Ryan is in Return Flight MEL>EDI

July 1, 2017

My poem ‘To See It You Have To Look Hard’ is in the international anthology Return Flight MEL>EDI, published in Australia by Going Down Swinging.

If you’d like to read the poem, it is here.

Ten artists. Ten writers. Almost 17,000 kilometres of planet in between.

Meet ​Return Flight MEL>EDI​: a cross-continental creative exchange between twenty artists and writers in Melbourne and Edinburgh.

Lap up new art, interviews and words from the likes of Tony Birch, Matto Lucas, Chloe Wilson, Ryan Van Winkle, Jane Flett, Mitch Walder, Roz Bellamy​ and Aimee Fairman​.

Design by Jacqui Hagen.

Curated by Elizaveta Maltseva and produced by Going Down Swinging.

Thanks to our sponsors for making this edition possible.


Ryan’s poems make a Return Flight to Edinburgh

June 8, 2017

My work will be featured this Friday night at the Number Shop – Studios and Gallery. Doors open at 7pm, close late, with a bar run by Edinbrew.

The Number Shop – Studios and Gallery is proud to present RETURN FLIGHT: a cross-continental exhibition, publication and creative exchange between artists and writers in Edinburgh and Melbourne.

~~~ Opening FRIDAY 9th JUNE 7pm – late ~~~
Local heroes Edinbrew will be running a bar on the opening night and we will be selling copies of the project publication also.
Open 10th – 23rd June. 12-5pm daily. Open until 8pm on 23rd.


Artists are often asked to illustrate writing. In RETURN FLIGHT, the process is reversed. We asked ten artists to respond to the idea of ‘place’, before assigning each work to a writer from the opposite city. The writers could respond however they liked, but without the luxury of context: both artwork and artist names were withheld until the end.

The result? A series of compelling and surprising works that suggest our global creative community is tighter than we think.

Roz Bellamy << Molly McEwan
Tony Birch << Alessandro Di Massimo
Aimee Fairman >> Katherine McMahon
Madison Griffiths << Flo Gordon
Phoebe Hearps >> Nick Holdstock
Matto Lucas >> Harry Giles
Mardi Nowak >> Jenny Lindsay
Robert Skinner << Lewis Matheson
Mitch Walder >> Ryan Van Winkle
Chloe Wilson << Natasha Russell
Jane Flett >> Devika Bilimoria


– RETURN FLIGHT MEL-EDI publication is hot off the press, featuring new art and words from the likes of Natasha Russell, Alessandro Di Massimo, Flo Gordon, Molly McEwan and Lewis Matheson.

– The Number Shop is a wheelchair-accessible venue, please find our further accessibility details on Euan’s Guide. If you have any particular access requirements let us know – we want you there.


Ryan is Interviewed in Leopardskin & Limes

November 26, 2015

Last week my awesome friend Jane Flett interviewed me for the magazine Leopardskin & Limes, in which we discuss some of the stuff about how I write, some of my favourite poets and the struggle that comes with putting the moon in a poem.

The Golden Hour Unplugged in Berlin

June 9, 2014

Edinburgh’s premier literary cabaret is coming on tour! 

Join Ryan Van Winkle (Crashaw Award winner and author of Tomorrow, We Will Live Here), Jane Flett (one of Salt’s Best British poets 2012 and author of Quick, to the Hothouse), and Emma Wipperman for some poetry-shaped words, with music by Alex’s Hilarious Enterprises, Drock Productions, and Alfred Ladylike.

What: Golden Hour Unplugged!

When: Saturday 14 June, 8pm

Where: Another Country Berlin, Riemannstr 7, 10961, Berlin

How Much: FREE

Commiserate August – Jane Flett

August 21, 2013

Commiserate is a monthly experiment in poetic collaboration.

August, 2013: Jane Flett

I asked Jane if she’d stay up late with me and write a poem. In my mind, we’d only send work to each other after midnight, perhaps a little tipsy. Of course, we broke the rules and, of course, it didn’t matter. The point was to connect again since Jane now lives in Berlin and I remain (mostly) in Edinburgh. It is strange how people you once saw every day turn into friends you see once a year. And it is a constant surprise to me (because I’m an idiot) – how people grow and talent evolves. Working in this way with Jane reminded me how far we’ve both come since meeting each other many years ago while working at The Forest. After years of sweating in kitchens and drunken reading tours and countless stupid photographs – it was a pleasure to work with Jane Flett, writer.

Night Vision

I want to be left alone
with you to wind
the garters of our once-told tales
and turn the sky like spades.

I am dead and dry inside
and you are moist as midnight
grass. Some star
always in ascension, some mars

boy always going down, it is five
o’clock somewhere so pour
me a fresh glass of glitter and ask
the bears to leave us be, to stop

clearing those soft furred throats.
To choke. It is dark / they’ve seen our fire
all the times I am not here
—a bag hangs high. So, okay

