After the overwhelming success of the March’s event, Simmer, a night of poetry and flavour, we are again joined by our host, Ryan Van Winkle, for a night where we pair four poets with dishes carefully selected & prepared to illuminate and echo their work.
This unique collaboration between food & poetry will use flavour, scent, and colour in response to some of Scotland’s most distinct voices. A delicious evening which will touch all of your senses.
Simmer pairs four poets with exquisite dishes carefully selected & prepared to illuminate their work. Readings will be from Krystelle Bamford, Alan Gillis whose work has been shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize, Colin Herda poet and Lecturer in Creative Writing at Glasgow University and the versatile weaver of styles Elspeth Murray.
Most recently, Krystelle Bamford’s poems have appeared in The American Poetry Review and The Kenyon Review. In 2010, she was awarded a Scottish Book Trust New Writers Award and was shortlisted for the 2011 Bridport Prize. Though raised in the US, she has been living in Edinburgh for the past nine years.
Alan Gillis is from Belfast and now lives in Scotland, where he teaches English at The University of Edinburgh. He has published four poetry collections with The Gallery Press: Scapegoat (2014), Here Comes the Night (2010), Hawks and Doves (2007) and Somebody, Somewhere (2004), which won the Strong Award for Best First Collection in Ireland. He has also been shortlisted for the T. S. Eliot prize, and for the Irish Times Poetry Now Award. In 2014 he was selected as a ‘Next Generation Poet’ by the Poetry Book Society in the UK. As a critic he is author of Irish Poetry of the 1930s (2005), and co-editor of the Oxford Handbook of Modern Irish Poetry (2012), both published by Oxford University Press, along with many essays on contemporary Irish and British poetry. From 2010-2015 he was editor of Edinburgh Review. A Selected Poems entitled Scapegoat and Other Poems will be published in the USA by Wake Forest Press in 2016.
Colin Herd is a poet and lecturer in creative writing at University of Glasgow. Books include too ok (Blazevox, 2011), Glovebox (KFS, 2013), Oberwildling (with SJ Fowler, ACF, 2015) and Press Back Up Help (forthcoming). He is a co-organiser of the new poetry festival Outside-In/Inside-Out which launches in Glasgow in October 2016.
With over 20 years of collaborative work in education, health, business and the performing arts, Elspeth Murray is a writer who enjoys the unpredictable. Her poetry residencies have taken place in shopping centres, distilleries, international conferences, hospices and schools. Her workplace residencies feature in a 2008 BBC Radio 4 documentary Blood, Sweat, Tears and Poetry. Elspeth’s poem Flip Flotsam inspired an award-winning documentary of the same name, while This Is Bad Enough has supported health literacy policy work in several countries. Commissioned work includes poems that have been set to music by Dee Isaacs for a staging of the Sufi classic Conference of The Birds at the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh in 2013 and a response to the refugee crisis Postcards From Our World in 2016. Her poem about her local Hungarian lollipop lady for the Edinburgh Unsung anthology features in The Scotsman on 2nd July 2016.
If you would like to join in this evening of thought, lyrics and flavours, please book early to avoid disappointment. If the previous iteration of Simmer is anything to go by, it will be a surefire success, and a joy for all. The dinner costs £35 per person, with an optional drinks pairing of £30 with drinks chosen to match the menu, and of course, the poems.
Mail email@example.com or call 0131 258 0758 to secure your place!
COLIN SAYS: It was fun writing thickly (and less thickly) veiled love poems/letters to you Ryan! I love writing that strains impossibly trying not to say something that it is in fact saying, like when you get someone going round the houses to explain why their argument isn’t this thing but in fact this other thing and you can barely tell the difference between them other than this tiny semantic nuance, if even that. This exchange was kind of the opposite of that, where there is an enormous effort to couch what you are saying behind a whole sequence of smoke and mirrors. Speaking of which, when we were about to read this in the pub in Aberdeen, and I was making a brief introduction that these were based on the homoerotic love letters of King James VI, the poet nick-e melville piped up and said: “I thought you were going to say Kim Jong Il”…. that might be something to try next time. (And I hope there will be tons of next times.)
It Feels as If
You ceilidh so woolly that I do not enquire after your heat and ask if you maintain the stay-at-home. Of you. Be in no doubt. In a tinge, a tinkle. A horsewhip.
I must beg to differ. I blew that stallion off my back and now there are wrinkles around my eyes, even when there is no bright white sun. Perhaps I misunderstand your query.
When it is your will, perhaps I will be accustomed to your actuaries more intimately. Hearty then for myself, and flattering my falcons for wont that I will know from all the assertions of your benchmark the discretions and vindications I seek. The aqualung as always requires no epicure and the surname no sun.
