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August is the Cruellest Month

July 27, 2009

Well, T.S. Eliot might beg to differ but, to me, “August is the cruellest month.” At least if you live in Edinburgh and haven’t fled to find peace in the Highlands or Greek islands or anywhere but here. For those of you, like me, who are still kicking around and are willing to risk getting the evil Fringe Fever here are some good free poetic and literary happenings to keep you busy. I’m involved in most these things in some way so do come along, say hello, and tell me what shows not to see. Also — below are details on new books from Forest Publications and Read This Press + Calls for Submissions.

 

 

* Thursday 30 July — 6.30pm, Free —- Edinburgh Central Library —- James Kelman reading from and talking about his book Kieron Smith, boy which has bagged a swathe of prizes.

 

FREE but ticketed and booking is essential. Email helen@bridgereadings.net or call 07784 31 9868 to secure a place. For more details see: www.bridgereadings.net

* Friday 7th August — 6pm, Free — Edinburgh Central Library —- Words and Music from Cool America with Don Paterson: American poetry chosen by poet Don Paterson and read by distinguished film actor Angus MacInnes backed by a full-on jazz band! Followed by the brilliant St. Jude’s Infirmary with their dark dreamy swirl of literate melodic beauty. And, I’m honoured to be reading a poem with the band so you must come. Also, free booze. Basically — Not to be missed!

  • Friday 14 August — 2pm, Free — Edinburgh Books — Jim Haynes: A Roving Life — Jim Haynes is a living legend. Flâneur, writer, publisher, former bookshop owner and host to thousands over the years he’s spent welcoming strangers to his Parisian atelier for Sunday dinner, his is a life more spectacular than most. We can’t wait to hear his tales, in conversation with Ryan Van Winkle.

 

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Wednesday 26 August, 12 – 3pm, Free — St. Andrew’s Square: Poetry in St Andrew Square

A very special poetry event: Our Poetic Orators will wander the gardens offering up poems to picnickers and passers by. In the old oral tradition — our performers will entertain and inspire. Come to listen, come to enjoy. www.spl.org.uk

New Books From Forest Publications and Read This + Call for Submissions:

  • Three New Chapbooks from Forest Publications: Wow! Now available are chapbooks from Fiona Morrison, Dave Coates and Russell Jones. Only two pounds and available at The Forest Shop. Very limited print-runs so snap up your copies now and come in to browse our other books from Edinburgh writers such as David Gow, Jane Flett, Ericka Duffy and Sandra Alland. Collect them all!http://ryanvanwinkle.com/two-new-chapbooks-from-forest-publications/

  • Sharks Don’t Sleep is the title of the brand new chapbook from New Jersey-based spoken word poet Eric Hamilton, and it’s published by Read This Press.  Described as “a book that crackles with life,” and “a grimy, romantic and fucking funny look at the world,” Sharks Don’t Sleep is a beautiful 32-page chapbook, hand-made with high quality cardstock covers and embellished with a black ribbon bookmark and original artwork. Find out more here: http://www.readthispress.com

Poets Needed — For hybrid photo / poetry project.

SUBMISSION DEADLINE: 10TH OCT 2009

CONTACT: poemillustrated@gmail.com See poster below for details:poetsneeded

Two New Chapbooks from Forest Publications

July 25, 2009

morrison_coverTwo hot new chapbooks have been released by Forest Publications, the short story Find it in the Dictionary by Fiona Morrison, and a collection of poems, Cover Story by Dave Coates.

Morrison’s story follows the lives of a brother and sister, disjointed over the years by war,  pregnancy,  illness and the insistent trauma of the family dictionary.

Here’s a taste:

dandelion, dan’di-li-en, n. a common yellow-flowered composite (Taraxacum officinale) with jagged-toothed leaves. [Fr. dent de lion, lion-tooth]

It was the first word she’d looked up in the dictionary and the first flower she’d ever picked. How the white whiskers that floated softly through the wind were anything like lions’ teeth she did not know. As she lay on the ground to reach the mass of white flowers that strained upwards to break free from the edge of the towering cliff, she had leaned in for the kill and blown them completely bare. All except one. Her hair hung over the side of the dark rock, striving to dip its curling ends into the black waves, but it was given to the wind and not the sea as she stood up quickly with the largest dandelion – the chosen one – and ran home.

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Dave’s collection comprises ten poems, arranged in three loose sections – Life, Death and Belfast. Here is one from the Belfast chapter, “Giant’s Causeway”:

Giant’s Causeway

Mist crawled upwards from the surface,
the cluttered sky turned grey and we retired
from the tectonic sea and gathering smirr
to a pub you knew. Only the birds knew
what the sea had said, what it kept to itself.
Earlier that morning a hundred feet above the basalt,
I caught my breath and followed you
a few steps behind along the machair.
You gave nothing away as you gathered
palm-sized stones from a cairn by the cliff-face.
I named haresfoot, razorbills, chimney-stacks,
causeway tales. You sent skimmers over
the cliffs as I yammered, disguising
cover-stories in the tide’s howl and skirl.

Both books and more are available at The Forest Shop — 3 Bristo Place, Edinburgh, 0131 220 4538 and will be availible on-line shortly.

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