March 12, 2011
“You follow the red road and it leads you to the empty inn” – Rimbaud
Award winning Scottish poet Tom Pow takes us on a tour of his remarkable Dying Villages poetry project which was exhibited here at the Scottish Poetry Library last year. The project is aimed at responding in poetry and prose to the social, ecological and cultural effects of demographic changes on villages in Europe. Check out http://www.dyingvillages.com or Tom’s own site http://www.tompow.co.uk
First published Sunday 9 January, 2011
About Tom Pow
Tom Pow was born in Edinburgh and now lives in Dumfries. He was poet in residence at the StAnza poetry festival in 2005. He has published several books for children, and the record of a poets’ correspondence and poems, Sparks!, with Diana Hendry. Landscapes and Legacies (iynx, 2003), his fourth collection of poems, was short-listed for the Scottish Arts Council’s Book of the year Award. Dear Alice: Narratives of Madness (Salt, 2007) won the poetry category in the Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust Book Awards 2009, in partnership with the Scottish Arts Council. His latest book is In The Becoming: New and Selected Poems (Polygon 2009).
In 2007, he was given a Creative Scotland Award for a project concerning dying villages in Europe. He is an Honorary Senior Research Fellow at Glasgow University, Dumfries; lectures for Lancaster University on its Distance Learning MA in Creative Writing; and is a registered member of the Scottish Storytelling Network.
About Dying Villages
By 2030 it is estimated that Europe will have lost one third of its population. It is already an ageing population with a low birthrate. The effect of this demographic change – the greatest since the Black Death – will be felt most acutely in rural areas. In 2007, Tom received a Creative Scotland Award from the Scottish Arts Council for a project aimed at responding in poetry and prose to the social, ecological and cultural effects of demographic changes on villages in Europe.
In 2007 and 2008, he made trips to affected areas in Spain, France, Germany, Poland, Bulgaria, Russia and Greece. The Dying Village website reflects these trips in sound, image, interviews and artworks.
Dying Villages is an ongoing project. Related works of poetry and prose will appear elsewhere.