Golden Hour Goes Toronto!

January 8, 2012

The Golden Hour: Toronto



Edinburgh’s Lit&Music Cabaret Comes to Toronto

Poets read. Musicians play. The audience is incited to revolution—or a stiff drink.



DAMIAN ROGERS: Electrifying. Damian’s poetry is rock’n’roll. Sample: “I say let’s keep wasting our lives and burn/our trash as we go.”

RYAN VAN WINKLE: Award-winning, Edinburgh-dwelling bearded poet. He’ll make you swoon. Sample: “We were fucking/our way up the tower and God saw us coming.”

MATTHEW J. TRAFFORD: Crafter of surreal short stories featuring Jesus clones & mermaids. Sample: “I was born library, where my parents read from opening until closing every day, where they met, where I assume they first coupled.”

TRAPLINESA: banjo. Some poems. Do we need to say more?Sample: “I got so fat they called a crane. Everyone was nice about it, but I was too fat to care.”

NEIL QUIN: The guitarist from Zeus will blow you away with his shiny solo act.

PHANTOM SHORES: Ottawa-based folk rockers with lush harmonies and blazing lyrics. Violin, sex & rock’n’roll.

CHLOE CHARLES: This hypnotizing songstress will leave you spellbound – just try to resist.


AT PLACEBO SPACE. 1409 Bloor Street West, Apt A


I Chose To Listen – Free E-Book

October 13, 2011

I Chose to Listen

I Chose to Listen – New Translations from Reel Festivals 2011 FREE DOWNLOAD

One of the most spectacular things I’ve had a chance to do recently was to work with a cohort of fantastic poets from Lebanon, Scotland and Syria on new translations of each others work. Some of you, I hope, were able to come to our readings in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Beirut. However, if you weren’t, these new translations should give you a taste of contemporary poetry from the region. You’ll also find brand-new work in both English and Arabic from our  friends Tom Pow, William Letford, and Emily Ballou. I also have a few poems inside there. I encourage you to check out this free book.

This free to download e-book (published in association with Forest Publications) features brand new English and Arabic poetry translations from collaboration and performance with the Reel Festivals poets.

From Syria, Golan Haji and Rasha Omran, from Lebanon, Yehya Jaber  and Mazen Maarouf and from Scotland, Tom Pow, Emily Ballou, William Letford and Ryan Van Winkle, along with beautiful Arabic Calligraphy by Everitte Barbee.

We are immensely thankful to Creative Scotland for making this book and all these outcomes possible through the Vital Sparks funding, to the British Council for their sponsorship and ongoing support and to the Scottish Poetry Library, Literature Across Frontiers and all Reel Festivals supporters. Some of these poems, artwork and an exclusive essay by Tom Pow originally appeared in ANON Magazine 8.

As the poet Andrew Philip said: ‘it fairly makes a difference when you know the poetry makes a difference’. We couldn’t agree more and hope you do too.

And that’s not all!

There’s new music from DJ Dolphin Boy and Shooglenifty which you can find here. (Below is a sample)

DJ Dolphin Boy – Ghazi by Reel Festivals


And new films from Roxana Vilk including this one with the mercurial Yehya Jaber:


The Confession a short film by Roxana Vilk from Roxana Vilk on Vimeo.


There’s lots more on the Reel Festivals website including writing from Bill Drummond, more films, live footage etc — make sure to check it out!

Where to Find Ryan In August

July 31, 2011

August Event Roundup

This should be a pretty amazing August. Between parties at Forest and the general buzz of the Edinburgh International Book Festival I’ll be doing a few readings and performances as well as hosting two Golden Hours. There will probably be more but — in the meantime — here’s the dates for your diaries:


Sunday, 7 August — The Naughty Boys at Faceplant, The Forest, 6-9pm, FREE

The Naughty Boys make improvised electro po-noize.  Poems vs computers vs drums vs salvaged keyboards and whatever else we can find. You will come.

The Naughty Boys are:  * DanSeizure on keys and computer loop. * Stevie Paterson on keys and percussion noises. * Ryan Van WinkleSpoken Words.

Also appearing: Alison Smith, Colin Herd, Fiona Soe Paing, Mark Mace Smith, Nuala Watt, Rachel McCrum, ShellSuit Massacre & Sophie Mayer

Thursday, 18 August — The Golden Hour at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, The Spiegeltent, Charlotte Square, 9-11pm, FREE

Live and Kicking in the Spiegeltent! With Kelly Link, William Letford, Joe DunthormeBilly Liar, Mikel Krumins and Earl Grey and the Loose Leaves!!!

