Featured writer: Lynn Valentine

We are delighted to welcome Lynn Valentine as this month’s Featured Writer. Lynn, a talented and widely published poet, who read a particularly impressive set of poems at the Glasgow anthology event last month, has won the Cinnamon Press mentoring prize, to work towards her first collection. You can read more about her many achievements and enjoy her taut, sharply observed poem about a red kite below.

Lynn Valentine writes poetry but likes to write flash fiction and creative non-fiction too. Lynn is a former BBC online features journalist.  In 2011 she took voluntary redundancy and moved to the Black Isle where she began writing poetry and prose for herself, mainly inspired by the environment around her.

In 2013 she won the Glasgow Women’s Library Dragon’s Pen award giving her a boost in the belief of her writing. Lynn’s work has appeared online and in print editions in places such as Nitrogen House, Scottish Book Trust anthologies, the Scottish Poetry Library blog, Firth, Black Bough Poetry and Ink, Sweat and Tears.

In 2018 Lynn appeared at the Ness Book Fest in Inverness for a three-minute poetry slot supportingJohn Glenday. In 2019 Lynn was invited back for a feature slot doing a poetry showcase alongside two other poets.

Competitions that put a smile on Lynn’s face in 2019 were first prize for poetry in the Angus Writers’ Circle competition, winning the Nitrogen House flash fiction competition as well as winning the Black Isle Writers’ competition with a short story. She won the Cinnamon Press mentoring award for poetry and will be supported by them in 2020 with a view to organising her first collection.

Nature inspires Lynn’s writing and the Red Kites (birds) that she sees flying over the fields next to her house often feature in her work. This is a poem about that beloved bird published in 2018.

Milvus milvus

Your eye is a citrine flash,
better than any drone,
fishing in the wind
for small things.

There once was a myth you
could hunt dogs and lambs.
Take a child down
with your fork and claws.

These days your haul is
a kiss of earthworms,
a crunch of rabbit bones,
a smear of roadkill, still warm.

We will find laundry
stripped, rubbish spilled
as you line your nest.
Keeping our secrets close.

© Lynn Valentine 2020


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