Archive | September, 2014

Poetry Map Poem 58: Balmadies

30 Sep

Balmadies: Where Constable meets Monet
Here, the hill is green not tarmac.
Old stones are parked not cars. Here,
the beech and cherry whisper yes, yes,
no streetlight buzz. Here, a quiet young fox,
and no barking dog. Here, turquoise damsels
not blue bottles. Here, it’s deer and buzzard
that dance, not plastic bags and empty cans.
Owls, bats and no drunken brawls. Here,
among the children’s den and new bower,
an abandoned old cart, a lily pond in a field.

Kevin Reid

 

To view our Map of Scotland in Poems as it grows, see https://stanzapoetry.wordpress.com/2014/07/13/the-map-revealed/ . For more information on this project, and on how to submit a poem, see https://stanzapoetry.wordpress.com/2014/07/04/mapping-scotland-in-poetry/.

All poems on our poetry map of Scotland and on the StAnza Blog are subject to copyright and should not be reproduced otherwise without the poet’s permission.

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Poetry Map Poem 57: Glasgow

29 Sep

Social Climbing
(The Bearsden/Drumchapel Divide)

Up Pendicle hill. One morning,
could have been the first of May,
chasing dewdrops to wash my face in,
put on a bright new skin.

I couldn’t have been more than fourteen.

Leaving at my back the sandy flats
of Connolly’s desert.
Walking to Bearsden
With a thirst for ambrosia.

I can’t believe I’m fifty-four.

It’s a long climb up Pendicle
when you’re rolling this stone.
Still shaking the sand out of my shoes,
the quick and the dead.

Carol McKay

Social climbing was published in Cutting Teeth magazine in 2001

To view our Map of Scotland in Poems as it grows, see https://stanzapoetry.wordpress.com/2014/07/13/the-map-revealed/ . For more information on this project, and on how to submit a poem, see https://stanzapoetry.wordpress.com/2014/07/04/mapping-scotland-in-poetry/.

All poems on our poetry map of Scotland and on the StAnza Blog are subject to copyright and should not be reproduced otherwise without the poet’s permission.

Poetry Map Poem 56: Rackwick, Orkney

28 Sep

Ghost
for John Bremner

Cradled between rose cliff, churning sea and vast open sky
Our valley dreamed away the centuries, brimming with hope and honey.
Crofter wrestled wave and wind, wrought bere-stalk and a living;
Lobster tangled with creel, dying for the giving.
Sea and land riches fed our bones well – forever, I thought.

I grew. I left. I died.
Now: here, a roof fallen,
There, another resurrected for the new tranquillity-seeker.

Croft and fish forsaken; still stone and curlew linger,
And Craa-nest, grey-green, melts into its hill,
A museum-jar of our lives, for the curious wanderer
And the odd homesick ghost.

Sue Mara

To view our Map of Scotland in Poems as it grows, see https://stanzapoetry.wordpress.com/2014/07/13/the-map-revealed/ . For more information on this project, and on how to submit a poem, see https://stanzapoetry.wordpress.com/2014/07/04/mapping-scotland-in-poetry/.

All poems on our poetry map of Scotland and on the StAnza Blog are subject to copyright and should not be reproduced otherwise without the poet’s permission.

Poetry Map Poem 55: River Annan

25 Sep

The Minister’s Pool

It wasn’t just the downhill run,
flung flying along the wooded path,
that pulled us to the river every summer
as soon as the trees wore soft green,
wild garlic flowered, the sky as blue as mattered.
The water shocking, but survivable with many tries,
or one brave plunge.

It wasn’t just the life-thick cold current that tugged us,
kept trying to drag us to the pool
across the shallows
from our chest-deep swimming place.
The safe place, where soft weed and slippy algae
cushioned stones for our timid feet
that curious minnows nibbled, tickled.
The edge was never far.

It wasn’t just the lurking corner whirlpool of local lore
that scared the swimming power right out of me,
the pool’s depth renowned, greater with every telling.
The cold like a spell to pull me fish-deep,
as I gasped and fought to keep the surface,
the dark concealing primal fears, unspeakable
but with a stronger lure than adults’ warnings
could hold me from.

It wasn’t just its safety
that drew you to the sandstone ledge you’d reach
if you dared to cross and push and pull
yourself right out the sucking water
into the shadow of the massive, ancient,
overhanging oak tree, to seek a warm spot.
Exhausted, weed-specked,
heavy as a new-born.

Katy Ewing

Previously published in Southlight 12

To view our Map of Scotland in Poems as it grows, see https://stanzapoetry.wordpress.com/2014/07/13/the-map-revealed/ . For more information on this project, and on how to submit a poem, see https://stanzapoetry.wordpress.com/2014/07/04/mapping-scotland-in-poetry/.

All poems on our poetry map of Scotland and on the StAnza Blog are subject to copyright and should not be reproduced otherwise without the poet’s permission.

