New Writers Awards 2018: Duncan Muir

Poetry

Duncan Stewart Muir grew up in the Hebrides where he spent his childhood riding horses on the beach and terrorising small, furry animals. He undertook his MLitt in Creative Writing at The University of Glasgow, graduating with distinction in 2010. Duncan’s poetry has been published in Poetry Review, PN Review, New Writing Scotland, Blast Furnace and In Protest: 150 Poems for Human Rights. He has hosted live literature nights in Liverpool and Glasgow, performed at the Edinburgh International Book Festival and been shortlisted for the Bridport Prize for Poetry. In 2014 he was a member of St Mungo’s Mirrorball’s Clydebuilt programme. He lives in Glasgow where he works as an English teacher.

 

Writing Sample

Gui Jie, Beijing

 
I’ll wait for you on Ghost Street, beneath the paper light
of ten thousand lanterns.
 
I’ll wait for you on Ghost Street, where crayfish sizzle
upon the coals. 
 
I’ll wait for you on Ghost Street, where carp skulk
in the silt of forgotten tanks.
 
I’ll wait for you on Ghost Street, where the guitar boys
serenade empty rooms, bare tables, upended chairs.
 
*
 
Don’t be taken in by the waitress at the Russian joint,
between her legs there is only despair.
 
Look for the hawker who has lost her teeth,
who has sold her hair in a braided knot.
 
Look for the hanging sloth of a just-skinned dog,
all purple tissue and silver sinew.
 
Look for the boy with the copper eyes, sucking bone marrow
through a yellow straw.
 
*
 
Wait for me on Ghost Street, where old bicycles
slough their rusted bones.
 
Wait for me on Ghost Street, where the doormen sing
in their quilted coats.
 
Wait for me on Ghost Street, find a fire pit
to warm your hands.
 
Wait for me on Ghost Street, beneath the paper light,
the red-lit night.
 

Duncan says:

"Hearing the news made my year! I’m really looking forward to the support of the awesome Scottish Book Trust and the other New Writer’s Awardees"