From the get-go, I wanted to be the kind of writer who works (1) between literary genres, and (2) with a strong sense of rhythm and melody. The choice to base my practice on poetry was consciously-made. Although I was attracted to it by its ability to come close to the unspoken, I wanted more than anything else to speak it. If you want to be an artist, you have to serve your apprenticeship somewhere. My apprenticeship (and my somewhere) was, and will always be, poetry.*
*Unless, God forbid, I learn to write songs, or novels, or anything else that pays better.
PUBLICATIONS AND PRIZES
Colin's first collection, Jigsaw, was the runner-up for the 2020 Edwin Morgan Prize.
Colin's poetry has also been shortlisted for the Jane Martin Poetry Prize (2017) and the Wigtown Poetry Prize (2019). His poetry has been published in Gutter and The Speculative Book, among other places.
Colin's first pamphlet, The Highland Citizenship Test, will be published in early 2021 by Stewed Rhubarb Press.
Translation is central to Colin’s poetic practice. Together with Wenchi Li, he translates the work of Yang Mu, one of Taiwan's most revered poets: in 2018 he won the BCLA John Dryden Translation Competition for his Yang Mu translations. Translations of Taiwanese poetry have appeared in magazines such as Renditions, Chinese Literature Today, Comparative Critical Studies, and Hawk of the Mind: Collected Poems of Yang Mu (published by University of Columbia Press, 2018).
Colin and Wenchi were invited by the Taiwanese Representative Office in London to deliver lectures on translating Taiwanese poetry at SOAS, and Trinity College Dublin. Colin has also spoken about his experience of translating Yang Mu at conferences in Hualien (2015) and Taipei (2019).
Colin and Wenchi also translate Chen Li, Sun Wei-Min, Chen Ke-Hua and other Taiwanese poets: recent projects include translating selections of queer fiction and poetry from Taiwan, and on Hong Kong protest poetry.
Colin also translates poetry from a variety of languages (principally Spanish, Portuguese and German) into Scots. He is currently working towards creating a book of these translations - to include work by Octavio Paz, Fernando Pessoa and Alejandra Pizarnik - as part of his Creative Writing PhD.
"Bramwell is genuinely gifted with language. His beautiful words wash over his audience. Credit must also be given to the performer for successfully ad libbing with the front row, which is no mean feat at ten in the morning."
A Younger Theatre
Colin is an experienced editor of poetry and prose. He edited poetry for The May Anthologies, and also edited the Scottish section of Exeunt Magazine for a time.
Colin is currently Languages of Scotland Editor for The Scores. You can read the latest issue here.
In 2020, Colin was hired by Aonghas MacNeacail to edit a volume of his later English poetry. Colin and Aonghas managed to secure funding from Creative Scotland's Open Project Fund, and are currently working on assembling a new collection from Aonghas's vast archive of previously-unpublished work.
TEACHING, COMMISSIONS AND RESIDENCIES
Colin teaches poetry, theatre and music workshops, from entry-level training in poetry and theatre for teenagers to specific training for professional improv pianists and spoken-word poets.
He was poet-in-residence for two academic conferences in 2018: the Rostock Retreat on Causality, hosted by the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, and the First Migration Ethnicity, Race and Health Congress, at Edinburgh University.
Colin is frequently commissioned to write poems for specific clients and occasions: his most recent commissions were from Kelburn Garden Party and the Courtauld Institute.
You can commission Colin to be your poet-in-residence, to lead specialised workshops on poetry and/or performance, or even just to write a poem for yourself or a loved one. Just click the wee yellow button below to get started.