Photograph by John Mackie
Iona Lee is a writer of poetry and non-fiction, an artist, music-maker and spoken-word performer from Edinburgh. She has been a prominent member of Scotland's live poetry scene for almost ten years, appearing on radio and television, and reading her work in venues and on festival stages all over the UK and Europe, including Glastonbury, The Verb, and the Edinburgh International Book Festival. She is a recurring cast member on BBC Radio Scotland and Radio 4's political discussion podcast, Tricky.
Iona has been published extensively, in newspapers, anthologies and journals, with poetry appearing in the likes of Hatchett publishing's Poems for A Green and Blue Planet, the Scotsman and Gutter Magazine, and with essays and articles in Bella Caledonia, the Skinny and a recent anthology of contemporary writings on witchcraft - The Modern Craft.
Iona is the front woman of a band called Acolyte, who's single The Black Cat was BBC Radio Scotland's single of the week in 2021. And alongside DJ and sound healer Nikki Kent, Iona organises Wax Lyrical, an evening of spontaneous poetic and musical collaboration.
Iona has a degree in illustration from the Glasgow School of Art and an MFA in Art & Philosophy. Her pamphlet (Polygon, 2018) was shortlisted for a Saltire Award and in 2022 her upcoming debut collection, Isle, was shortlisted for an Edwin Morgan Poetry Award. In 2022, Iona was also included in Young Women Scotland's 30 Under 30 list.
. Scottish Slam Champion, 2016
. Saboteur Award, best poetry pamphlet, 2019 - shortlisted
. Saltire Award, best poetry pamphlet, 2019 - shortlisted
. Ignite Fellowship, 2020 - shortlisted
. Edwin Morgan Poetry Award, 2022 - shortlisted
. The John Byrne Award, August 2022
The Big Scottish Book Club on BBC Scotland, Robert Burns' Cottage, Push The Boat Out Festival, King Tut's, The Verb, EHFM Radio, Tricky podcast on BBC Sounds, BBC Loop, BBC Social, BBC Radio 4, The Digital Human,BBC Radio Scotland, Neu Reekie, The Royal Albert Hall, Edinburgh International Book Festival, Flint & Pitch, Rally & Broad, Glastonbury Festival, Sonnet Youth, Apples and Snakes, Milk Poetry, Word First Festival, The Caves, Inn Deep, Kelvingrove Bandstand, The Roxy, CCA, Summerhall, Loud Poets, Paradise Palms, Pitlochry Festival Theatre, Eden Court Inverness, Spin Aberdeen, Leith Theatre, Rose Theatre, The Tron, The Govanhill Baths, Greenock Arts Centre, Coastword Festival, StAnza, Kelburn Garden Party, Doune the Rabbit Hole, Stowed Out Festival, Great Eastern Festival, Glasgow Women’s Library, The Eclectica Experience, Eden Festival, The Meadows Festival, Men With Coconuts, Poets Against Humanity, The Storytelling Centre, The Scottish Poetry Library, The Jazz Bar, The Mitchell Library, National Library of Scotland, Hug & Pint, The Art School, Central Hall, WENCH, Wax Lyrical, Electric Fields Festival, Poets vs Rappers, Hidden Door Festival, Listen Softly, Dr Bell’s Baths, Sofar Edinburgh, Sofar Glasgow, New Theatre Royal Lincoln, Vout O Reenees, Lit & Phil Library Newcastle, End of the Road Festival, Byline Festival, Port Eliot Festival, The Wardrobe Theatre Bristol, The Loco Klub, Nymphs & Thugs, #LiveWire, The Old Foyles, Tate Britain, That’s What She Said, Coupe Du Monde Paris, Culture Rapide, #ScotlandisNow Dublin, Transpoesie Festival Belgium