we’ll leave the bears. Okay, I’ll go in.
I’ll tidy my house. Post my letter.
Stand in the kitchen squinting

at the edifice of glass wondering
whether you plot to return or if
the dark is now your bedroom’s

keyhole / should I grasp my
night vision? Is inside
your room the soft centre of

acorn shells, fit for
my finger? I have forgotten
so many sunsets

so many breakfasts, so many
broken fasts at midnight, so many
rules, all the crosswords I’ve ever

tried to own. So many letters
saying yes
the ocean is deep, of course

you want to be outside
on a sunny day
you can find anything you need
in thrushes or rusted bins

but to get astride your sunny
day / I have to trek
six continents from here,

forsake the Pleiades and
combat the tin shards
of the night. The trail

to your door is measured in
fathoms. I enter by sinking
slow, into pressure and black.

Jane says:

For me, this poem started off as a long distance mash note to a friend: Hey. I miss you. Let’s sit up all night talking again about everything. But then it went all strange and unexpected. This is what I like most about writing when a poem is going well—the moments when ideas appear on the page that don’t feel like mine at all but still feel like they’re they only thing that could possibly come next. What? Where did all those bears come from? 

Of course, in collaboration this feeling is much, much greater. I was pushing the poem one way, Ryan was pulling it another, and I think somewhere in the gaps between our intentions, good things appeared. 


Jane Flett is a philosopher, cellist, and seamstress of most fetching stories. Her poetry features in Salt’s Best British Poetry 2012 and is available as a chapbook, Quick, to the Hothouse, from dancing girl press. Her fiction—which Tom Robbins described as “among the most exciting things I’ve read since social networking crippled the Language Wheel”—has been commissioned for BBC Radio, awarded the SBT New Writer Award, and performed at the Edinburgh International Book Festival.

More from Commiserate 2013

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 or call 07784 31 9868 to secure a place. For more details see:

* 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.





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.

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!

  • 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:

Poets Needed — For hybrid photo / poetry project.


CONTACT: See poster below for details:poetsneeded

The Cat’s Gravity by Jane Flett

June 9, 2009

Forest Publications is proud to present a beautiful new chapbook from Jane Flett.

The Cat's Gravity by Jane Flett

The Cat's Gravity by Jane Flett

The Cats’ Gravity is a love story with a cast of subway cars, skinned knees, bitten lips and glitter.  Published alongside a selection of poetry and with original artwork by Tom Moore.

Here’s a sample:

“Suddenly you realise that if you could dare to hold eye contact, you could begin anything. There are entire subways packed with people with whom that is all it would take; catch their eye and hold it tight in your fists, keep it. Once you have it they will follow you anywhere, perhaps leap head-first into clouds that smell of burnt hair and insanity, that curdle like plastic in flames. Can you feel the incredible surge of opportunities, multiplying ferocious and exponential like amoebas? Little wonder you cannot move: you cast your eye downward to books and metro guides, and blush. You realise in an hour you could be anywhere, in the midst of anything. This is so tempting to set in motion, like spitting off bridges or spilling of secrets, you want to shove things into the path of gravity and watch them fall, inexorably; splat.”

Available to buy from the Forest Café (3 Bristo Place) and Word Power Books (43-45 West Nicholson Street), and online at, all for a bargainous £2!

Isbn: 978 0 9556456 6 2

Reel Iraq Events – Coming Soon!

April 27, 2009


“I have heard it said that, if you really want to understand a country and its people, you should watch its films. Against a background of the harrowing images of a war-torn Iraq that flood our media on a daily basis, Reel Iraq offers us the chance to begin to know the people of Iraq – their lives, their culture and their humanity. I very much hope that the people of Scotland will embrace this festival with the openness and warmth for which we are famed.”.

Linda Fabiani MSP

The writers Sinan Antoon, Hussain al-Mozany, Betool Khedairi, Gulala Nouri and Saadi Youssef will be performing a series of readings at the MacDonald Road Library at 5.30pm on the 19th of May and the Forest Café at 8pm on the 20th of May. Come for a rare chance to see modern Iraqi writers reading in Edinburgh!

The MacDonald Road reading will feature prose, poetry and story-telling from:

Sinan Antoon – Poet, Novelist and filmmaker whose novel I’Jaam: An Iraqi Rhapsody was hailed as “a novel par excellence.”

