Umbrellas of Edinburgh is a new anthology of contemporary writing about Edinburgh.
It includes work by 70 acclaimed writers,
reflecting the diverse voices and lives of this iconic city.
A word from the editors, Claire Askew and Russell Jones…
Scotland’s capital is a vibrant, diverse and modern city, cultivated by people from around the world. It’s filled with cutting edge art, international cuisines, theatres and pubs, bright minds and masonry, dark side streets and sinister stories. Edinburgh is a hub for literary inspiration and ambition, hosting the world’s largest literary festival, and it’s the world’s first UNESCO City of Literature. But pick up a collection of writing about Edinburgh, and you’re often faced with the same list of names: dead white men.
As editors, we were keen to reflect the diversity of Edinburgh and its people, and to shift the existing (dead white men) focus through a more contemporary lens. This anthology includes work from writers of colour, writers who identify as LGBTQIA+, who live with disabilities, writers who have lived in countries other than Scotland, and its contributors predominantly identify as women.
Our brief to the writers was simple: choose a location in Edinburgh and write about it. Between these pages you’ll find explorations of architecture, fragments of memories, views of potential futures, romps in hedgerows, summer picnics, hard winters, love, loss and the moments in between. These poems and short stories show us that the city is inseparable from its people, and it’s the voices of our times which add colour and meaning to the brickwork. But it also shows us that Edinburgh is still a great source of inspiration for its inhabitants and those who pass through it; it takes them on journeys, through which the people and the city are forever altered.