The rise & rise of the literary night out

July 16, 2010

We were pleased to stumble upon the Independent’s piece on the rise of the literary night out. ‘Forget book clubs – discerning readers now prefer literary salons and themed evenings where best-selling authors perform for their fans.’ Our discerning readers still enjoy a book club format, the perfect place for people and poetry to mingle and mix over a glass of wine, get to know one another. Just yesterday Lilias and I started the day at the National Galleries of Scotland on the Mound to elaborate upon plans to host an art themed Nothing But the Poem session there. Watch this space for more details, but if yesterday’s mini-tour of their collection – and the poems it brought to mind – is anything to go, this will be a wonderful event.

But we library workers do love a good literary night out too!

We have plenty of offbeat events here at the SPL: in May we took part in Culture 24’s Museums at Night weekend, with poetry, music and tours by fairy light, and the award-winning venue of the Scottish Poetry Library is available for hire for your own party (speak to me, Peggy, for more information). Last night we had fiddles and Shetlandic poetry for the launch of Christine de Luca’s North End of Eden (Luath); tomorrow early evening we welcome the launch of Anon 7, the anonymous submissions magazine that thinks it’s a wee Penguin 70. We’ve had the debut of the London-based events night The Special Relationship, a silent poetry slam and poetry pub quizzes in our local, the Waverley, all nestling beside our regular events programme of readings, talks and workshops. We couldn’t be more delighted that more people are turning to alternative literary nights for their choice of entertainment.

If you live in Edinburgh and you’re not sure where to start, why not try The Golden Hour at the Forest Cafe on Wednesday 21 July? It’s free, and busting with poetry, prose, music and cartoons in the convivial atmosphere of the Forest cafe. Forge of the Wordsmiths – a new writing social club – launched last month in Glasgow. On Saturday 24 July, they’ll be partying alfresco in Edinburgh, sipping cocktails inspired by Scottish Literary Greats and indulging in a series of lit and musical performances in a secret garden off the Royal Mile. And Unbound – the mini festival within a festival at this year’s Edinburgh International Book Festival – promises to deliver a banging lit night out every night of the festival in August.

See you on the dance floor?

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