A NEW book celebrating Edinburgh in all its guises has been produced by two of Scotland’s leading artistic lights, Allan Wright and Gerda Stevenson. Described by one reviewer as “stunning”, the book is entitled simply Edinburgh. It was formally launched last night at the Edinburgh Bookshop in Bruntsfield Place.

With 87 photographs by Wright and 22 new poems by Stevenson, the book shows many aspects of Edinburgh – ancient and modern, local and international, privileged and disenfranchised, dazzlingly glamorous and down-at-heel.


THE book has been a labour of love for both Wright and Stevenson.

The Braveheart actress is an award-winning writer, director and singer-songwriter whose acting career on stage and screen is now into its fifth decade.

Stevenson has recently completed several collections of poems, with If This Were Real (Smokestack Books) published in an Italian translation, Se Questo Fosse Vero, by Edizioni Ensemble of Rome. She is particularly known for Quines: Poems in tribute to women of Scotland (Luath Press), and earlier this year published Inside & Out: The Art of Christian Small (Scotland Street Press) for which she wrote a biographical introduction and poems.

Wright is an award-winning, professional landscape photographer with a prolific output of published material since the 1980s. His work has featured in a catalogue of 17 books to date, reflecting a lifetime spent journeying and adventuring all over his native Scotland as well as much further afield. On returning home to Scotland earlier this year he published Vintage Tractors and Scotland’s Islands.


THIS exclusive extract is from Edinburgh Castle:

If iver there wis a castle that cried Gie’s Peace!

It’s me. See the fechts I’ve tholed, the stooshies, the wars,

naethin but endless bluid and glaur

for hunners o years – I’m the place maist attackit

in the hale o these isles, ma was hackit

and brunt, till ilka dunt hus duin in ma heid.


ALLAN Wright: “My initial concept was to produce a comparatively modest format, aimed at the photographically conscious visitor.

“By good fortune, however, in engaging with Gerda as co-author, the scope and spirit of the work has been widened and deepened. Her poems interact with my images, penetrating the veneer that can often dominate the city. All those prestigious castings and fine masonry may, collectively, have created one of Europe’s most beautiful cities, but there were struggles in its making, and so often a human price was paid.”

Gerda Stevenson: “This has been a fascinating and welcome collaboration – an opportunity to reacquaint myself with my beloved home city, and its many contradictions. I’ve relished both the process of responding to Allan vibrant images and the way in which the project unexpectedly developed: finding myself writing additional poems about aspects of the city which Allan then went out to photograph.”


RICHARD Holloway, the former Episcopalian Bishop of Edinburgh said the book was “a stunning tribute to that magnificent old hypocrite, the city of Edinburgh”.

He added: “The combination of Allan Wright’s gorgeous photography and Gerda Stevenson’s introduction and searing poetry hints the time may be near when Scotland’s capital of easy virtue will become an honest and independent woman again.”

National columnist Lesley Riddoch said: “Fabulous, intimate portrait of Edinburgh in this new book with poems by Gerda Stevenson and matching images by photographer Allan Wright. This is not the tourist’s view nor an uncritical, gushing tribute. Perceptive, spirited and loving.”


“THIS compelling book will resonate with residents from all over the city as well as with the millions of visitors who throng the streets, cafes and bars. Edinburgh tells a powerful story with breadth, depth, wit and humour, and with a surprisingly light touch.”


ALLAN Wright paints pictures with his camera, Gerda Stevenson is a Yes-supporting cultural leader who is really hitting her stride as a poet, and Edinburgh has never looked better or been better described.

The book is brilliant. Buy it.

Edinburgh is published by Allan Wright Photographic/ Lomond Books Ltd, paperback priced £15.

It will be in major bookshops and online at www.scottishbookstore.com, www.amazon.com and