Dundee Literary Festival 2014

24 Sep

8 logoThinking about heading over the Tay for poetry at this year’s Dundee Literary Festival? They would love to see you here. The festival runs from 22nd to 26th October and you can get full details online at http://issuu.com/dundeelitfest/docs/final/0

Meantime for StAnza fans here is a summary of the poetry on the Dundee programme, including events featuring Joseph Lee and J.O. Morgan, which follow on nicely from this year’s StAnza:

Wednesday 22nd October

7.30pm: Joseph Lee, War Poet, Bonar Hall WWI poet Joseph Lee was famous in his own lifetime, but the Dundonian has since been forgotten. A new anthology of his work will bring him back to public attention. Free | tickets: http://www.buyat.dundee.ac.uk/browse/extra_info.asp?compid=1&modid=1&catid=423&prodid=1896

Thursday 23rd October

10 – 12am: Pitch Live: Kirsty Gunn and Lindsay MacGregor, Bonar Hall Award-winning author Kirsty Gunn and Lindsay MacGregor will be giving advice on pitching your book to publishers, agents and the wider public. A rare and exciting chance to work with experts to hone your pitch before taking your work out into the world and finding it a home. Free | tickets: http://www.buyat.dundee.ac.uk/browse/extra_info.asp?compid=1&modid=1&catid=424&prodid=1906

1pm: Poem and a Piece: Michael Schmidt, Bonar Hall Born in Mexico in 1947, Michael Schmidt was educated at Harvard and Wadham College, Oxford. He is editorial and managing director of Carcanet Press Limited, the literary publishing house dealing in particular with poetry, and he is general editor of PN Review, the literary journal now in its fourth decade. Michael has also written two novels and, as a literary historian, several books charting the lives of writers. He’ll tell us more about his latest book The Novel: A Biography later today (p13) but for now it’s all about his own poems, and a fascinating and diverse life with words, in conversation with Maggie McKernan. £5 (includes lunch) | tickets: http://www.buyat.dundee.ac.uk/browse/extra_info.asp?compid=1&modid=1&catid=424&prodid=1908

5.30pm: New Writing Showcase MLitt Creative Writers – the cream of the University of Dundee’s MLitt crop strut their stuff. Free, drop in
Friday 24th October

11am: Bounce and Tickle, Bonar Hall Rhyme, songs and stories for little ones aged 0-12 months. Come parents, come carers, come babies and join our wee party! Free | tickets: http://www.buyat.dundee.ac.uk/browse/extra_info.asp?compid=1&modid=1&catid=425&prodid=1915

5.30pm: Writing Showcase: Scottish Book Trust, Ms Battenberg’s Tea Room, Bonar Hall Scottish Book Trust’s New Writer Awardees – Edinburgh- based poet Andrew Sclater; Edinburgh-based novelist Lynsey May, Dundee’s own Rob Currie, and Lucy Ribchester, whose debut novel The Hourglass Factory will be published in 2015 by Simon & Schuster. Free, drop in

6.30pm: Books for Doctors and Doctors in Books, Bonar Hall Sir Kenneth Calman, Diana Hendry and Lesley Morrison Doctors and illness lie at the heart of many great stories, from Irvine Welsh to Robert Burns, and their connection goes deeper than just the page. Examining the link between words and medicine are the hugely influential Sir Kenneth Calman, who uncovers this relationship in his new book, A Doctor’s Line. Tools of the Trade is an anthology of poetry published by the Scottish Poetry Library and issued to every graduating medic in Scotland in 2014, introduced today by poet Diana Hendry and Lesley Morrison. Please join us! £3/2 | tickets: full price: http://www.buyat.dundee.ac.uk/browse/extra_info.asp?compid=1&modid=1&catid=425&prodid=1922 concessions: http://www.buyat.dundee.ac.uk/browse/extra_info.asp?compid=1&modid=1&catid=425&prodid=1973

8.30pm: Culture Laser Live, Bonar Hall Weekly podcast series, The Multi-Coloured Culture Laser, enters the festival fray for a night of performance, discussion, drinking, and hilarious October action. Host Ryan Van Winkle, poet and cultural behemoth from the United States of America via Auld Reekie, welcomes a selection of guests to take to the sofa with him for some beautiful bookish chat. A podcast experience for your ears & your hearts– done live and before your very eyes. Free | tickets: http://www.buyat.dundee.ac.uk/browse/extra_info.asp?compid=1&modid=1&catid=425&prodid=1924

Saturday 25th October

10am: Whaleback City Walking Tour, meet at Bonar Hall Dundee’s first Makar (poet laureate for the city) W.N. (Bill) Herbert invites you on a tour of Dundee by poetry. Co-editor of Whaleback City, Bill will take you on a tour of our city of Discovery in verse in this illuminating morning in the company of the city’s finest wordsmiths, present, past and lang deid. £3/2 | tickets: full price: http://www.buyat.dundee.ac.uk/browse/extra_info.asp?compid=1&modid=1&catid=426&prodid=1927 concessions: http://www.buyat.dundee.ac.uk/browse/extra_info.asp?compid=1&modid=1&catid=426&prodid=1975