It is a flexible instrument us men have inherited. It is amazing how much punishment we can take, almost without protest. They say I cough blood only because I laugh too much. And yet, I am neither victim, nor survivor – I have not suffered and this will not cease with a foot in the mouth nor a mere finger in the pie. I am too tired to look for another hole in the ground. Play the piano for me, play the one about the rolling heather.
I am conscious that these are early eunuchs. Perhaps our collision will always occupy only the earliest but in precedent perhaps more rather than less endeavour of our mutual prophecies is required. I want it to be known that in all mazes except of heaving hearts I am profoundly easily swayed and that only in one ratcheted nozzle do I dissuade myself, uncompromised. Make that one ratcheted novelette. It feels as if.
The brains of my brothers are as empty as the underpants of a eunuch. I put my hands in but I always feel like I’m rummaging around for something that isn’t quite there. Did I tell you that I’ve seen the sea again. The sea was impersonal and didn’t care. Maybe it was a dream, I don’t know, everything happens so much. One feels as if, indeed.
Your agreement on such matters makes my bosom swell. I think there may have been a mnemonic but no matter now, attention shifts like sands. Are we listened to yet? And if not by the sea by some other force. I am afraid to tell anyone of my dessert.
My ears are yours, should the postboy take them. Mine eyes as well, should I manage to find that runcible spoon. Last I remember, we were having a picnic. Youngberries, cherries, currants. And my confession – I am no picnic myself.
He has seized now an orange shroud and nudges his resin towards me. My tobacco remains deaf-mute but the walls can make something or other out. It’s churlish to avoid unreeling this particular cassette: on a purplish roster, he bade me thank his chasm! I swore, I’d never appear in any such anthology and, fizzling to consult, I can earnestly say that prevented him. But for how long?
Your mementos will turn to dust, the picture postcards, your spanish braids shall untagle and what will you be left with? Your flaxen locks? Your silver coin eyes? We must hold true north and remain vulnerable to everything. Who is not temporal, flesh?
I regret that cruisy tone. But what meteorites are contained in even the simplest struck match?! Your reward for keeping my conscience is something I cannot sufficiently commend. Let me at least say this: indeed I do not think the tongue at all creditable either to mandrills or woodpeckers, and (though you will not believe me) I very often feel ashamed of it myself.
I cannot live any longer not knowing what will happen tomorrow. Pray tell, look into your tea leaves. I can toy with this eye-wrecking lace work no longer. Tell me the fate of Atlantis, tell me of Troy and the horse. What was it like inside the dark body – all those swords, those torsos next to torsos, those chosen men breathing quiet as they could?
I have had it with my femur! What may seem to some an interactive irrelevancy is in fact to me an irritant. A flea-pit felony if you really want know. But I will pick myself up and narrow the scope. You’re asking about tomorrow? It’s surely dominated by the smallest of sunbathers quivering from the warmth of. You know what warmth and you know how irrepressible its draw. Those tiny bathers. A nappy banquet. It’s not too tragi-comic.
It is impossible to stop wanting to repeat ourselves. And yet we make each word anew. As if no man had ever spoken it before. This is the hard part.
Hard as in rocky? Solid? Iron-hearted? Impenetrable? Packed? So I understand. To avoid a debacle, embrace summings-up. Perhaps we should betray our fitter selfishisms and motley underpinnings, but can I speak from the heart? thus?, desires. I believe my words will no longer hold and as it stands: you hang a fish from a hook, it will untangle itself, depending on the brainpower of the fish. It’s a stroll in the park for me.
Sometimes the vein runs so dry, I don’t have a word to say. If there was a line between my mind and your ear, I would trespass it. Perhaps, as always, the best answer is: ‘it depends’. Perhaps I will have a full dream tonight and there will be more to say in the morning.
Colin Herd was born in Stirling in 1985 and now lives in Edinburgh. He is a poet, fiction writer and critic. His first collection of poems “too ok” was published by BlazeVOX in 2011. A pamphlet, “like”, was published by Knives, Forks and Spoons Press in 2011 and a second full-length collection ‘Glovebox’, was published by Knives Forks and Spoons Press in 2013. He has published over 60 reviews and articles on art and literature in publications including Aesthetica Magazine, 3:AM Magazine, PN:Review and The Independent. He has read and performed his work widely, including at Rich Mix Arts Centre, The Fruitmarket Gallery, Gay’s the Word Bookshop, Edinburgh University, Lancaster University and The Edinburgh International Book Festival. In 2014, ‘Glovebox’ was highly commended in the Forward Prizes.
Colin Herd & Ryan Van Winkle read ‘I Feel As If’
Inspired by SJ Fowler‘s ‘Camarade’ project which pairs poets to create new work, I’ve stolen the notion and begun to collaborate with friends and writers of interest. You can read about the project and see 2013’s poems here & 2014 poems here.
