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James King


In the early 2000's I was appointed to lead a then Scottish Executive 'pathfinder project' to explore the prevalence of literacy issues within the Scottish prison population. This enabled me the opportunity to research and explore the impact of creativity to stimulate engagement as core aspect of rehabilitation. Having introduced a number of initiatives, the most popular were those in which participants could express themselves in Scots, and which had elements of biography, background and life experiences. Building on these themes, I produced 2 short films, as well as delivering workshops in a number of prisons with various population cohorts: long-term prisoners; short-term prisoners; women prisoners; young people etc. I was appointed Head of Education at the Scottish Prison Service in 2010 which meant there were fewer opportunities to teach although I did continue to voluntarily deliver workshops on a number of occasions. Around 2012, as part of a national fun type of competition for a modern-day Tam O'Shanter, I began writing 'Chick the Chanter' and was awarded 'runner-up', as was a subsequent contribution to the 'Referendum Rant' in 2014. I have not actively pursued publication for any of my poems although I was invited to draft a poem for the 300th anniversary of the Battle of Sheriffmuir .I was honoured to subsequently read the poem (Allan Waaters) at the commemoration ceremony in 2015, and which was subsequently published in a book (The Bards of Allan Water) and clan magazines. A few of my poems were utilised as part of the Dumfries and Galloway GCSE syllabus for Scots language and there has been some random publications. Having retired last form the prison service last year, I have co-founded a charity, SPACE ART Scotland to help further stimulate all aspects of creativity in Scotland's prisons.

Connection to Glasgow

I was born and raised in Glasgow working in several capacities until attending Glasgow Caledonian (1992-96) as an undergraduate and Glasgow University (19989-2000), to complete a post-graduate in education.
James King
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