Saturday, 20 August — The Edinburgh International Book Festival with Rachael Boast & Will Eaves, Charlotte Square, 8.30-9.30pm, £7/5

Considering all the things they’ve done, it is perhaps surprising that these three talented poets are only now publishing their debut collections. Will Eaves is an established author and Arts Editor of The Times Literary Supplement; Ryan Van Winkle is host of the much-loved Edinburgh literary evening The Golden Hour; and Rachael Boast has a PhD in Creative Writing from St Andrews University. Join them to hear how their experiences translate into fresh, exuberant, thought-provoking new verse.

Sunday, 21 August — Edgelands — a conference from the borders of performance, 11am-7pm at The Forest Fringe, FREE

A ‘flash-conference’ on topics such as public perception of art, theatre, performance and the audience. I’ll be discussing ‘How can we stop making capitalism?’ with other interesting people. For more details, visit the Edgelands website. It should be interactive and exciting!  This day is not about railing against authority or the great institutions of the arts. It is a day for everybody to gather at the edges of those big institutions and organisations, on equal terms. To ask daring questions and suggest implausible answers. To share a spirit of generosity and a galvanising sense of hope; that despite or perhaps because of the political, financial and environmental circumstances in which we find ourselves, the arts can and will play a part in imagining and realising a better possible future.

Wednesday , 24 August — The Golden Hour , The Forest, FREE – 1pm – 3am

Here it is — the last ever Golden Hour at the Forest Cafe at 3 Bristo Place. After this marathon event, we’re going to all rest up and think about new ways to do what we love — mixing poetry, stories, cartoons, music, drunkeness and dancing. In the meantime — you’ll have this massive event to remember us by — featuring: Tom Pow, Jonny Berliner, William Letford, Emily Ballou, Robin Grey, Anna Crowe, Ericka Duffy, Kirstin Innes, John Glenday, The Little Big Band, Alan Bissett, The Ghost of Joseph Seal, Jed Milroy & Hailey Beavis, Paper Cinema, Jason Morton, Jane Flett, Toby Mottershead, Jen and the Gents and Dolphin Boy + much more including films by Roxana Pope and some special Reel Festivals gubbins. You will want to buy a hamburger.

Friday, 26 August — Words Per Minute at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, The Spiegeltent, Charlotte Square, 9-11pm, FREE

Join your hosts, Kirstin Innes, Kirsty Logan and Helen Sedgwick for an evening of special treats where all performers get ten minutes to impress the audience – no matter how famous they are. Expect the unexpected and some familiar faces at WPM at Unbound including, novelist, playwright and dazzling performer, Alan Bissett and American author Adam Levin and other American — me.



June Golden Hour – Full Frontal

June 15, 2011

The Golden Hour

22 June, 8pm, The Forest, Edinburgh

Free. BYOB.

Ladies and gentlemen — join us for the first in the final trilogy of monthly Golden Hour Events. We promise the usual melange of zesty new words, honourable music and visual rubbish all in a beautiful space. Bring yourself. Bring friends. Bring booze. This is a night we can not prepare you for.  Words from: Tracey Emerson (The Short-Story Doctor is In!), Richie McCaffrey (young poems with a familial lustre) & Gavin BowdWith Music From:  BenOfficial (electro art performance for which you are all woefully unprepared), Doug Johnstone (acoustic and solo and acoustic and alone), & Jade and the Jacks – Pure, relentless, funky fun. You will hot up.



Golden Hour – March 23rd – FREE

March 20, 2011

GOLDEN HOUR 23rd March, 8pm   This month with:  Amy Yang - New voice, new poems. Morag Edward — dark modern Scottish urban fiction. Robin J. Thompson — Leave Your humanity at the door. Robin launches “Leave Your humanity at the door.”  Jen and the Gents —- Poppy loveliness which warms all the cold bits.Panda Su — raw emotional honesty and blunt lyricism framed with an impressive array of strange and wonderful instruments.The Chans — unstoppable, upbeat Scottish Soul Music! Boom!

23rd March, 8pm


This month with:

Rosie Phenix-Walker – New voice, new stories.
Morag Edward — dark modern Scottish urban fiction.

Robin J. Thompson — Leave Your humanity at the door. Robin launches “Leave Your humanity at the door.”

Jen and the Gents —- Poppy loveliness which warms all the cold bits.
Panda Su — raw emotional honesty and blunt lyricism framed with an impressive array of strange and wonderful instruments.
The Chans — unstoppable, upbeat Scottish Soul Music! Boom!

We Go Glasgow!

