Ken Cockburn is a poet, translator and writing tutor. Formerly Fieldworker and Assistant Director at the Scottish Poetry Library (just off the Canongate, in Crichton’s Close), he has run poetry tours in Edinburgh’s Old Town since 2007, for organisations and projects including The Old Town Festival, Scottish Poetry Library, Edinburgh City of Literature, Artlink, the Scottish Storytelling Centre and the Scottish Storytelling Festival.
In Edinburgh he has also presented poetry in libraries, galleries, pubs and the Scottish parliament building. At the National Library of Scotland, he devised and co-presented ‘Some Bat-squeak Echo of Other Time‘, ‘a tour guided by fiction’ which used the whole library as a theatre set. His poem ‘Pandora’s Light Box’ describes the Talbot Rice Gallery, now part of the University of Edinburgh, and formerly a chemsitry lecture theatre and pioneering natural history museum.
With Lise Bratton he co-edited the anthology Brilliant Cacophony. Published by the Scottish Sculpture Trust, this book marked a major redevelopment of the Royal Mile in the late 1990s.
With photographs by Robin Gillanders, it includes poems and prose by residents of and visitors to the city of Edinburgh over many centuries, including Daniel Defoe, Dorothy Wordsworth and Alexander Hutchison.
Further afield, he has led poetry walks at Traquair House in the Scottish Borders, at Hamburg’s planten un blomen, and at National Trust properties in England and Wales, as part of a First World War memorial project.