Auld Enemies was a very special project. Our friend Ross Sutherland has documented the entire experience, and you can watch the 35 minute documentary right here, or head to SJ Fowler’s YouTube channel for all the individual collaborations. Many thanks to everyone involved, please enjoy.
The Enemies project: Auld Enemies was a transnational poetry collaboration where six poets worked in rolling paired to produce original works for readings across the breadth of Scotland and where in each event also featured numerous pairs of writers from the region, who also presented brand new poetry collaborations. Beginning on July 9th and finishing on July 27th, the project visited Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Lerwick and Kirkwall, before a wrapping up in London. Auld Enemies was a groundbreaking exploration of contemporary Scottish poetics through the potential of collaboration. Supported by Creative Scotland
During the tour, Ross Sutherland documented the project in this extraordinary documentary.
Very excited to be working with SJ Fowler once again as part of the Auld Enemies Scottish tour! We’ll be heading all over the country, from Dundee to Kirkwall, it’s going to be an amazing adventure.
July 9th – Dundee – 6pm
Duncan of Jordanstone (studio & foyer space ) University Of Dundee, Perth Rd, Dundee DD1 4HT (with thanks to Peggy Hughes)
Billy Letford & nick-e melville / Ryan Van Winkle & SJ Fowler / Colin Herd & Ross Sutherland
plus AZ Jackson & Lindsay MacGregor / James Stewart & Dawn Wood / Richard Watt & more
July 10th – Glasgow – 8pm
McChulls, 40 High Street (with thanks to Henry Bell)
Ross Sutherland & Ryan Van Winkle / Billy Letford & Colin Herd / nick-e melville & SJ Fowler
plus Thomas Betteridge & Neil Davidson / Katy Hastie, Antony Autumn, Iyad Hayatleh & more
July 11th – Edinburgh – 7pm
Summerhall — Demonstration Room. 1 Summerhall EH9 1PL (with thanks to Jen White)
Colin Herd & Iain Morrison / Billy Letford & Ryan Van Winkle / SJ Fowler & Ross Sutherland
nick-e melville & Jane Goldman / Dave Coates & Rachel McCrum / JL Williams & Elspeth Murray / Luke Allan & Graeme Smith / Karen Veitch & Mike Saunders / Ed Smith & Thomas MacColl / Rob McKenzie & more
July 12th – Aberdeen 7pm Cellar 35, 35 Rosemount Viaduct (with thanks to Gerard Rochford & Richie Brown)
Billy Letford & SJ Fowler / Ryan Van Winkle & Colin Herd / Ross Sutherland & nicke melville
Gerard Rochford & Richie Brown / Maureen Ross & Catriona Macleod / & more
July 14th – Lerwick, The Shetland Islands- 7pm Mareel Arts Centre. ZE1 0WQ (with thanks to Donald Anderson)
Ross Sutherland & nick-e melville / Colin Herd & SJ Fowler / Ryan Van Winkle
Nat Hall & James Sinclair / Donald Murray / Laurajayne Friedlander & more
July 17th – Kirkwall, The Orkney Islands – 7pm Kirkwall Library, 44 Junction Rd, Highlands and Islands, Kirkwall KW15 1AG (with thanks to Pam Beasant)
Ross Sutherland & SJ Fowler / Colin Herd & nick-e melville
Rosemary Merriman, Sylvia Hays, Rosie Alexander, Lydia Harris, Pam Beasant & more
July 26th – London – 7pm The Rich Mix Arts Centre
Ross Sutherland / nick-e melville / Colin Herd / Ryan Van Winkle / SJ Fowler
Emily Berry & John Clegg / Tom Chivers & Roddy Lumsden
Nick Murray & Eley Williams / Vahni Capildeo & Jeremy Noel-Tod
Kirsty Irving & Harry Man / Daisy Lafarge & more
Auld Enemies is a transnational poetry collaboration where six poets will work in rolling pairs to produce original work for readings across the length and breadth of Scotland. Auld Enemies is a groundbreaking exploration of contemporary Scottish poetics through the potential of collaboration.
Auld Enemies will commence with a six date tour of Scotland, taking in Dundee, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Lerwick in the Shetlands and finishing with Kirkwall in the Orkneys. It will conclude with an event in London, at the Rich Mix Arts Centre, on July 26th, which will feature many of the new works from the tour, new collaborations and a documentary screening about Auld Enemies.
Auld Enemies is fundamentally about the creation of new collaborative works and the integration of differing poetic communities, and has only been possible through the generosity of a series of organisational partners, first and foremost Creative Scotland, but also the Scottish Poetry Library, Literary Dundee, Summerhall, Shetland Arts, the Orkney Islands Council and Northlink Ferries.
Please find below the schedule and the poet’s involved, and if possible, do spread the word, and attend all and any of the events you can. ALL EVENTS ARE FREE