Tag Archives: Don Paterson

A literary feast in town from Toppings

21 Sep

If you were at StAnza last March, you may have visited Toppings, St Andrews new bookshop. Toppings arrived in town last November and during this month and part of next month they are running a literary festival which is now in full swing. Next week’s storytellers have many a tale for the curious reader! An evening with Marina Warner, some mystery with Val McDermid and fresh eyes on the Bible with A. N. Wilson!

And there’s something for poetry lovers as well. Don Paterson ‘s poetry is in the spotlight on September 29th and then Simon Armitage who made such a big impression at StAnza in March is back in town on 6th October.

Otherwise the line up runs from fiction’s finest- William Boyd, Jeanette Winterson and Justin Cartwright – through to some challenging economics with Katrine Marcal.

You can get full details from Toppings website or follow them on Facebook!

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Coming up soon in St Andrews

23 Mar
Paul Muldoon at StAnza 2014, photograph by Helena Fornells

Paul Muldoon at StAnza 2014, photograph by Helena Fornells

 

If you’re gloomy at the thought of waiting a whole year before StAnza comes round again, here’s some cheering news about poetry events coming up over the next few months.

Toppings bookshop in Greyfriars Gardens are planning a series of monthly poetry events on the first Tuesday of the month. This is what they say about them:

“Taking place on the first Tuesday of each month, Topping Tuesdays will be relaxed evenings of poetry readings and conversation, offering the chance to explore and discuss the work of some of the best poets on the contemporary scene. Our host is Don Paterson of the University of St Andrews, one of the most dynamic and critically acclaimed British poets writing today, a winner of the Forward, Whitbread and T S Eliot Prizes. We are delighted that he’ll be bringing his warmth and expertise to a regular showcase of poets – an array to satisfy the most varied of tastes! £5 or £3 Scholar.”

The first of these Topping Tuesday events takes place on Tuesday 7th April at 8pm when Annie Freud, who made a big impression at StAnza some years back, joins Don Paterson, reading from her own work and discussing her poetic craft.

Then on Tuesday 21st April at 5.15 in the Lawson Room, Kennedy Hall, School of English, The Scores, the acclaimed Mexican poet Pedro Serrano will give a talk in St Andrews on TS Eliot and Octavio Paz, drawn from his study The Making of the Modern Poet, followed by a short reading from his own work, with English translations by Anna Crowe.

He will also give a reading in Edinburgh the following day, April 22, at 6.30 pm, at the Word Power bookshop, 43 – 45 West Nicolson Street, Edinburgh EH8 9DB. This will be in Spanish and English, and based on the poet’s book, Peatlands (Arc Publications 2014), a bilingual edition with translations by Scottish poet Anna Crowe.

Both events are free. For more information on the Word Power reading, call Word Power Books on 0131 662 9112 and there’s more about the St Andrews event at https://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/…/newsandeve…/thenglishseminar/

Following that comes the next event at Toppings on Tuesday 5th May when Jacob Polley will take part with screenwriter and actor Jonathan Durie.

The Toppings programme continues with Paul Muldoon on Tuesday 19th May; Michael Pedersen & Lorraine Mariner on 2nd June; and on 4th August An Introduction to HappenStance Press and J. O. Morgan.

You can get more information on the events at Toppings on their website at http://www.toppingbooks.co.uk or by telephoning 01334 585111 or emailing standrews@toppingbooks.co.uk.

Sample superb poetry and music this week in Edinburgh

18 Aug

With the festival season in Edinburgh hotting up (with weather to match), it’s great to see so much poetry on offer across the city. Starting on 22 August, Liz Lochhead leads the line-up of poets performing at Poetry in the Persian Tent, part of the Festival of Spirituality and Peace, based at St John’s Church in the West End.

