During the past 15 years, Karine Polwart has emerged as one of Scotland’s most popular folk singers and thoughtful contemporary songwriters. Her skills as a writer lie in combining intimate stories, often centred on women and families, with sharp social and political observation. Sources as diverse as Donald Trump and ancient bird lore, parental grief and sex trafficking, infuse her songs with a sense of human resilience and the reek of memory and history. She is four times winner at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, twice for Best Original Song, and was inaugural winner of Scots Singer of the Year at the Scots Trad Music Awards. Her most recent album Traces was shortlisted for Scottish Album of the Year. A former member of Malinky, The Battlefield Band, macAlias and The Burns Unit, her musical career as a touring and recording artist has encompassed also community song, university level teaching, animation soundtracks and thematic collaborative projects. During 2015 she will write with Greek Cypriot songwriter and composer Alkinoos Ioannidis and for award-winning theatre company Puppetstate. Her career highlights include an invitation to sing at at the opening session of the Scottish Parliament in 2011. She has been outspoken in support of numerous political causes, including anti-nuclear campaigns and mental health issues, and was vocal in encouraging participation and discussion around the Scottish Independence referendum. Her career as a musician follows seven years of face to face and policy development work within the Scottish Women’s Aid movement in the field of children’s rights and domestic abuse, as well as a spell as a university and community-based philosophy tutor (she has an MPhil in Philosophical Inquiry). She lives in Pathhead, Midlothian, where she shares her love of story and song with her two young children.