This will probably be the first of many posts that I share showcasing the works of Mandy Haggith. I have been incredibly blessed to have had Mandy as a lecturer on my creative writing degree at UHI Inverness over the past four years. She has not only inspired me as my teacher but also as a fellow writer and poet, and I cannot thank her enough for her encouragement and guidance over the years.
Mandy writes poetry, fiction and non-fiction and you can find out more about her published works on her website here. As Mandy says, her work is mostly inspired by her love of trees, bears and the sea, however she is also intrigued by people and how relationships shape who we are. This is one of my favourite poems from Mandy’s collection Why the Sky is Far Away (2019) published by Red Squirrel Press.
Its rough, red-flecked, silk-lined softness
hangs only in memory. I cannot try it on.
She offered it to me once. My sister too.
Every tidy, she must have put it to a sale.
So now, although I hunger to shrug it over my shoulders,
put my hands into her pockets, maybe find a 20p,
a tissue to touch or a hankie to hold onto,
there’s only a wardrobe to empty
and then a train to catch
back north over the border river
to where that soft-tough fabric came from,
where the big round buttons belong.
Haggith, M. (2019) Why the Sky is Far Away Biggar: Red Squirrel Press
Haggith, M. (n.d.) Mandy Haggith: Home [online]. Available from https://www.mandyhaggith.net/ [6 April 2022]