True to the ethos of this festival, the readings are in aid of the Old MacDonald had a Farm for Africa Project, in association with Oxfam. Two familiar StAnza faces have been involved in setting up this event: poets Jim Carruth and Stephanie Green, who will also be reading. There’ll be an hour a day of poetry and music each day at 11am from 22nd to 26th August. Headlining poets are the aforesaid Liz, John Glenday, Jackie Kay, Vicki Feaver, Aonghas MacNeacail and Stewart Conn. Check out the full line-up here  Tickets are £10 (£8), available through the Hub box office from their website  or email boxoffice@hubtickets.co.uk, or telephone 0131 473 2000. You can also get them on the door, but as the space is limited, it’s advisable to book ahead.  

One of the Persian tent poets, Ryan van Winkle, has a solo poetry show of his own at the arty new festival venue, Summerhall, near the Meadows. ‘Red like a room our room used to feel’ is a short one-to-one reading in the intriguingly decorated surroundings of the ‘red room’, accompanied by a subtle sound track. You can even have a cup of tea or a wee taste of port. Details at www.summerhall.co.uk   And there’s plenty more to look forward to this week, including the StAnza showcase on 20th August, also at the Festival of Spirituality and Peace, featuring John Siddique, Anna Crowe, and Dawn Wood; the fabulous BBC Slam, running each afternoon from 20th (our Director Eleanor Livingstone is one of the judges), and poets Lavinia Greenlaw, Don Paterson and William Letford among the poets appearing at the Edinburgh International Book Festival. And you can find a host of other poetry events on our handy calendar:

 StAnza’s Edinburgh Poetry & Spoken Word Calendar August 2012

Poetry at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, 11-24 August

8 Aug

The marquees are almost complete in Charlotte Square which means that the Edinburgh International Book Festival is about to kick off – it opens this Saturday 11th August. And there is a poetry strand this year that has many pleasures to offer including readings by three Makars, some startling new voices and a chance to see some favourite names from StAnzas past.

There’s a rare appearance by the wonderful Alice Oswald, (pictured left), a chance to catch up with StAnza 2012 Poet-in-Residence, Lavinia Greenlaw (here reading with American poet Marie Howe), and readings by Paul Durcan, Don Paterson, Ruth Padel, and Aonghas MacNeacail. Not to be missed are Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy, Scotland’s Makar, Liz Lochhead, and Edinburgh’s Makar, Ron Butlin.

Sample the talents of the rising stars: William Letford, (left, below)the outstanding new poet who delighted us at StAnza in 2011, will be appearing with Sean Borodale. And the winner of the Edwin Morgan Prize, which is aimed at encouraging new poets, will be announced at a gala reading by all those shortlisted.

There’s also the unpredictable and fast moving Impro-Slam, featuring top performance poets. Alan Gillis heads up a lively discussion panel on Poetry & Ideas, exploring the experimental aspects of contemporary poetry. On a more celebratory note, Bashabi Fraser unites the the Ganga and the Tay in a celebration of Scottish and Indian poetry and music.

And, contrary to the myth that everything at EIBF is irrevocably sold out within minutes, there are tickets available for these events.  Don’t hesitate too long though.

The Edinburgh International Book Festival takes place in Charlotte Square Gardens from the 11 – 27 August. To view the full programme of Book Festival events please visit www.edbookfest.co.uk.

Tickets for all events can be booked:

Online: www.edbookfest.co.uk

By phone: 0845 373 5888

In person – until the 10 Aug: at The Hub on Castlehill, Edinburgh, EH1 2NE

In person – once the Festival has opened on the 11 Aug: on site in Charlotte Square Gardens in the Entrance Tent

Photograph of William Letford by Seppi Preston

Jubilee Lines

17 Jun

There’s much to enjoy in Faber and Faber’s new anthology, Jubilee Lines – 60 Poets for 60 Years, edited by Carol Ann Duffy.  Each of the last 60 years is represented by one poem and one poet, many of them very familiar names. Just four poems in, for 1956 there’s Class Photograph from Douglas Dunn, looking back at “pensioners in disguise”. And the roll call from StAnza 2012 just past includes Grace Nichols (1965), Christopher Reid offering “The Clearing for 1969, followed by John Burnside (1981), Robert Crawford (1984), Lachlan Mackinnon (1988), Michael Symmons Roberts (1996), Don Paterson (1997), Jackie Kay (1999) and Lavinia Greenlaw (2001).  

