Quick & Quirky Questions with Hamish Whyte

Photo by Gerry Cambridge

Hamish Whyte was born near Glasgow where he lived before moving in 2004 to Edinburgh. Paper Cut (2020) is his fourth poetry collection with Shoestring Press. He has edited many anthologies and runs the award-winning Mariscat Press. He’s been a librarian, indexer and crime fiction reviewer. For Edwin Morgan’s 100th birthday year in 2020 he edited his Centenary Selected Poems (Carcanet) and published a memoir, Morgan & Me (HappenStance). He’s a member of Edinburgh’s Shore Poets and plays percussion and drums in a couple of bands. Hamish is 74.

Tell us 4 important facts about yourself:

  1. I had a happy marriage from which I have a son and a daughter, now in their forties, living useful and creative lives.
  2. I was a librarian for thirty years.
  3. As poet and editor I’ve had many books published and as a publisher myself I’ve midwifed many books by others, especially Edwin Morgan and Gael Turnbull.
  4. I am fortunate to have met my partner, Diana Hendry.

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

Nineteen – and in 1966 too: an explosion of life, love, literature – and above all, music. Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive.

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

Fictional: Hercule Poirot (especially as played by David Suchet).

Famous: Bob Dylan.

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?

The collage of family photographs my son put together for my sixtieth birthday.

(Failing that, my Edward VII mug with my pens and pencils.)

What’s your favourite creative pastime?

Playing drums.

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

I like pruning hedges with hand shears.

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