New Writers Awards 2019: Henry Bell


Henry Bell is a writer and editor living on the Southside of Glasgow. He is the managing editor of Gutter Magazine, a biannual literary magazine which was the bestselling book at the Edinburgh International Book Festival in 2018. His poetry has appeared widely in magazines and anthologies, and in 2014 Henry was part of the Mungo’s Mirrorball Clydebuilt programme under the mentorship of Gerry Cambridge.

Henry has edited books including A Bird is Not a Stone, a collection of contemporary Palestinian poetry in translation. He has collaborated on work for the stage with Sara Shaarawi and their plays have been performed in Edinburgh and Cairo. He has also had monologues performed at the Oran Mor in Glasgow. Henry Bell’s biography of John Maclean, Hero of Red Clydeside was published in 2018. He enjoys visual art, hill walking, radical politics, poetry and trains.

You can find out more at or @henbell on twitter.


Writing Sample

Greater and Lesser Winter
That full ripe Glasgow sun
is warming up the courgettes and smashed TVs
in my back court
The sky is black to my left
bright blue to my right – it rains against itself
and the drops dry on the warm concrete
Summer must be taken seriously
in Glasgow where limbs hang out of windows
thrilled to be as bright as the sun
Summer must be taken seriously
when it comes short and sharp
and fills your mouth with the taste of rain


Henry says:

"I was absolutely thrilled to receive a New Writers Award. I can’t imagine getting better news. Sometimes poetry can feel like a lonely place, so to have the support of Scottish Book Trust and getting to meet the other awardees is something I am really looking forward to."