOC Writers’ Network and Sanctuary Queer Arts to each nominate a poet over 30 who they felt would benefit from receiving individual support from Moniack Mhor and we are delighted to announce the recipients of the bursary.

Sanctuary Queer Arts Nomination

Jamie McCormick is a pansexual, non-binary, trans masculine, singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist performer, poet and writer living in North East Scotland.  Their poetry has been published in the anthology Joined Up Writing and used by the Glasgow Mission of the Order Of Perpetual Indulgence. With an emphasis on mental health awareness, gender issues and general queerness, their writing ranges from serious and soul searching to self-deprecating and satirical, but with a constant underlying theme of great hair. 

Sanctuary Queer Arts said that they have been ‘bowled over by Jamie’s creativity, talent and energy and believe they will benefit tremendously from this opportunity at this point in their career. As an LGBTQIA+ artist in their late 40s – who came out later in life and who has raised 2 children as a single parent – Jamie has had to overcome many barriers to access traditional art spaces and opportunities, is at an exciting time in their artistic life and is uniquely placed to take advantage of Moniack Mhor’s support.’

Scottish BPOC Writers’ Network Nomination

Shasta Hanif Ali works in the Third Sector and is an Edinburgh-based writer, poet and anti-racism campaigner.  Her writing explores race, identity and heritage, with work published in the Scottish BPOC Writers Network, The National, STV Scotland and Books from Scotland, among others.

On their nomination, Scottish BPOC Writers Network said ‘Shasta Hanif Ali is an emerging poet, writer, anti-racism and women’s rights campaigner, and an active member of SBWN. In choosing a poet for the Edwin Morgan x Moniack Mhor bursary, we considered many worthy candidates. We’ve noticed, like many of our members, Shasta has been particularly committed to her writing practice recently and felt she would benefit greatly from this bursary to have time, space and support to develop her work and move towards the next stage in her writing career. We look forward to witnessing what comes next, reading more of her poetry and we wish Shasta all the best!

Rachel Humphries, Centre Director of Moniack Mhor, said ‘Moniack Mhor is excited to be facilitating this bursary programme in partnership with the Edwin Morgan Trust, Sanctuary Queer Arts, and the Scottish BPOC Writers’ Network. This is a fantastic and much needed opportunity for potentially marginalised Scottish writers to develop their craft and voice. It feels so important for us to be involved with this award, Moniack Mhor strives to create writer development opportunities that are accessible to all and this is an invaluable step in that process. We are excited to welcome Shasta Hanif Ali and Jamie McCormick to our organisation and look forward to supporting their creative journey.’

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