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The Alchemy Experiment

157 Byres Road, G12 8TS



Tuesday 1st November          19.30-21.30



The Last Woman Born on the Island 



Launch of The Last Woman Born on the Island,  Glasgow author Sharon Black’s latest poetry collection at The Alchemy Experiment.
With a reading of poems from the book, as well as readings by guest poets Michael Brown and Penny Shutt, and live music by Alex Andreas Duncan.

Free entry. All welcome!

Complimentary glass of wine provided.

Teas, coffees, soft drinks on sale.

The Last Woman Born on the Island (Vagabond Voices, 2022) is an exploration of the past and the present, and a celebration of the landscapes, both physical and emotional, that make up our lives. Where are we from? Can we ever really go back there?
The title poem is set on an unnamed Hebridean island which could be St Kilda, could be fictitious, or could be a symbol for what we have lost and what we yearn to rediscover. Much of the collection is set in the author’s homeland of Scotland.

Some poems contemplate the history and traditions of the Highlands and Islands – from the HMS Iolaire disaster off Lewis in 1919, to the knitting of Eriskay ganseys, the legend of The White Cow at Callanish stone circle, and the work of herring girls at the start of the 20th century. Others consider Scottish dialect, and the country’s wildest and most beautiful landscapes.

What it is to belong to a place, let alone to two places? In one long poem, the author stands between her home country and her adopted country of France, letting her feet talk us through the places they have been. Who is the last woman and where is the island?

Sharon Black is from Glasgow and lives in a remote valley of the Cévennes mountains in France. Her poetry is published widely and she has won many awards for her work including First Prizes in the Guernsey International Poetry Competition 2019 and The London Magazine Poetry Prizes 2019 and 2018. She is the author of 3 other full collections: To Know Bedrock (Pindrop, 2011), The Art of Egg (Two Ravens 2015; republished Pindrop, 2019); The Red House (Drunk Muse, 2022); and a pamphlet, Rib (Wayleave, 2021). Since 2016 she has been editor of Pindrop Press.


Michael Brown first collection, Where Grown Men Go, was published by Salt in 2019. His pamphlets Undersong (2014) and Locations for a Soul (2016) are available from Eyewear and Templar respectively.


Penny Shutt is a poet, Hawthornden fellow and a psychiatrist working in child and adolescent mental health in Cornwall. She runs therapeutic-writing and poetry-therapy workshops and has recently had poems featured in NHS anthology These are the Hands and in Hippocrates Prize Anthologies.

Alex Andreas Duncan has explored musical genres that include electric and acoustic blues guitar, singer-songwriter, electronica and experimental. His recent projects include multi-media collaborations with poet Sharon Black and Marseilles-based abstract artist Jon Lane.

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