The Song: Poems of Biblical Theophany


Poetry inspired by episodes of divine encounter, or ‘theophanies’, composed as part of the TheoArtistry Poets’ Scheme. Featuring poetry by Maria Apichella, John Bolland, Ian Crockatt, Christine De Luca, Marjorie Lotfi Gill & Christie Williamson.


The poems in The Song were composed as part of the TheoArtistry Poets’ Scheme, a collaboration between ITIA (the Institute for Theology, Imagination and the Arts, University of St Andrews), and StAnza (Scotland’s International Poetry Festival).

Six poets were asked to work with six theologians on episodes of divine encounter, or ‘theophanies’, in the Hebrew Bible, with mentoring by Michael Symmons Roberts. The Song features the resulting poems, and includes work by Maria Apichella, John Bolland, Ian Crockatt, Christine De Luca, Marjorie Lotfi Gill & Christie Williamson.

“We need poets and artists not only to communicate revelation faithfully, beautifully, and compellingly to a sceptical postmodern world, but also to challenge and provoke us – and to interrogate our assumptions.”
– Dr George Corbett, TheoArtistry Director


About the poets:

Maria Apichella’s Psalmody was shortlisted for the Forward First Collection Prize, the Wales Book Of The Year, and included in The New Statesman Books of 2017. Paga won the 2014 Cinnamon Press Pamphlet award. See more at

John Bolland is a poet, writer and visual artist. He was runner-up in the V.S. Pritchett Short Story Prize and a prize-winner in the Fish International Short Story competition. His first col­lection, Fallen Stock, was published by Red Squirrel in 2019. He blogs at

Ian Crockatt’s publications include Original Myths and The Crucifixion Bird, poetry re-imagining Biblical stories. His latest book is The Song Weigher: Complete Poems of Egill Skallagrímsson (Arc Publications). A new edition of Skald (Koo Press, 2009) is being published by Arc in February 2020.

Christine De Luca was Edinburgh Makar for 2014–2017. She has had seven poetry collections and five bilingual volumes published (in French, Italian, Icelandic, Norwegian and English). Her poems have been selected four times for the Scottish Poetry Library’s Best Scottish Poems of the Year anthologies.

Marjorie Lotfi Gill’s poems have won competitions, been published widely and have been performed on BBC Radio 4. Marjorie is a founder and director of Open Book, and the Chair of Trustees of the Wigtown Book Festival. She was the 2019 Scottish Book Trust Ignite Fellow, and Tapsalteerie published her pamphlet Refuge in 2018.

Christie Williamson lives in Glasgow where he runs Tell it Slant Books. His first collection, Oo an Feddirs was published by Luath Press in 2015. His second, Doors tae Naewye is out very soon. He comes fae Yell and is an editor with Tapsalteerie.

Project editor & coordinator:

Caleb Froehlich is doctoral researcher in the Institute for Theology, Imagination and the Arts (ITIA) at the University of St Andrews. His dissertation is entitled Speaking to a Seeking Generation: Non-Religious Art and the Turn Towards Religion, America 1970-1975 and examines how ostensibly non-religious art in the United States opened up or introduced young adults to religion during the first half of the 1970s.


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