Author details

Dorothy Baird

Biography

I’ve over 25 years’ experience teaching creative writing in the community and in mental health settings. I have also run training workshops for adult literacy tutors and teachers. In 2009, I set up the Young Edinburgh Writers /YEW to give teenagers an opportunity to enjoy creative writing out of school and successfully ran it for five years before handing it on to another tutor. I’m also a Human Givens psychotherapist.

About writer's work

Mind the Gap is my second poetry collection and was published in November 2015 by Indigo Dreams Publishing.

The collection explores the impact moving away from home as teenagers can have on us as individuals and also on our relationships. The poems also look at  the gap between reality and imagination, between ourselves and the Scottish landscape, and the gap when we experience the death of someone close to us. Throughout the collection, ‘Poetwoman,’ a unique character, presents her experiences and asks some pertinent questions.

Leaving the Nest, my first collection, was published by Two Ravens Press in 2007. Amongst other things, the poems look at my experience of growing up, leaving home and travelling the world, before becoming a mother who watches her own children making their first tentative steps to grow up in turn.    

My poems have been published in a wide variety of magazines including New Writing Scotland, Acumen, The Interpreter’s House, and North and have been highly commended in poetry competitions. More details, including some poems can be found on my website.

I was a finalist in the Shore Poets Quiet Slam in 2016.

My poem, ‘It Never Stops’ was broadcast on Radio 4 as part of Ruth Padel’s programme about writing workshops in 2011.

A poem/play for three female voices called 'Timepieces' was performed as part of the Traverse Theatre's TraVerses evenings in 2010.

The poem 'Currie' has been filmed in collaboration with Anna Dickie and Stephanie Tan as part of 'This Collection' and can be found here.

Websites featuring the author

Two Ravens Press WebsiteIndigo Dreams

Current events and projects

I’m very happy to give readings, lead workshops and run writing groups.

Over the years, I’ve worked in many different settings including schools, museums, libraries, and in mental health venues and would be very happy to run workshops or give readings in pretty much any setting. I prefer to work with adults or children (aged 9+) and have over 25 years’ experience of working with a very wide range of abilities and hugely varying levels of confidence.

I always aim to encourage participants to grow in confidence through discovering the power, beauty and the sheer fun of working with words.

The YEW group received funding from Young Scot Arts Action Fund and in March 2011 we successfully launched their book, Muffins and Musings, in the Scottish Poetry Library. In 2012 the group devised and showcased their writing in an innovative installation in Edinburgh’s Central Library, titled 'Room with Our View'. It involved turning an area of the library into a typically messy teenager’s bedroom with poems and writings handcrafted onto bedroom objects including the duvet cover, rug, T shirts, curtains and alarm clock. Great writing and a lot of fun!

For the past 13 years I’ve been running a writing group for the Royal Edinburgh Psychiatric Hospital, which currently takes place in Cambridge Street, and an ongoing women’s writing group at Link Up Women’s Support Centre, Edinburgh.

I have an up-to-date PVG. 

Other work

'Home Truths', 'Smothering Words', 'Motherland', 'What Does it Mean to be a Woman Living in Scotland?', Cleave, Two Ravens Press, published in 2008 

'Dawn at Benares' in New Writing Scotland 25, Dynamics of Balsa, ASLS, 2007, 978-0-948877-77-3

'Growing Up' in Images of Women, Arrowhead Press, 2006, 1-904852-14-9

'Demeter' in My Mother Threw Knives, Second Light Publications, 2006, 0-9546934-1-8 

'Christening', 'The Sick Child', 'Relief', 'Nursery Blues', 'Letting Go' 'Recipe for a Mother', 'Pregnant Pause', 'Revisiting No 33' in The Winding Road, Hawthorn Press, 2004, 1-903458-47-1

'Joe', 'Pregnant Pause', 'Christening', 'Without Edges' in With My Heart in My Mouth, Rudolf Steiner Press, 1994, 1-85584-016-2

'The Birth', 'Forgive Me' in The Gold of Flesh, Women’s Press 1990, 0-7043-4234-0

'Letting Go' Diamond Twig Internet Poem of the Month, 2004

Individual Poems in Journals: Acumen, Call of the night child 2006, Badger Watch 2005m Letting Go 2004, What if? 2003, Nothing Matters Now 2003, Move a little closer 1998, Joe 1991, Without Edges 1990 Markings, Listen They are Thinking of War 2004, South, Just Too Much 2003, Aireings, Curves 2003, Orbis, Orbis Christening 1992, Harvest Moon 1987, Orbis Pregnant Pause 1989, New Spokes, Immanence, Jessica 1991, Spokes Making Bread 1990, Spokes After the Crash 1991, Distaff, Mothering Unborn 1989.

Also poems in the following magazines: Smoke, Cutting Teeth, Awen, First Time, Grand Piano, Decanto, Penine Ink, Giant Steps, Poetry Scotland.

Associated media and resources

Email

dorothybaird@tiscali.co.uk

Local authority where they are based

Edinburgh

Local authorities where they can work

Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Angus, Argyll and Bute, Clackmannanshire, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (Western Isles), Dumfries and Galloway, Dundee, East Ayrshire, East Dunbartonshire, East Lothian, East Renfrewshire, Edinburgh, Falkirk, Fife, Glasgow, Highland, Inverclyde, Midlothian, Moray, North Ayrshire, North Lanarkshire, Orkney, Perth and Kinross, Renfrewshire, Scottish Borders, Shetland, South Ayrshire, South Lanarkshire, Stirling, West Dunbartonshire, West Lothian

Age groups

9-12, Teens, Adults

LL funded

Yes

BRAW network

No

Author type

Poet

Language

English

Books written

Mind the Gap cover

Mind the Gap

Author(s): Dorothy Baird
Mind the Gap is a celebration of family relationships and our attempts to make sense of what it is to be human.

Leaving the Nest

Author(s): Dorothy Baird
A collection of poetry by Dorothy Baird that represents a woman's journey into adulthood, through childbirth and motherhood and then on, as her children grow up and passes into menopause and beyo