Christine De Luca
Biography of Christine De Luca
Christine de Luca, née Pearson, is one of the foremost contemporary poets in Scotland. Her work has appeared in journals worldwide and she has read at many literary festivals, both in the UK and abroad. She grew up in Waas (Walls) in Shetland, the daughter of the headmaster of Happyhansel School, Sandy Pearson. After studying in Edinburgh, De Luca worked in education for many years. She now lives in Edinburgh.
In 1996 she won the Shetland Literary Prize with her first poetry collection 'Voes & Sounds'. In 1999 her second collection 'Wast Wi Da Valkyries' also won the Shetland prize. A third collection, 'Plain Song', was launched in Shetland and Edinburgh in 2002. It is accompanied by a CD of the poems read by the author. These three collections were published by The Shetland Library.
The pamphlet, Drops in Time's Ocean, published by Hansel Co-operative Press in 2004, is based on eight generations of De Luca's family, on her father's side which hails from Vidlin in Lunnasting. The Hansel Cooperative have also produced some of De Luca's stories for children on a CD, along with the work of John Cumming[disambiguation needed], Iris Sandison and Jane Moncrieff.
Her most recent collection, 'Parallel Worlds', was published by Luath Press, Edinburgh in 2005. One of the poems in this collection, Makkin Sooth Eshaness, won the Rhoda Butler Prize for Shetland Dialect, 2004. The Shetland Writing Prize is awarded annually for a particular genre of writing. In 2006 it was awarded for poetry. De Luca's poem 'Seein Baith Sides' won the overall prize and also the prize for best poem in Shetland Dialect.
De Luca's work has been translated into Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, Finnish, Estonian, Latvian, Polish, Austrian-German, French, Italian, Welsh and even English.
A bi-lingual volume of her poetry was published in 2007: Mondes Paralleles: Poemes des Iles Shetland Edition Bilingue. It is a selection from her first four collections and newer work, translated by Jean-Paul Blot and the author. In 2007, this volume won the prize for poetry at the 9th Salon International du Livre Insulaire in Ouessant.
Christine De Luca Poems
A Month on the Mile
I CASTLEHILL On day 1, explore Edinburgh Castle sitting proud: find the modest crown of a far from quiet country,
The Morning After
Scotland, 19th September 2014 Let none wake despondent: one way or another we have talked plainly,
I could blame da wye da sea is smoothed da stanes; da sylk o touch; da waelin, laevin; an will da haert be dere whin I come back?
A Child's Calendar of Feasts
September Peel some hazelnuts while they're still green. Our grapes can hang another day.
'There is at least a moderate risk that there is in your family an alteration in a gene that can cause breast and ovarian cancer.'
Some museums of antiquities store row on row of unnamed skulls. There is a day of reckoning now a plea to repatriate lost souls, bring home bones
Mirknen haps a rummelled broch on Houlland's knowe, rowes hit in a twilt o lavendar: saft smored as a Danish Hjøllund a year ago.
I dy harned haand du held ta da licht een o da eggs at du wid gie her morroless lik dee; shaa'd her hits less dan perfect shape
Whatsoever things are lovely
A smoor o paets: a simmer foo ta hent fae timeless broos at, haddin der dark fire, cuppit fair Lungawater. I da sun
St Ninian's Isle
Hit hed ta be a saint at strayed dis far nort at cared aboot da sowls o Pictish fisherfock. Foo da bairns a Rörick man a gawped
Brekken Beach, Nort Yell
A mile aff we catch a glisk o Brekken beach: webbed atween headlands, a glansin arc o ancient shalls
i m Gael Turnbull, poet, 1928-2004 They shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary. Isaiah, 40 v 31 Today - so many Gaels; each from the same spring
for Gabriel Lalonde, artist, Québec At da stert, dey wir a makkin o wirds. Some o da aerliest wis shurley 'haem' an wirds for seekin hit whan lost; for
Existential paraglidin in Turkey
Tinkin on da haert's topography - heichts wir climmed, jimpit aff a, aa but miracklin wirsels,
Brekken Beach, Nort Yell
A mile aff we catch a glisk
o Brekken beach: webbed
atween headlands, a glansin arc
o ancient shalls
Waves aff Arctic floes
bank in; dey shade fae cobalt
tae a glacial green; swall