Christine De Luca

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Christine De Luca
De Luca in 2014
De Luca in 2014
BornChristine Pearson
(1947-04-04) 4 April 1947 (age 73)
Bressay, Shetland, Scotland
OccupationPoet, writer
LanguageEnglish, Shetland dialect
EducationEdinburgh University
Notable worksDat Trickster Sun
Notable awardsAppointed Edinburgh's Makar (2014—2017)
De Luca's website

Christine De Luca (born 4 April 1947) is a Scottish poet and writer from Shetland, who writes in both English and Shetland dialect[i] Her poetry has been translated into many languages. She was appointed Edinburgh's Makar, or poet laureate from 2014 to 2017. De Luca is a global advocate for the Shetland dialect and literature of the Northern Isles of Scotland.

Early life and education[edit]

De Luca was born Christine Pearson in Walls, Shetland. Her father, Sandy Pearson, was the headmaster of Happyhansel Primary School in Shetland. De Luca moved to Edinburgh in her late teens to study at Edinburgh University.[2] After graduation, she taught high school for several years and later obtained a Masters in Educational Research in 1980.[3][4][5]

Writing career[edit]

De Luca's first three poetry collections were published by the Shetland Library. Her first collection, Voes and Sounds was published in 1994 and her second work, Wast Wi Da Valkyries, was published in 1997. Both collections won the Shetland Literary Prize.[6] A third collection, 'Plain Song', was published in Shetland and Edinburgh in 2002.[3]

In 2004, De Luca's pamphlet, Drops in Time's Ocean, was published by Hansel Co-operative Press. It is based on eight generations of De Luca's family's history.[3] Her poetry collection, Parallel Worlds (Luath Press) was published in 2005. A bi-lingual volume of Du Luca's poetry was published in 2007 by éditions fédérop; Parallel Worlds (Mondes Parallèles), Poems Translated from English and Shetlandic, include De Luca's first four volumes of poetry and recent work, and was translated by Jean-Paul Blot and De Luca. In 2007, the collection won the poetry prize at the 9th Salon International du Livre Insulaire in Ouessant.[6][3]

De Luca's sixth poetry collection, North End of Eden was published by Luath Press in 2010. In 2011, De Luca's novel, And Then Forever, was published by the Shetland Times. Her pamphlet, Dat Trickster Sun, (Mariscat Press 2014), was short-listed for the Michael Marks Awards for Poetry Pamphlets award in 2014.[7][6] This was translated into Italian by Francesca Romana Paci in 2015 (Questo sole furfante) and published by Trauben, Torino.

De Luca was appointed Edinburgh's Makar (poet laureate) in 2014. She served as poet laureate from 2014 to 2017.[6] Her poems have been chosen four times (2006, 2010, 2013 and 2015), by the Scottish Poetry Library for its annual 20 Best Scottish Poems list.[7] De Luca's work has been translated into several languages, including French, Italian, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, Finnish, Estonian, Latvian, Polish, and Welsh.[3]

Northern Isles advocacy[edit]

De Luca speaking about the Shetland dialect.

De Luca is an advocate for the Shetland dialect, travelling internationally to share her native dialect with similar linguistic cultures, like Scandinavia and Iceland. De Luca is a co-founder of Hansel Co-operative Press, a non-profit cooperative, which promotes literary and artistic work in Shetland and Orkney.[2]

De Luca has focused on promoting her native language through work with Shetland children. She has written children's stories in the Shetland dialect.[6] De Luca translated Roald Dahl’s George’s Marvellous Medicine into Shetland dialect as Dodie’s Phenomenal Pheesic (Black and White Publishing, 2008). Also published in 2016 by Black and White Publishing are two Julia Donaldson books, translated by De Luca: Da Trow (The Troll) and The Shetland Gruffalo's Bairn, (The Gruffalo's Child).[8]

Selected publications[edit]

  • 2017, Edinburgh Singing the City, Saltire Society, poetry collection
  • 2014, Dat Trickster Sun, Mariscat Press, pamphlet
  • 2011, And Then Forever, Shetland Times, novel
  • 2010, North End of Eden, Luath Press, poetry collection
  • 2007, Mondes Parallèles Translated from English and Shetlandic by Jean-Paul Blot), (éditions fédérop)), poetry collection
  • 2005, Parallel Worlds, Luath Press, poetry collection
  • 2004, Drop's in Time's Ocean, Hansel Co-operative Press, pamphlet
  • 2002, Plain Song, The Shetland Library, poetry collection
  • 1997, Wast Wi Da Valkyries, The Shetland Library, poetry collection
  • 1994, Voes and Sounds, The Shetland Library, poetry collection

Awards and recognition[edit]

  • 2014, appointed Edinburgh's Makar, (2014—2017)[6]
  • 2014, shortlisted for Michael Marks Awards for Poetry Pamphlets, for Dat Trickster Sun[6]
  • 2007, International Book Fair in Ouessant, poetry prize, for Parallel Worlds , poems translated from English and Shetlandic[3]
  • 1999, Shetland Literary Prize for ' Wast Wi Da Valkyries [3]
  • 1996, Shetland Literary Prize, for Voce and Sounds[3]


  1. ^ De Luca frequently refers to Shetland dialect as Shetlandic, however, this term is considered controversial and is commonly disliked by native speakers.[1]


  1. ^ Velupillai, Viveka (24 September 2019). "Gendered inanimates in Shetland dialect - comparing pre-oil and contemporary speech". English World-Wide. John Benjamins Publishing Company. 40 (3): 270. doi:10.1075/eww.00032.vel. eISSN 1569-9730. ISSN 0172-8865. Retrieved 29 February 2020 – via John Benjamins e-Platform.
  2. ^ a b "My Life in Poetry with Christine De Luca". Scottish Review of Books. Retrieved 21 September 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h "Christine De Luca". Poem Hunter. Retrieved 21 September 2018.
  4. ^ "Christine De Luca". City of Edinburgh Council. Archived from the original on 22 September 2018. Retrieved 22 September 2018.
  5. ^ De Luca, Christine (1980). "Towards a sound 'foundation': a consideration for the possibility of planning a geography curriculm for slow learners in secondary three and four". Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  6. ^ a b c d e f g "Christine de Luca (b. 1947)". Scottish Poetry Library. Retrieved 20 September 2018.
  7. ^ a b "Christine De Luca". Poetry Archive. Retrieved 20 September 2018.
  8. ^ "Christine De Luca". Shetland Retrieved 21 September 2018.

External links[edit]