March 31, 2011
Best Scottish Poems 2010 is finally here!
This is our annual selection of twenty poems published in the previous year.
Actually, when I say ‘our’, I mean that the librarians at the SPL provide a trolley-load of books, pamphlets and magazines to the hapless editor, and he or she sinks or swims. Or, sinks and then swims. Watery imagery comes to mind this year, as the editor is Jen Hadfield who lives on Shetland: she made her choice with exemplary promptness, and a fascinating choice it is.
In her introduction, Jen gives a very vivid account of the process of reading and sifting as the seasons changed: ‘above all I looked for poems which had that quality of having originated beyond the poet. There’s something necessarily creepy about a compelling, disembodied voice, especially when it brings tidings from such peculiar places. For this reason, I hope the selection sometimes gives you a bit of a shiver.’
March 29, 2011
We’re delighted that the launch of the latest issue of Irish Pages / Duillí Éireann in Scotland will take place here on Thursday 31st March at 6.30pm. The event will include readings in Gaelic and English by Rody Gorman and Aonghas MacNeacail and promises to be a wonderful evening.
March 25, 2011
Everyone at the library is looking forward to the return of the Bookmarket to our friends and near-neighbours, The Fruitmarket Gallery.
This time the focus will be on Artists’ Books, with a special appearance from John Byrne at 8pm, and Lucy May Schofield will be in residence with her Bibliotherapy Artists’ Book Library.
Hope to see you there!
March 25, 2011
The Scottish Poetry Library and the Scottish Storytelling Centre are working on pilot projects in Edinburgh to bring oral culture and the power of memory and social connection to carehome residents and senior groups. We use stories, songs and poetry, with the help of trained volunteers and professional storytellers, across several different projects. We aim to develop this work as a single, well-resourced and sustainable model for delivery on a national scale, ideally in partnership with care or health organisations.
We are inviting applications to tender for research and recommendations on how we can best develop this work. It is crucial that the consultant has influential contacts with, and can think strategically across, social and healthcare policy as well as arts. This research is funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation and Creative Scotland.
Tender submission by Tues 12 April. Please see full brief below, and please contact Lilias Fraser to discuss any further queries, email@example.com, 0131 557 2876.
Download: Invitation to tender (word document).
Poet and cultural historian Alistair Findlay has unveiled his tribute to the Edinburgh-Bathgate railway line at a ceremony at Bathgate Station this morning.
His 37-line ode – The Railroad’s a-Comin’ – will go on permanent display at the station.
It was commissioned by Network Rail for the celebrations to mark the new Bathgate Station opening in October 18 last year and will be put on display by train operator ScotRail to mark the 25th anniversary of the reopening of the Edinburgh-Bathgate line.
Alistair, who is based in Bathgate, said of his poem: “It’s a tribute to the farsightedness of people like the late Robin Cook MP and Councillor Joe Cumming who pressed for the line’s reopening as a single-track diesel branch railway. Today, Bathgate has a double-track electric main line linking Edinburgh with Glasgow and beyond.”
John Yellowlees, ScotRail’s external relations manager, said: “We are delighted to mark ongoing success of Bathgate’s rail revival in this way.”
Ron McAulay, Director Scotland Network Rail added: “The popularity of Bathgate Station since it opened in October last year demonstrates that it has become an important community hub. Mr Findlay’s poem is full of wit and reflects the town’s enthusiasm for the new line. It’s fitting that it should grace the station wall.”
Read the poem here.
March 23, 2011
We were delighted to hear that Biggar Museums Trust Brownsbank Committee is offering Scottish-based writers the opportunity to spend between one and four months during the summer months at Brownsbank Cottage to pursue their own work in 2011.
Proposals are invited from individuals living in Scotland who write in any form, including prose (fiction and non-fiction), poetry or drama.
Each writer will be provided with a stipend of £750 per month to a maximum of £3,000, accommodation in the Cottage, the support of Brownsbank Committee members and access to Biggar Museums Trust facilities.
For more information: Brownsbank website.
March 22, 2011
After a prestigious run at the V&A during London Design Festival last year, which generated a large amount of press coverage, the 26Treasures project is continuing in 2011. This year there will be 4 projects UK-wide in England, Scotland, N Ireland and Wales. See www.26Treasures.com
The Scottish project will take place from St Andrews Night 2011 to Burns Night 2012 at the National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh. 26 writers will be asked to write about 26 objects that tell the story of Scottish history and will form a treasure trail through the galleries. It is a tight brief of only 62 words, which will be on display in the Museum and be a focus for events during the exhibition and an online campaign.
We are looking for a wide variety of writers from different disciplines to volunteer for this project. They will be required to produce 62 words about the exhibit, a blog piece for use on the 26Treasures website and to take part in events. Please email NMS26T@gmail.com to receive an application form. Applications must be received by 28 April 2011.
March 18, 2011
Our friends at the West Port Book Festival will be holding a fundraising event here at the library on Saturday 26th March to raise funds for the Red Cross International as they work to help survivors of the Japanese tsunami.
Mio Shapley will be performing a tea ceremony and telling some Japanese traditional folk stories. Whether you are coming along for the first time, or if you attended Mio’s event at the library in November last year, as part of the Scottish International Storytelling Festival, this is one not to be missed. Doors open at 7.15pm for a 7.30pm start. The organisers recommend booking a free ticket for this part of the evening; email firstname.lastname@example.org.
At 8.30pm, the doors will be opened for all to enjoy some wine, traditional Japanese sweets and green tea. You’ll be able to participate in Japanese bookbinding with professional bookbinder Isabelle Ting and Mariko Watanabe will be leading sessions in how to make origami cranes. Book repair specialist, potter and event co-ordinator Orlene McIlfatrick said today, “We would like to make one thousand of these paper birds of peace and good fortune, so please help us reach our goal!”
There will be opportunities to donate throughout the evening. With all proceeds going to the Red Cross International’s Japanese tsunami relief fund, whatever you can afford to give will make a difference.
For more event information: West Port Book Festival Supports Japan
March 15, 2011
Creative Scotland is now accepting applications for the Robert Louis Stevenson Fellowship 2011. The fellowship enables up to three writers to spend up to six weeks at the Hotel Chevillon in Grez Sur Loing, France.
Completed applications should be submitted no later than Monday 4th April 2011 to Emma Turnbull, Creative Scotland, Waverley Gate, 2-4 Waterloo Place, Edinburgh, EH1 3EG. Guidelines can be downloaded from the Creative Scotland website.
The closing date for applications is Monday 4th April.
March 8, 2011
Edinburgh-based performance poet Anita Govan has a shiny new website! The relaunched site is full to busting with audio, video, news about Anita’s upcoming gigs – such as on Monday 21 March, when she’ll be supporting legendary performer and founder of the Bowery, New York, Bob Holman in Edinburgh at the Voodoo Rooms – press, merchandise and much more. Have a rummage!