William Letford

William Letford has received a New Writer’s Award from the Scottish Book Trust and an Edwin Morgan Travel Bursary which allowed him to spend three months in the mountains of Northern Italy helping to restore a medieval village. He has an M.Litt in Creative Writing from Glasgow University, and his debut collection, Bevel, will be published by Carcanet later this year.

Read more of William’s work: New Poetries V, Carcanet
Scottish Book Trust: New Writing from Scotland – A Sampler

Listen to William Letford’s poem, ‘Monuments of the Mind’

Listen on soundcloud

Monuments of the Mind

Three men sit at the kitchen table.  My grandfather
smokes Golden Virginia. Making a roll up
has become his ritual. His fingers help him think
So that’s what he does. He teases tobacco from his tin
My father smokes Silk Cut and has a certain way
of holding a cigarette. Trapping it at the base
of his first two fingers and lifting it to his mouth
so his hand covers the lower half of his face. I don’t smoke
but there is a bowl of soup in front of me. Both men
like to see me eat. The room has been stained
with two lifetimes of tobacco smoke, and doesn’t
physically exist. But it’s where I come for advice. In fact
both men no longer exist, but their voices are as familiar
as my own failings. I slam my spoon onto the table
Well if that’s the way it is then that’s the way it is
‘That’s the way it is,’ says my grandfather
My father nods his head. He says, ‘that is the way it is.’



All audio pieces were recorded, edited and produced by Laura Cameron-Lewis and Andrew Eaton-Lewis of (g)Host City. www.virtualfestival.org and mastered by Hamish Brown.


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