Diana Hendry


Second Wind

A pamphlet entitled 'Second Wind', on the theme of ageing is to be published in October and contains poems by Diana and two other poets - Douglas Dunn and Vicki Feaver.  Commissioned by the Scottish Poetry Library  in collaboration with the Saltire Society, Luminate and Birlinn and with funding from the Baring Foundation, the pamphlet will be launched at the Saltire Society, Edinburgh on October 15 and in Aberdeen on October 26th

Pre-orders are being taken at www.spl.org.uk/shop

Tickets for the launch are available at www.scottishpoetrylibrary.eventbrite.co.uk

The Seed-Box Lantern: New & Selected Poems

is now available from Mariscat Press.

The Seed-box Lantern: New & Selected Poems,  

Mariscat Press 2013-12-12


Diana writes:  The Seed-box Lantern  contains a pick of poems from my five other collections and from about forty years of work.  All my main preoccupations are here – family, pianos, Crete, swimming, the psalms.  I want to say ‘love’, ‘wonder’ and ‘mystery’.  A critic (Sally Baker) reviewing the book in The North, said ‘she writes about ordinary life with warmth and wisdom’.  I’m pleased by warmth and wisdom, of course, then pondered ‘ordinary life’.  It’s ordinary life that is most extraordinary.


‘Diana Hendry’s poetry has a wonderful sense of the author’s voice, dark and bitterly sweet at the same time, like high-grade chocolate.’  Janice Galloway.

Yellow Poppies

Go away for a few days and the garden’s ablaze

with them – wild yellow poppies surely taller

than ever this year and spread as if to fill

every gap with a flash of joy. This must have been

happening in secret - the seeding and rooting,

the waiting until no-one’s looking then this rising

and shining.  Why the garden’s enlightened!

Look how we outshine all that you’ve grown

they seem to say. Now to lie among them, eyes

half-closed, is to receive an intravenous dose

of happiness. I’m glad  they’re not red. Light

on the eyes and the mind they breathe the delight

of complete insignificance. How did they get here,

dressed in their best, guests at a surprise party?

As children, poppies seemed to belong to us.

We’d pry inside the small, soft green sleeves

to find the wrinkled skins – fairy airmail – folded

within. Then summer over, we’d burgle

the seed-box lantern with its screw-top lid

and send a million new poppies out on the wind.

These must be them, our dreams blown in.

From: The Seed-Box Lantern.


Big Sister’s Coming on a Visit

Clean whole house, polish shoes,

Here’s the news –

Big Sister’s coming on a visit.

Put on best dress, wait for train,

Pray no rain –

Big Sister’s coming on a visit.

Book the taxis, fly the flags,

Hide the fags –

Big Sister’s coming on a visit.

Buy up florist, shine the town,

Fetch the crown –

Big Sister’s coming on a visit.

Big Sister’s coming with big big case

Big Sister’s coming with smiley face

Big Sister’s coming with big big heart

Big Sister likes playing big big part.

Big Sister coming with little frightened soul

Big Sister nervous as new born foal

Big Sister coming with dodgy knee

Big Sister coming with bravery

Big Sister coming to visit me.

Switch the sun on, banish blues,

Here’s the news –

Big Sister’s coming on a visit.

from Late Love & Other Whodunnits

Poetry Collections

Making Blue, Peterloo Poets, 1995

Borderers, Peterloo Poets, 2001

Twelve Lilts: Psalms & Responses, Mariscat Press 2003

Sparks! (with Tom Pow), Mariscat Press 2005

Late Love and Other Whodunnits, Peterloo/Mariscat Press, 2008

Other work:

Diana has written the libretto for The Pied Piper,  a new composition by Edinburgh composer John Mortimer

For children

No Homework Tomorrow, Glowworm Books 2003

Poems United: A Commonwealth Anthology, (As editor with Hamish Whyte) Scottish Poetry Library and Black & White Publishing, 2007

(All Diana’s poetry books are available from

Mariscat Press.  Click on the name or see the link.)


Diana is represented in A Shame to Miss (Corgi);  Kin (Polygon & SPL); New Writing Scotland 26 (ASLS) 100 Favourite Scottish Poems (Luath), 100 Favourite Scottish Love Poems, (Luath); Read Me (Macmillan)  Swings & Shadows (Julia MacRae Books);   The Poetry Book Society Anthology 3; The Thing That Matters Most;  (Scottish Poetry Library); The Works 5 (Macmillan); The Young Oxford Book of Poems (OUP) and many others.

Magazines & Journals

Poems by Diana have appeared in the following magazines and journals:

Ambit, Bananas, Chapman, Causeway/Cabhsair, Chapman, Critical Survey, Critical Quarterly, The Dark Horse, Encounter, Envoi, Gaelforce, The Guardian, The Herald, The London Magazine, Mandeville Press, New Poetry, Nonesuch, The North, Markings, Mslexia, Odyssey, Prospice, Poetry Chicago, Poetry Matters, Poetry Review, The Spectator, Smiths Knoll, The Sunday Independent, Thumbscrew, Writing Women.

Awards for poetry

First prize Housman Society Poetry Competition, 1994

Robert Louis Stevenson Fellowship (with Hamish Whyte) 2007




You can buy it by clicking here

The Seed-box Lantern: New & Selected Poems, now available from Mariscat Press

Diana’s young adult novel, The Seeing, is now out in paperback and

has been shortlisted for a Scottish Children’s Book Award.  See scottishbooktrust.com for more details – (not least how to vote!)

‘The Seeing’ is on The Sunday Times list of a 100 Children’s Modern Classics

From 2014 to 2017 Diana will be co-editor (with, for the first two years,  Gerry Cambridge) of New Writing Scotland