Hamish Whyte was born near Glasgow where he lived for many years before moving to Edinburgh in 2004.

photograph by Gerry Cambridge

He has edited many anthologies of Scottish literature, including Noise and Smoky Breath: an illustrated anthology of Glasgow poems 1900-1983The Scottish Cat and An Arran AnthologyKin: Scottish Poems about Family (Polygon/Scottish Poetry Library), and Scottish Cats (Birlinn) as well as co-editing several issues of New Writing Scotland.

He runs Mariscat Press, publishing the poetry of Edwin Morgan, Gael Turnbull, Janice Galloway, Stewart Conn and A.L. Kennedy among others.

He has worked as a librarian, reviewed crime fiction for Scotland on Sunday and is currently an Honorary Research Fellow in the Department of Scottish Literature at the University of Glasgow. He is a member of Edinburgh’s Shore Poets and plays percussion in the Edinburgh-based band The Whole Shebang.



Whyte’s first full collection gathers together poems from the previous twenty five years, published in pamphlets, magazines and anthologies, as well as more recent work.

‘[The] collection contains a number of poems so pellucid they don’t call for explication. His subjects  are, for the most part, homely: his father, his son taking photographs of shells, a woman reading the tea leaves, his wife asleep, a couple seen behaving oddly on a railway train, a much-missed cat, that sort of thing. There’s nothing portentous or pretentious about him. His poem “Otis”, about that cat, is the best I’ve read on the subject since Hardy’s. Thought is never replaced by rhetoric in these poems.’ [Robert Nye, The Scotsman]

‘Whyte is working within a tradition of approachable experimentalism ….. Dream poems, found poems, list poems, epistolary poems: they’re all included here, but what holds them together is Whyte’s tone of voice. His style is seemingly offhand, avuncular and conversational, but there is a real lyric craft behind the apparent lack of artifice.’ [Simon Turner, Horizon Review]

Photo by Kenny Whyte


 The second collection by Whyte to be published by Shoestring Press and, like its predecessor, A Bird in the Hand, notable for its technical skills and unassuming, wide-ranging wit.



Whyte has a lyrical touch to his poetry that is often derided in the modern politicised and performance poetical traditions. This is poetry that needs no grandiloquence, no explanations, no justifications: Whyte is serving up slices of his life in small, almost graceful lyrics that charm their way into your mind.’ [Gutter]

‘He catches enlightening glimpses of the world out of train windows and presents us with instants of great emotional depth (like a grandfather and child burying a pet mouse) in a manner that seems beguilingly simple. If you too have a collection of stones gathered at significant moments, but now you’ve ‘no idea where most of them/are from’, this collection of poems is for you.’ [Mandy Haggith, Northwords Now]

The second collection by Whyte to be published by Shoestring     Press and, like its predecessor, A Bird in the Hand, notable for its technical skills and unassuming, wide-ranging wit.


Edwin Morgan was, without question, one of the foremost Scottish poets of the twentieth century. His tirelessly experimental approach was dynamite in his time and still (just read him!) knocks spots off most contemporary writers.

During the last three decades of Morgan’s long life, poet Hamish Whyte was first his bibliographer, then (through Mariscat Press) one of his publishers, and finally—and most importantly—his close friend.

This personal and evocative memoir tells the inside story of a life-changing friendship.