Poetry at the Edinburgh International Book Festival!

June 17, 2011

Very excited that the Edinburgh International Book Festival programme launched yesterday morning, and what finer setting than the Reference Library of Edinburgh’s Central Library. Amid bucks fizz and pastries and muckle folk, Nick Barley told us the highlights of this year’s programme, including, under the Legends of Modern Literature strand, celebrations of the centenaries of two poetry titans – Czesław Miłosz and Somhairle MacGill-Eain (Sorley MacLean). The Poet Laureate and the Scots Makar – Carol Ann Duffy and Liz Lochhead – will both be there; Irish giants Michael Longley and Paul Muldoon, and Adam Zagajewski – regularly cited as Milosz’s successor to the crown of ‘Poland’s greatest living poet’ - will read in a solo slot, and also appear to talk about Miłosz alongside John Burnside, and Michal Pawel Markowski. Festival favourites Robin Robertson, Jackie Kay, Don Paterson and Wendy Cope return, and will be joined by new festival faces Rachael Boast, Will Eaves and Ryan Van Winkle, as well as Robert Bringhurst & David Harsent whose poetry will show the breadth of their other interests – Bringhurst for his love of good typography, and Harsent for his collaborations with the composer Harrison Birtwistle. Elsewhere poets Angus Peter Campbell and Gwyneth Lewis will share a stage to discuss their novels; Poems from Small Islands will showcase of the annual Crear poetry translation workshop, in association with us and Literature Across Frontiers, and we haven’t even seen the Unbound programme yet, though if it’s anything like last year’s debut, it promises heavenly evenings of spontaneity and fun in the Spiegeltent !

We were delighted to work with them again on their poetry strand, and there’s plenty for all poetry palates to enjoy. You can pick up a programme from the library, browse it online,  or download it here [pdf].  Roll on August!

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