February 9, 2011


Margins Book and Music Festival

presented by Cargo and Forest Publishing
February 19th, 2011
Stereo, Glasgow
4pm – 6pm

Readings From:
Ryan Van Winkle — Long stories and short poems from The Scottish Poetry Library’s Reader in Residence. His book ‘Tomorrow, We Will Live Here’ was recently published by Salt.

Nick Holdstock — The prose writer and journalist holds his strong meat. His fiction has appeared in The Southern Review, Stand and Northwords Now. He has written about China for the London Review of Books and N+1 and his book on China (The Tree That Bleeds) will be published by Luath Press in early 2011.

Ericka Duffy — hot new prose from this photographer, film-maker, poet and general renaissance woman.

Music From:
Small Feet, Little Toes — a solo acoustic performance – strum strum, sing sing

Billy Liar — Acoustic + infectious lyrical punk fury.

Toby Mottershead — a rare solo set from the Black Diamond Express frontman. Old time rock n’ roll goes stomp box blues.

Golden Hour Gets Lyrical in Feb!

February 7, 2011

THE GOLDEN HOUR gets lyrical!

with performances by writers with work that sings and bands who provide thought provoking words with brilliant chops.

February 16th, 2011
Forest Cafe, 3 Bristo Pl
Free! Free! Free! (byob)


Kei Miller – sings a song of light.

Jim Carruth – Scotland’s leading rural poet brings the lyric.

Rodge Glass – The novelist who fronts a band.


Burnt Island – folk pop laments!

Endor – They sing and play drums, guitars, glockenspiel, harmonica, melodica, organ, rhodes, portasound , sticks and stones. They like science, books and the flashing of cameras.


Manje – time travellers/musicians on a quest to discover altered states of musical adventures.

Let’s get Lyrical!

Golden Hour – Winter Warmer.

December 9, 2010

THE GOLDEN HOUR gets fa-la-la-la festive!

December 15th, 2010
Forest Cafe, 3 Bristo Pl
Free! Free! Free! (byob)


Samuel Taradash + Jarred McGinnis – Release a special double chapbook, boom!

Jason Morton – the annual roar

Tim Turnbull – Beware the tinselled Succubus

Ben Lancaster – Live from Canada with Holiday Tidings.


Pockets & Alex — Fantastic Uke Boogies!!!

Forest Choir – A full chorale opens their lungs.

John Langan Band – Do you like the party?

Feel Good – Buy a Book

December 8, 2010

Good Books are Chapbooks

In our continued quest to keep The Forest alive and in Edinburgh (you DO know, Berlin and Bristol are nice cities too, folks!) I remind you that Forest Publications has supported a lot of great writers through the publication of beautiful chapbooks. These are excellent, reasonably priced collections of stories and poems which we’ll mail to you in time for the holidays. This is just one of the many ways that The Forest has helped support Edinburgh’s artistic community over the past decade. I bet you are curious about what else The Forest has done. I’m glad you asked. You can download this brilliant press pack to learn all about why YOU (yep, unfortunately, Forest needs YOU) should dig deep and  pitch in. Here’s the Press Pack. And here’s a link to the Guardian Blog which is growing every day. And, below, you’ll find a list of all the chapbooks we’ve made and links to where you can buy them. All proceeds will go to the Buy The Forest funds.



Forest Publications
3 for £5 Special Deal!

Item Details: A selection of three chapbooks from the Forest Publications Chapbook series for a bargainous £5! Choose which ones you want  and we’ll ship them right to you. (Or leave it blank and we’ll send you our favourites!) Save on postage by buying in bulk!

Choose THREE Issues: 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 1.51, 1.52, 1.6, 1.7, 1.8, 1.9, 1.10, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, 2.5, 2.6, 2.7

Amount: £5+ P&P

Item Details: Vol.2 Iss.7 ‘Swimming Pools and Gardens’
Author: Nalini Paul

Excerpt from The Speaking Sea

White breakers send words
convey messages for miles
waves murmur blue lament.

The swell sighs
breathes meaning
exhales anticipation.” Read more!

Amount: £2 + P&P

Item Details: Vol.2 Iss.6 ‘It Starts So Sweetly’
Author: Lynsey May

Excerpt from A Taste
“…you were not like anyone who’d been this close before and not at all the way I imagined, and the buzzing in my head was so loud I didn’t know why you froze. Until I heard my mum shouting hello from the hall as she laid down crinkling plastic bags of shopping. We embarked…” Read more!

Amount: £2 + P&P

Item Details: Vol.2 Iss.5 ‘Mosquitoes’
Author: Krystelle Bamford

from The House at Westerly, Rhode Island
The house was the sea.
Or a ship on the sea.
Or a deer-blind
deep in the woods.
From the deck, they watch bitterns
skulk at the hem of vernal pools,
while green-heads
bomb through the dusk.
Read more!

