If you get plugged into this week’s podcast, in which Ryan chats to storyteller Judy Paterson, you’ll find out that the Scottish International Storytelling Festival is in full swing. Running from Friday 22 – Sunday 31 October, the theme for this year’s annual celebration of traditional and contemporary storytelling is Eastern Routes: Authentic Voices.

Bringing together world-class storytellers, academics and educators from Sweden, Norway India, China, Thailand, Malaysia, Japan with some of Scotland’s finest wordsmiths in a 10-day celebration of ancient and contemporary oral traditions from East and West, we’re particularly excited to be involved here at the Scottish Poetry Library, with three events happening in our bookish glasshouse.

TONIGHT! We have great pleasure in welcoming Alan Spence and Mio Shapley; novelist and haiku poet Alan will discuss the allure of the Japanese aesthetic in art and literature, followed by an enticing sample of the pleasures of the tea ceremony with Japanese storyteller Mio Shapley.

On Thursday evening (28th), we’ll learn more about the Road North, a project by poet Ken Cockburn and artist and collaborator Alec Finlay. ‘Ten years ago, living by The Meadows with their gean blossom walks, I dreamt up a project, to take Bashō’s Oku-no-Hosomichi as a routemaster for Scotland, traveling as he and Sora had, from the capital, Edina for Edo, on the road north to the Western Isles. And now it’s begun.’ Come for the story, stay for the whisky…

And on Saturday 30th, we’ll be joined by poet and indefatigable traveller W N Herbert, who has walked the Wall and followed the Silk Road and is currently working with eminent Chinese poet, Yang Lian, on a book of translations from contemporary Chinese poetry. This promises to be an illuminating hour in the company of a consummate storyteller and inventive poet.

There are loads of events happening at the Scottish Storytelling Centre – another award-winning creation of Malcolm Fraser Architects – further up the Royal Mile; follow this link to download the whole festival programme in pdf.