To accompany the book, Faber and Faber have collaborated with  Somethin’ Else and The Space to produce a groundbreaking interactive digital platform, which brings together actors’ readings, sound-based generative design and archive footage to create an exciting new way to experience poetry. At its heart are audio readings of the poems in Jubilee Lines, read evocatively by distinguished actors Dan Stevens, Samantha Bond, Lyndsey Marshal and Alex Lanipekun. Graphic designer Stefanie Posavec has produced visualisations of the audio readings using generative design techniques. Derived from characteristics such as the length of the recording and its decibel level, she has created unique artworks for each of the 60 poems.

The twenty poems that most vividly evoke our collective memory are enhanced with rich archive material, including film footage and audio uncovered in the BBC and British Movietone archives, as well as newspapers, adverts and photographs. It includes many items transferred from telecine for the first time, with material that ranges from the iconic (Michael Fish’s weather report in 1987), to the unseen (Russian cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova preparing for her first space flight in 1963), and from the jubilant (children eagerly awaiting the end of sweet rationing in 1953) to the turbulent (miners clashing with police during the strike in 1984).

We are invited to navigate the poems by year, by poet, through archive or by theme (eg. remembrance, identity, vigilance), plotting your own path through 60 years of history, by going to their website at  www.jubileelines.com

(NB  at the time of posting this the link doesn’t seem to be working, we have let them know.)

Make plans for StAnza 2012: programme now online

22 Dec
 

With the Christmas and Hogmanay offering  us all the chance for a well-earned break, when better than to browse through the StAnza 2012 events programme? It’s now available online here

As well as the list of events already confirmed (and watch out for extra ones to be announced shortly), you can find out more about the poets, writers, artists, film makers and musicians who are taking part.  To whet your appetite, we have provided some biogs, sample poems, links and clips.

The Dave Batchelor Quintet will be celebrating jazz and Larkin

Headlining poets include Jackie Kay (pictured), Kathleen Jamie, Christopher Reid, Lavinia Greenlaw, Joe Dunthorne and Michael Symmons Roberts; from the USA, Chase Twichell and Kwame Dawes, plus international voices from Germany, South Africa, Poland, Macedonia and Sweden.

Meet Jackie Kay at StAnza 2012

The festival’s themes are The Image and Poetry by Degrees. Expect a wide range of events – exhibitions, a book launch and breakfast discussions – linking poetry with visual art and photography, TV and film. Check out StAnza’s celebration of poetry in education with an expanded range of workshops, inspire sessions and discussions.

Lively performances, drama and music are also a key aspect of the festival. Highlights include Karen Dunbar’s hilarious A Drunk Woman Looks at a Thistle and Kind of Larkin, a tribute to Philip Larkin’s love of jazz with the Dave Batchelor Quintet (pictured) – whose line-up, please notice, includes poet/musician Don Paterson.

Tickets will be on sale in January, so enjoy savouring the prospect of what’s to come.

 

Poetry for May

30 Apr

August Kleinzahler’s reading for StAnza is approaching fast, less than two weeks now, and even before that, as part of a week of activities in St Andrews, two poetry events are on offer, both on Tuesday 3rd May. At 5.30pm in the Garden Seminar Room at the School of English on The Scores, Tom Jones will deliver a workshop on “What makes poetic language poetic”.  Then at 7.30pm in the King James Library in St Mary’s Quad off South Street, Douglas Dunn, Chris Jones and Don Paterson are giving a poetry reading.

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