Gerda Stevenson, award-winning writer, actor, theatre director, singer-songwriter, has worked in theatre, TV, radio, film, and opera, throughout Britain and abroad, appearing at literary festivals in Trinidad, Italy, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Ireland and the UK. Recipient of Scottish Arts Council and Creative Scotland writers’ bursaries, she writes in English and Scots, and won the YES Arts Festival Poetry Challenge, 2013, and the Robert Tannahill Poetry Prize, 2017. Her stage plays include Federer Versus Murray, which toured to New York, 2012 (published there by Salmagundi), and Skeleton Wumman, an Oran Mor/Traverse Theatre / West Yorkshire Playhouse co-production, 2014.
Her poetry and drama are included on the Contemporary Scottish Literature course at the University of Glasgow. She regularly runs creative writing workshops, and has worked as mentor for the Traverse Theatre’s Class Act programme. She has written many original radio plays and dramatisations of classic Scottish novels for BBC Radio 4. Her acclaimed poetry collection If This Were Real, (Smokestack Books, 2013), is published in an Italian translation, entitled Se Questo Fosse Vero(Edizioni Ensemble, Rome, 2017). Her opera libretto, based on Coleridge’s epic poem ‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’, was commissioned and produced by the University of Edinburgh, 2018. Winner of a BAFTA Best Film Actress award for her role in Margaret Tait’s feature film Blue Black Permanent, she gave the George Mackay Brown Memorial Lecture, 2018, on the work of Margaret Tait.
Nominations include for the Critics Awards for Theatre in Scotland, the MG Alba Scots Trad Music Awards (following the launch of an album of her own songs Night Touches Day, 2014), and the New York League of Professional Theatre Women’s Rosamond Gilder/Martha Coigney International Award. She is the founder of Stellar Quines, Scotland’s leading women’s theatre company. She wrote the biographical introduction and a sequence of poems for Inside & Out: the art of Christian Small (Lyne Press, 2018, subsequently published by Scotland Street Press, 2019). She collaborated with award-winning Scottish landscape photographer Allan Wright on the book EDINBURGH (Allan Wright Photographic, 2019), for which she wrote a personal introduction and a series of twenty-two poems. Her book Quines Poems in tribute to women of Scotland (Luath Press, 2018, 2nd edition 2020), was reviewed in The Observer by Jackie Kay as “fabulous…a ground-breaker of a book”. Quines was published by Edizioni Ensemble in Rome, 2021,in an Italian translation by Laura Maniero, with a foreword by Professor Carla Sassi.