1pm: Poem and a Piece: Tom Pow and Brian Johnstone, Bonar Hall Tom Pow’s six months as writer in residence at the National Library of Scotland Map Library in Edinburgh inspired his latest collection, Concerning the Atlas of Scotland: one for map lovers as well as poetry fans. Brian Johnstone’s third full collection, Dry Stone Work, is personal and exploratory, full of rural landscapes, music, movies, Europe and the distant past. A lunchtime adventure guaranteed from the comfort of the Bonar Hall. £5 (includes lunch) | tickets: http://www.buyat.dundee.ac.uk/browse/extra_info.asp?compid=1&modid=1&catid=426&prodid=1935

5.30pm: Writing Showcase: Nethergate Writers, Ms Battenberg’s Tea Room, Bonar Hall Nethergate writers – a longstanding creative writing group who meet regularly under the auspices of the University of Dundee’s Continuing Education Department, will read from their latest anthology of new work, Watermarks. Free, drop in

9pm: New Portsound, Bonar Hall New Portsound has been running for six years in the far-off outpost of Newport on Tay. Dedicated to bringing quality new Scottish independent music to an appreciative and intimate crowd, New Portsound is delighted to host a night as part of the Dundee Literary Festival. The enthralling line up will be announced soon, but expect an exciting combination of music, spoken word and visuals. £4/3: tickets: full price: http://www.buyat.dundee.ac.uk/browse/extra_info.asp?compid=1&modid=1&catid=426&prodid=1943 concessions: http://www.buyat.dundee.ac.uk/browse/extra_info.asp?compid=1&modid=1&catid=426&prodid=1984

Sunday 26th October

1pm: Kei Miller: Poem and a Piece, Bonar Hall Kei Miller, born in Jamaica in 1978, writes across a range of genres: poetry, novels, books of short stories and essays. His poetry has been shortlisted for awards such as John Llewellyn Rhys Prize, the Dylan Thomas Prize and the Scottish Book of the Year. An unforgettable performer, today Kei will read from his 2014 collection, The Cartographer Tries to Map a Way to Zion, which was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best Collection 2014. A wonderful performer. In partnership with the Department of Geography £5 (includes lunch) | tickets: http://www.buyat.dundee.ac.uk/browse/extra_info.asp?compid=1&modid=1&catid=427&prodid=1948

2pm: J.O. Morgan & Ishbel McFarlane, Bonar Hall

It begins with crows, black flecks against the blue

‘J. O. Morgan’s At Maldon is a riff on the Old English poem: inventive, striking and memorable. And a reminder that Morgan is one of the most original poets around.’ – Andrew Motion. Come hear the whole glorious poem out loud, co-performed for the first time in full with actor Ishbel McFarlane.

£3/2 | tickets: full price: http://www.buyat.dundee.ac.uk/browse/extra_info.asp?compid=1&modid=1&catid=427&prodid=1950 concessions: http://www.buyat.dundee.ac.uk/browse/extra_info.asp?compid=1&modid=1&catid=427&prodid=1989

Poetry Map Poem 54: Aberdeen

24 Sep

Aberdeen

(After Epithets by Jamie McKendrick)

Aberdeen the isolate, the quartz-worked-with-difficulty, the obdurate,
the sea road to Zetland, the Apardjon of Morkinskinna, the salt-breathed,
the grey, the scarlet-gowned, the double-universitied, the black-golded,
the helicoptered, the ‘unclean’ of ’64, the low maintenance stone sheen, the solid.

Aberdeen the butteried, the bon accord-ed, the ashet-assiette, the bosie,
the river-girdled, the haar-happed, the kirn of beast and fish mart,
the reckless siller granite-howked, the fit, faa and foo sounds, the heck,
the owsen sic words the same in Flanders-spik, gied up by merchant men.

Aberdeen the sceptical, the wide light elliptical, the dirty scuttering gull
harboured, the saft green, the egostical, the glittering lat thame say!
the hard blaze of mica schist, the trysting cornered Monkey House.

Aberdeen the transient, the tender, the Piper-Alpha-melted-hard-hats
the paper-machied, the fechtin, warslin, singin place, the blunt spik,
the spare Gothic-ribbed, the durable; roch and weet and sweet.

Sheila Templeton

Previously published in Digging For Light (2010)

To view our Map of Scotland in Poems as it grows, see https://stanzapoetry.wordpress.com/2014/07/13/the-map-revealed/ . For more information on this project, and on how to submit a poem, see https://stanzapoetry.wordpress.com/2014/07/04/mapping-scotland-in-poetry/.

All poems on our poetry map of Scotland and on the StAnza Blog are subject to copyright and should not be reproduced otherwise without the poet’s permission.

Poetry Map Poem 53: Iona

23 Sep

Iona

To view our Map of Scotland in Poems as it grows, see https://stanzapoetry.wordpress.com/2014/07/13/the-map-revealed/ . For more information on this project, and on how to submit a poem, see https://stanzapoetry.wordpress.com/2014/07/04/mapping-scotland-in-poetry/.

All poems on our poetry map of Scotland and on the StAnza Blog are subject to copyright and should not be reproduced otherwise without the poet’s permission.

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