Mary Irvine’s Blog: Interview with debut author Evelyne Lawrie

gie me a word evelyne lawrie

‘Gie Me a Word’

An interview with debut author by Evelyne C. Lawrie

Where were you born/brought up?

I was born and brought up in Bonhill in 1936. I went to Bonhill Primary and then the Vale of Leven Academy. Christie Primary School, in Middleton Street, was the original Academy. I then attended the West of Scotland Commercial College in Pitt Street, Glasgow. That building was eventually taken over by the police.

Have you lived in this area all your life?

Yes. I married a local man and had three children.

When did you start writing?

I did office work for 48 years. When I retired I decided I would like to take up creative writing as a hobby. I went along to the Community Centre in Alexandria and joined the Leven Litts writers. I was asked if I wrote prose or poetry. It was quite daunting as at I hadn’t written anything since my last college essay. I did sign up for an online creative writing course which covered all genres. I had a few articles and short stories published during that time.

Have you always written poetry ?

No, at first I wrote both prose and poetry. I still do but decided, a few years ago, I would like to concentrate on poetry, so I signed up for another online course which concentrated on poetry.

How did the title of the book emerge?

Every week, at the Leven Litts, a ‘prompt’ word was given. A piece of writing had to be produced for the next meeting. Hence the title: ‘Gie me a Word.’

How do you feel about having a book of poetry published (in your more mature years!)?

Relief and it’s something for the kids.

evelyne c lawrie book


This eclectic mix of poetry by Alexandria resident, Evelyn Lawrie, reflects the experience and observation of a lifetime. There is no, one connecting theme, as in many anthologies, rather the thoughts and responses, by the author, to the world at large.                            

Particularly poignant are the cathartic poems, ‘Like a Thief in the Night’ and ‘If Only’, poems which emerged from the experience of watching a husband slowly retreating into his own world of dementia, leaving behind a wife who no longer recognises the person he once was.                                                                                     

But the other side of the coin reveals the playful side of the author in poems such as ‘Tick Tock’ and ‘The Common Cold’. A love of nature shines through in ‘Scoop for Spy Boulder’ and ‘Mother Nature’, amongst others. Days of yore are not neglected either with ‘Wash Day’ evoking an age past but not yet forgotten. A particular favourite of mine is the villanelle ‘Survivor’, but a beautiful, well-crafted poem to which I keep returning is ‘A Westward View at Sunrise’.


She stands darkened by night,

a silhouette against slate.

Moon a shadow slips away,

telling the sun will return.

Black lace held high

on arms outstretched

reaching from a slender body,

she beckons towards the horizon.

Pink glow deepens,

paints the landscape.

Distant trees turn to bronze then gold,

slate becomes  azure.

Another summer day is born.

The silver birch has cast her evening gown,

her summer green leaves

nod gently to the lawn below.

Evelyne C. Lawrie

The book may be bought from

Mary Irvine Nov 2021.

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This section: Book and Event Reviews, Books, Talks, Poetry and Creative Writing Events, Mary Irvine: Writer and Philhellene

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Avatar of PatByrne Publisher of Pat's Guide to Glasgow West End; the community guide to the West End of Glasgow. Fiction and non-fiction writer.

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