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Poetry Launch: Thomas Stewart and friends

November 22 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm GMT

Free – £8.00


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We’re delighted to be hosting the launch for Thomas Stewart’s second poetry pamphlet, Based on a True Story. Thomas will be reading from the collection, and he will be joined by fellow poets Rosa Campbell, Andrés N. Ordorica and Jay Whittaker.

We are planning for this event to take place in the bookshop with an in-person audience, as well as a livestream for attendees watching from home.

In-person vouchers can be redeemed on the night of the event against anything in the bookshop – we will have a list of attendees with vouchers at the ready. Livestream vouchers are valid until the day after the event and can be redeemed on our website against a copy of Based on a True Story.

About Based on a True Story:

Taking his cue from pop culture titans and classics – Death Becomes Her, First Wives Club, Friends to name a few – Thomas Stewart writes poems that look at the complexities of modern queer lives and how cinema and TV can help heal, empower or, in some cases, shame. Pop culture, Stewart argues, is formative to our identities.

Based on a True Story also includes Stewart’s Grindr poems, which take a nuanced look at sex in the modern transactional age, exploring desire, lust, the need for validation through a authentic lens devoid of judgement.

Thomas Stewart is a Welsh writer based in Edinburgh where he works as an English Language teacher. Born August, 1992 in Cardiff, he went to the University of South Wales in 2013 where he received a First-Class Honours in English. He went on to the University of Warwick where he obtained his Writing Master’s with a distinction in 2014. His debut poetry pamphlet empire of dirt was published by Red Squirrel Press in 2019. It received positive reviews and was among the Poetry Book Society’s Summer Selections. Stewart has performed his work at Verve Poetry Festival, the Centre for Contemporary Arts, the Scottish Poetry Library, Golden Hare Books, among others. His second pamhplet, Based on a True Story, is published by fourteenpoems.

Rosa Campbell lives in Edinburgh, and is a lecturer in Modern and Contemporary Literature at the University of St Andrews. Her poetry has appeared in various places, including Oxford Poetry, fourteen poems, Perverse, Ambit, Gutter and SPAM. Her first book, Pothos, a memoir-ish lyric essay about grief and houseplants, was published by Broken Sleep Books in 2021. She tweets as @rosaetc

Andrés N. Ordorica is a queer Latinx writer based in Edinburgh. His writing attempts to map the journey of his diasporic experience and unpack what it means to be from ni de aquí, ni de allá. His debut poetry collection, At Least This I Know, is published with 404 Ink.

Jay Whittaker is a queer poet who lives and works in Edinburgh, Scotland. Her poems have been widely published in many journals, including Poetry Review, The NorthButcher’s Dog, and The Rialto, and in the anthology Staying Human (Bloodaxe, 2022). She has published two poetry collections: Sweet Anaesthetist (Cinnamon Press, 2020) and Wristwatch (Cinnamon Press, 2018), which won the Scottish Poetry Book of the Year in 2018 in the Saltire Society Literary Awards.


November 22
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm GMT
Free – £8.00
Event Category:


The Portobello Bookshop
0131 629 6756
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