Quick & Quirky Questions with Christine De Luca

Christine De Luca writes in English and Shetlandic – her mother tongue. She was appointed Edinburgh’s Makar for 2014–2017. She has had eight poetry collections published, the most recent of which, Veeve (Mariscat, 2021), is currently longlisted for The Highland Book Prize.  

Previously, Dat Trickster Sun, (2014), also from Mariscat, Edinburgh, was shortlisted for the UK-wide Michael Marks Award. She also has five bilingual volumes published (into French, Italian, Icelandic, Norwegian and English) and a trilingual pamphlet of poems of Eugénio de Andrade (Portuguese, English and Shetlandic). She is a member of Shore Poets, Edinburgh.

Christine enjoys collaborating with musicians – most recently with jazz composer Tommy Smith – and artists, most recently Victoria Crowe. 

Besides that, she has also written stories for children and a second novel will be published later this year by Luath Press. 

Tell us 4 important facts about yourself:

  1. I was born and brought up with my three siblings in Shetland.
  2. I’ve lived in Edinburgh since I was a student.
  3. I love collaborating with artists and musicians.
  4. I love language, especially mother tongue.

What is your favourite age that you’ve been so far in life, and why?  

It’s difficult not to choose ‘now’ (74) – although being younger had many benefits, it’s great to leave the day job behind, to have more time for family and friends and to explore one’s interests. And to have the confidence which comes from learning from the many past mistakes and wrong turnings.

Who is your favourite fictional character or famous person over 60?

Probably David Attenborough – he doesn’t hector; he just shows us the magnificence of the natural world and how endangered it is. What a role model.

You are alone in your house (no pets). You have three minutes to get out before the house collapses and burns to the ground. What one possession would you grab and take with you?

I could grab a load of things in three minutes! But if I could only choose one it would be my wooden sewing box – it has been with me through thick and thin since I inherited it aged about 3. I’d stuff some photos (and a caramel wafer) into it as I went.

What’s your favourite creative pastime?

Writing … maybe cooking. But definitely not writing about cooking. 

Tell us something about yourself that’s surprising or unexpected.

I enjoy starting the week by going to church on Sunday and doing yoga with friends on Monday. 

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