Preservation of a life's work begins with a celebration in her own verse

TOM Leonard and Angus Calder admired her work, and she was a stalwart of performed poetry in Edinburgh, but when Sandie Craigie took her own life last year at the age of 41, very little of her work survived in written form.

Plans are already underway to produce a written collection of the work of Craigie, who was one of the best known figures in the Scottish spoken-word scene. And an event held tomorrow, on National Poetry Day, will be dedicated to her memory. Rodney Relax, founder of the Yellow Caf poetry nights, will perform at the tribute night with Nick Melville, in a double act called The Shellsuit Massacre. "We did a tribute to her last April and this night is really a continuation of that," he says. "Every poet who is up will be doing at least two of Sandie's poems, and we will also be showing a video of her last appearance at the Yellow Caf. She was a very, very strong influence on a lot of poets. She began in the late 1980s and she was co-editor of Rebel Inc for a while. She empowered a lot of poets, particularly female poets. Sandie Craigie's influence can't be underestimated and I think it will continue in the future. It's a shame she didn't get more recognition in her lifetime."

Friends of Craigie, who is survived by her grown-up son, Gordon, hope to create a permanent memorial in the Cowgate. "I really respected her for her passion and her courage," says artist Tricia Munoz, who worked on a 3D interpretation of an anti-war poem by Craigie. "She was quite exceptional. It takes a lot of courage to do what she did." At the first memorial last April there were performances by Tam Dean Burn and Tom Leonard. Angus Calder wrote a poem specially written in her memory. Jennie Renton, editor of the literary magazine Textualities, says she is glad that Craigie's memory will live on.

"It is great there are plans to have Sandie's work preserved in book form. She was one of the finest poets of her generation. She had a very subtle, penetrating voice and she was very funny, and very humane. She was a wonderful poet and a wonderful person and she will not be forgotten."

• Tomorrow's tribute to Sandie Craigie is at the Jazz Bar, Chambers St, Edinburgh, from 7:30pm


by Sandie Craigie

She is the wind and the sun

the blue that bleeds red

the wordless poet

the voiceless song

the crucifix... and the bed.

Inside her head, a hundred


The Ravens pray


a mask of many faces

She sees

yet in her vision... blind

She has known love

yet in her inconsistency...


She is the still loch

the cornered sea

Timeless, yet in time

a wife... mother... lover

She is the child that life forgot

She is the Christ in me.


by Anita Govan

Inspired by and dedicated to Sandie Craigie, 1963 - 2005:

True to the bone of her words

seed scattered and planted

each sentence each thought

expressed with the true cut

of her jib a stargazing

Amazon native still beneath

the skin naked and

unashamed to paint with

shade nor dark ready to love

and fight meet like with


O how sweet and rare the wild

flowers grow in those

lingering echoes and the

beauty of her light