Amount: £2 + P&P

Item Details: Vol.2 Iss.4 ‘Chicks Dig Scars’
Author: Katie Craig

I will never pull hair from a plug-hole without thinking of the ovarian cyst Celia had. It was made entirely out of hair and teeth – apparently that’s what cells find it easiest to mutate into… Read more!

Amount: £2 + P&P

Item Details: Vol.2 Iss.3 ‘Snow’
Author: Chloe Morrish

bare trees, a crow shape
neatly cut out of the snow
behind it, the dark

the snowflake symbols
on the weather forecast
are all identical…
Read more!

Amount: £2 + P&P

Item Details: Vol.2 Iss.2 ‘Parallax (For Justin)’
Author: Helen Mort

From While You Weren’t Listening
I heard the glass
say to the tabletop:
I like the way you hold me.
I heard the table
answer back:
I like the way you feel.
The barstools
thanked the floor
for all the nights it propped them up…
Read more!

Amount: £2 + P&P

Item Details: Vol.2 Iss.1 ‘The Ones You’ve Had, The Ones You Get & The Ones You Want’
Author: Lawrie Clapton

Excerpt: There are plenty of great ways to introduce a story; you can start with a death, like Albert Camus, or you can start with rainfall, like Edgar Allen Poe, or a wedding, or an introduction, or an elaborate pratfall, drunk, down a set of stairs. Being original and being clever were never my strong suits – besides it should probably be with what you remember best that you start off a story. I remember the songs the best. This song is My Generation, by The Who, and… Read more!

Amount: £2 + P&P

Item Details: Vol.1 Iss.10 ‘Vignettes from Below’
Author: Julia Boll

Excerpt: When the fires broke out, I was so high on endorphins I didn’t even notice the overwhelming stench of smoke. We had been sleeping on the roof of a warehouse, and Sean had woken me up by crawling into my sleeping bag and pushing up my shirt, his hair still smelling of the river, of oil and amphibian nightmares. But his hands were warm and insistent, and what he said was so filthy I momentarily forgot where we were.
So, yes. While the government set fire to its capital city, I was being fucked silly on top of the bonded store,…
Read more!

Amount: £2 + P&P

Item Details: Vol.1 Iss.9 ‘Dreams of the City’
Author: Kirsti Wishart

Excerpt: The final straw was lying in wait for them on the doormat when they came back after a fortnight’s holiday. Both of them had taken turns trying to barge the door open until James brought out the thin wooden spatula Chris had laughed at him for taking. ‘See. Told you this would come in handy.’ After a good two minutes of shoving, the wad of paper jammed in the gap between door and floor, gave and… Read more!

Amount: £2 + P&P

Item Details: Vol.1 Iss.8 ‘The Island’
Author: Craig Bayne

Excerpt: As the plane descended through clouds, and geometric wisps of coastline opened up before us, I looked down, taking in the enormity of the bible-black sea. We lowered, and the sharp colourless rocks of the cliff edge swung into view, stabbing up from the breaking waves. When I was a child, my father told me stories of brave seamen who, having disrespected the water with boasts of their own brilliance, had been wrecked upon these very rocks and drowned only metres from the island’s shore. I believed him, in the way a child always believes his father, and even today the fear lingered in me. Looking down from the sky, I still felt my own inferiority to the waves. Read more!

Amount: £2 + P&P

Item Details: Vol.1 Iss.7 ‘Old and New’
Author: Jason Harrison Morton

Excerpt: I then drank in relative peace, until the requisite thoughts when I’m alone in any crowded place kicked in: What the hell am I doing here? Who are these people? Look at that guy – he looks like a dick. Wandering around the room, stirring around these unanswerable questions, and arguing with myself – maybe he just LOOKS like a dick – brings me back round, and the two girls both look at me and laugh – this time I’m certainly being fucked with – when I realize they’re right in front of me… Read more!

Amount: £2 + P&P

Item Details: Vol.1 Iss.6 ‘The Last Refuge’
Author: Russell Jones

Excerpt: from Ghazal Jigsaw

From the small, closed window of our study table the stars are set
like the pieces of your space jigsaw. I ask if you’re any closer. The stars are set

you mutter as you slot another nook into the realised corner, and yet
you seem unsure which cosmos you’ve just pieced together. The stars are set

upon like foxes: your hands are hungry dogs. Your eyes are ready trumpets…Read more!

