Patrick was Heriot-Watt University’s Poet (2019-2020). In retirement, as an Emeritus Professor, he continues in the informal role. He is Vice-President of the Watt Club – the University’s alumni association – and encourages poetry in that role too.
Patrick conceived of, and won the support of the Principal for, this new, voluntary role in order to promote the use of poetry in teaching and communication across the University.
In this role, he has developed a network of staff, students and friends in the nearby community interested in poetry. The group has a monthly Poetry-in-Practice group, circulates a poem of the month (see example from Prof Ruth Aylett), and has been involved in various University events: Stakeholder Meeting, Celebration Events, Research Forums, Well-Being Weeks and other collective events.
The coding workstation (PC)
Patrick hosted a poetry residency for Alyson Hallett in the Lyell Centre (Nov 2019) which has led to the publication of “Tilted Ground” in 2020: a collection of poems and thoughts celebrating Earth and Marine Science. This volume can be purchased from Patrick for £12 (incl P&P) by contacting him at email@example.com. All profits from these sales will go to Heriot-Watt’s Sir Walter Scott Circle which supports student access bursaries.
"Tilted Ground" by Alyson Hallet
Alyson Hallet's poetry can be found on her own website, The Stone Library.
Patrick's poems on Heriot-Watt reflect his personal vision of the University and its proud heritage.
neither Heriot nor Watt did
go to our young University
where the past is the future’s key
as no-one knows who comes along
but with the vision of Bryson
and healthy dose of Horner
thinking globally like Geddes
acting locally like Mearns
breaking down barriers like Ogilvie
prosing it like Spark (nee Camburg)
setting concrete, Sir Basil Spence,
these are the ones in our heritage
that tell us the current class
will join our family Watt Club
and help future-proof our world
Vernon was first President
of an evening club, that went
on to be the first alumni association.
Begetting JC and JS Gomes, father and son.
Now it the class of Shima, Abdullah and Ng.
We put the brew in BrewDog
There’s Scott Russell’s name -
of Aquaduct and Building fame
There’s the Miner Buchan from Peterhead,
who became our major chancellor:
“It’s not the distant peak you look towards” he’d say
“but the steps you take on the way”.
Heriot-Watt is a good step today.
International, practical, respectful!
James Watt’s Statue, HWU Riccarton Campus (PC)
We are not just happy, we are flourishing.
Embedded in a balm of well-being,
the environment is nourishing.
Heriot-Watt’s surely the place to be in.
Autumn leaves on HWU Campus, Riccarton (PC)
Heriot-Watt crosses four seas
to deliver its new strategies,
in all lands where it sees
people with latent abilities
Take each community;
celebrate that diversity;
staff and students aim to achieve
the best they themselves can be
Where creativity and ideas matter;
the academic forge, to which all belong;
temper excellence in research, all along
teaching to transform lives for the better
Take up the challenge, be so
respectful and collaborate; the heart of all we do.
There is no status quo.
There is no place we cannot go
Show some courage
Speak out, have the confidence to make a difference in our age.
The world faces many challenges.
We must rise and inspire!
Gate to nowhere, HWU Riccarton Campus (PC)