Stephen Watt was the inaugural Poet In Chief from 26th March 2018 to 26th March 2019. He is the man who shaped this post in its first year and told the story of the 3 Hampdens in terms of their past, present and future using his poetic brilliance.
Stephen is a Scottish poet and spoken word artist. He has won various prizes including the Poetry Rivals Slam Champion and has performed widely across the UK. In 2016 he was the first ‘crime poet’ at the Bloody Scotland Crime Writing Festival, and his hometown team Dumbarton Football Club appointed him their Poet-in-Residence. His football accolades include winning Anti-sectarian charity Nil By Mouth ‘Poets and Penalties’ in 2017 and is a writer for Nutmeg magazine.
Find out more at Stephen’s Facebook Page – StephenWattSpit.
Enjoy his phenomenal poems for the Hampden Collection below!
TH2: Departures / Arrivals
By Stephen Watt
Poet In Chief – Closing Statement – 8:30pm; 26 March 2019
It has been my absolute privilege to be the first Poet-In-Chief of The Hampden Collection (THC) these past twelve months, but I feel that the time is right for someone else to pick up the baton and I cannot think of anyone more deserving than my friend and inspiration, Jim Mackintosh. Football literature has enormously benefited in the past couple of years through Jim’s work with Football Memories and St Johnstone Football Club, and he will bring a fresh and enterprising prowess to THC vision.
On a personal level, I have learned so much about the history of Scottish football through my visits to 1st Hampden at Hampden Bowling Club, 2nd Hampden at Cathkin Park, and the third and present Hampden we use as our national stadium today. It has inspired seven poems which have included graphics, text, film, and photographs – even resulting in sitting among the Spiders fans as a supporter of Queens Park; no mean feat for someone with arachnophobia.
I would like to thank the constant encouragement and enthusiasm shown by Graeme Brown – for his friendship, guided tours, research, and organisation of the Bools n’ Bards competition; Keith McAllister for an unparalleled zeal for Queens Park which I have found infectious since I first met him at the club’s 150th anniversary celebrations; James McHugh at Supernova Graffix for sponsorship and design skills which brought my second THC poem to life; and to everyone associated with THC in art, friendship, and the kindness shown to me. Being part of the team which saved Hampden as the national football stadium for Scotland is something I am enormously proud of, and I look forward to watching (and supporting) the restoration plans of 1st Hampden in the coming months.
Poetry is a vital narration of what THC’s mission is all about. Please do continue to support it in whatever form you can. You’re in good hands.
(First Poet In Chief of The Hampden Collection)