Hussain al-Mozany – Short stories from the effervescent novelist and journalist.

Betool Khedairi – Born in Baghdad to an Iraqi father and Scottish mother. Her first novel, A Sky So Close, had been translated into English, Italian, French and Dutch and is worthy of study.

Gulala Nouri – A magnificent poet with an subtle yet intrepid eye reading new works.

Saadi Youssef – Late 20th century Iraqi literature has been marked by writers such as Saadi Youssef whose poetry has been immensely popular since he started writing at the age of 17. He has published thirty-two collections, a volume of short stories, two novels, several essays, and four volumes of his collected works.

They will be joined at the Forest Café by:

Jane Flett – With her new chapbook!

Faith Nicholson – Spellbinding noises get eaten by bears.

Rob Hearne – guitar originals. Sounds you will like to hear.

For more Reel Iraq Details see:

Golden Hour European Tour — Tell Everyone!

April 16, 2009

flyerForest Publications presents…

The Golden Hour is a literary cabaret which has played to sold-out audiences at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. It is poetry and prose, original eclectic songs and visual amazement. It is physical and mental. It is a reading. It is a gig. It is stunning puppetry. It is a party. It will be in english.

Readers / Writers:

Ryan Van Winkle – poems & stories from the Reader in Residence at the Scottish Poetry Library.

Nick Holdstock – short stories which grow inside you like golden crocuses.

Ericka Duffy – hot new prose from her hot new chapbook called The Succubus!

Benjamin Morris – Poetry and life lessons from the number one gentleman.

Jason Morton – stories that can eat bricks.


Jane Flett – seamstress of most fetching stories.

Music / Song Writers:

Billy Liar – Acoustic + infectious punk.

Hailey Beavis – subtle guitar, a bed for a voice, both personal and touching.

Jed Milroy – singer songwriter and hunter finally back from the Woods.

Withered Hand – intense, eccentric, bittersweet and very wry original songs.


Jonny Berliner – Joyus songs about crustacaens, exhaustion, and gluecose.

Visual Amazement:

Paper Cinema and Kora

A cast of hand-drawn marionettes are magically brought to life. This is what happens at the accidental meeting of inkblots, photocopies, cardboard, angle-poise lamps, the occasional table, video technology, a laptop and a banana box.

Special Guests

Joining us in Berlin will be the amazing all-dancing Exploading DJ & DJ Dirk Markham

Duets: Withered Hand with Hailey Beavis

Duets: Withered Hand with Hailey Beavis


Please tell everyone you know in these cities. We hope to see you there!

29 April – Amsterdam, Cafe Sappho – Vijzelstraat 103 1017 HH (+31 6 17140296). 3 Euros Entry + Free Stolen Stories Book! 8pm – Late

2 May – BerlinStudio54, Oranienburger 54 at Tacheles – 3 Euros Entry + Free Stolen Stories Book! 9Pm – Late.

4 May – ParisShakespeare and Co – 37, Rue Bûcherie, 75005 Paris, France? – 01 43 25 40 93? – Free! 7pm

5 May – LondonThe Camden Head – 100 Camden High Street, (020 7485 4019) – ? 8pm – £3 Entry + Free Stolen Stories Book! 8pm – 11pm

6 May – CambridgeCB2 – 5/7, Norfolk St, Cambridge – £3 Entry + Free Stolen Stories Book! 8Pm – 11pm

April 6th – Golden Hour Tour Fundraiser!

March 25, 2009

ghfundraiserOn Monday, April 6th The Bowery (2 Roxburgh Place), in association with Forest Publications, is hosting a special non-Wednesday edition Golden Hour to raise funds for the Golden Hour European Tour! The more we raise, the further we can take our literary cabaret into the continent, so come along, get a free copy of Stolen Stories, and enjoy Edinburgh’s awesomest literary hoedown. It is a reading. It is a gig. It is a party.

Only £4 on the door, includes a free copy of Stolen Stories, the latest release from Forest Publications!

But who is performing? These people are performing:


Ericka Duffy – hot new prose from her hot new chapbook called Succubus!

Jason Morton – stories that can eat bricks.

Ryan Van Winkle – little poems and long stories from the Reader in Residence at the Scottish Poetry Library.


Jane Flett – seamstress of most fetching stories.


Billy Liar – Acoustic + infectious punk.

Faith Nicholson – spellbinding noises get eaten by bears.

Jed Milroy – singer songwriter and hunter finally back from the Woods.

Withered Hand – intense, eccentric, bitter-sweet and very wry original songs.

plus, surprises on the night for your delectation…

£4 on the door, includes a free copy of Stolen Stories, the latest release from Forest Publications!

The shenanigans start at 8pm! All proceeds help pay for ferries, petrol and sustenance for our upcoming European tour, and every penny will help us take the Golden Hour from Cambridge – Amsterdam – Berlin – Paris – London. So come along to The Bowery!