August 24, 2009

Over the past few weeks, we’ve indulged in events activity with the best of them. We’ve already discussed Mike Russell’s Selected Works of Wednesday past, and Friday brought our Present Poets and Past Makars event, also at the EIBF. Jen Hadfield, Liz Lochhead and Aonghas MacNeacail were the present poets and Sorley MacLean, Norman MacCaig and Naomi Mitchison among the past makars. It was a lovely event, in which the three poets read their work, and those of the others, beautifully. Of particular note was Jen’s wonderful recitation of Mitchison’s ‘The Alban Goes Out: 1939’ – a poem I’d never heard and had to investigate on my return to the library; Liz’s stories about being the sole woman poet among the men when she first started writing in the 70s, and MacCaig’s kindness and gossip, and Aonghas’s lovely poem written to the SPL.

On Friday eve back at the SPL (after a mint choc chip ice cream!) we enjoyed ‘Movement and Stillness’, an event which explored our poetic interaction with the natural world featuring contemporary & folk music (bluegrass, blues, British folk), poetry and poetic-prose from North America and the British Isles. Readers and musicians were Sarah Cuddon, Ryan Van Winkle, Jamie MacNeill, Jed Milroy and Kieron Maguire, and man, you should have heard Jamie’s bluegrass. There may be plans afoot to do some more exploring, so watch this space…

The courtyard readings are still ongoing from 2pm till 3pm every day. Last week’s weather drove them inside up to our mezzanine a few times, but here they are above in their natural courtyard habitat, enjoying a blink of sun! Everyone and anyone is welcome to listen and/or read. Just turn up at 2pm, and add your name to the host’s list.