Amount: £2 + P&P

Item Details: Vol.1 Iss.5.2 ‘Find It In The Dictionary’
Author: Fiona Morrison

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

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… Read more!

Amount: £2 + P&P

Item Details: Vol.1 Iss.5.1 ‘Cover Story’
Author: Dave Coates

Excerpt: from Train to London

I give you birchwood. I give you
the white flowers of hawthorn.
I give you witchhazel and alder
with sunlight strobing through their branches.
You give me the fuzz-yellow buzzcut fields,
heather like coral, gaps in stone walls, a scarecrow,
faces of cliffs like ellipses, the sea,
the sea…
Read more!

Amount: £2 + P&P

Item Details: Vol.1 Iss.4 ‘The Cats’ Gravity’
Author: Jane Flett

Excerpt: Suddenly you realize 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 headfirst 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? Read more!

Amount: £2 + P&P

Item Details: Vol.1 Iss.3 ‘Here’s To Wang’
Author: Sandra Alland

Excerpt: from Sliced

Amy Winehouse sits on a patio in Camden Town. She is drinking. Amy Winehouse is in love again

In the recording studio, the sound man sheds a tear. This woman can sing. She also has fresh scabs up and down her left arm…
Read more!

Amount: £2 + P&P

Item Details: Vol.1 Iss.2 ‘The Succubus’
Author: Ericka Duffy

Excerpt: Annika absentmindedly inspects the tear in the center of the cushion. She trails her fingernails down it, feeling, abstractly, as though the vinyl is skin, and the sponge inside guts, when she notices a crumpled piece of paper wedged down the side of the booth. She pries it out. It resembles a white carnation before she smooths the page against the tabletop… Read more!

Amount: £2 + P&P

Item Details: Vol.1 Iss.1 ‘The Wolves’
Author: David Gow

Excerpt: Arch couldn’t rest. There was a wolf on the mountain that took his grouse and killed his deer and sometimes came down murderously amongst his farmer’s sheep. It was not a real wolf but an animal descended from the dogs he’d turned out to die or go feral, so it was no mystery why it knew and despised him especially… Read more!

Amount: £2 + P&P

A Note To Our Overseas Customers:

If you’re buying more than one selection at a time to be dispatched abroad, you’ll find that our shopping-cart lacks the sophistication to combine the postage, but if you would care to send us an email at, either before or after you order, we will work out something more reasonable [BUT please be aware that our helpdesk isn’t manned 24/7, so please be patient in that regard. Thanks for supporting Forest Publications!!]

Steal Stories / Buy Forest

December 5, 2010

Save The Forest / Steal the Stories

As many of you know — The Forest is in real danger of losing their premises to property developers who may turn this vital community space into a Tesco, Costa Coffee, or Pub / Club Complex a la Frankenstein’s. Currently, The Forest is seeking community support and donations in order to BUY THE BUILDING and ensure there is an open and free social space for artists and organizers of all sorts to meet and play. Please help The Forest by making a donation or — if you can’t donate — consider Stolen Stories as an excellent Stocking Stuffer. It is crammed with great stories, has a beautiful cover by Martin McKenna and fits right in your pocket. Like all good stolen things. Love the arts / support the arts.  You can read more about The Forest campaign on The Guardian Blog.


Description: Never, ever trust a writer. They cluck and nod and listen and then, three months later, they splash your tragedy/foolishness/very embarrassing incident involving a raspberry jelly and a pair of warm curling tongs over the tawdry pages of a literary quarterly. We feel there is no shame in this.

Quite the opposite: we believe this ugly fact deserves to be celebrated with all the pomp and hullaballoo we can possibly muster. Therefore we have compiled an anthology of the finest stolen stories, the anecdotes and overheard conversations that simply demand to be told. We feel that it is time to be honest.

This is where our ideas come from. Read more!


‘A good series of entertaining stories.’ [Nat Smith, The Skinny]

Interview at Books from Scotland

Featured Authors:

  • Applesauce, Angus Woodward
  • Down on Luck, Lindsay Bower
  • Not Dead Yet, Lily? Ron Butlin
  • A Tree Guards the Road, Lucille Valentine
  • Covers, Rusty Harris
  • One Story Only, Alison Miller
  • I Would Never Eat a Tapir, Sarah Salway
  • Suck, Blow, Lauren Simpson
  • Tandem, Dinh Vong
  • Not Even an Ambulance Can Save You, Jo Swingler
  • The Death Queue, Regi Claire
  • Story, Louis E. Bourgeois
  • Red Wagon, Nicole Reid
  • King of Kings (of Leon), Craig Bayne
  • What is it That You Want? Alison Key
  • Teehanu, Nick Holdstock