Tag Archives: Gaelic

Who will win the Scottish Book of the Year Awards? It’s time to vote…

4 Aug

The Scottish Book of the Year Awards cause a stir in the literary world every year. Although a panel of judges award prizes for the best books  in four categories (Fiction, Non-fiction, Poetry and First Book), it’s up to the public to vote for the overall winner.  Last year the wonderful Jackie Kay won for her memoir Red Dust Road.  Who will carry off the award this year?

The 2012 finalists – who are, of course, winners already in their categories – are all outstanding:  Ali Smith, for her novel There but for the, Janice Galloway for her non fiction book All Made Up, Simon Stephenson for his first book  Let Not the Waves of the Sea.

The Poetry winner and finalist is Angus Peter Campbell for Aibisidh, a collection in Gaelic and English, described ‘a powerful and sharp-eyed examination of the fragmentation of language and identity in our modern global age’. Campbell is from South Uist. One of the foremost Gaelic poets, he has chronicled his community in times of change, ‘the fragmentary nature of lives, memories and connections to the Gaelic language.’ (Scottish Review of Books).His latest collection combines this sensitivity to a wide-ranging interest in politics and social change.  StAnza goers, of course, may recall his appearance at the festival in 2009. Will a poet be the overall winner?

There is still time to cast your vote here. The award is sponsored by the Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust and is run in partnerhsip with Creative Scotland.

The results will be announced at an award ceremony during the Edinburgh International Book Festival on 17 August.

Three young composers bring sweet music to StAnza

5 Feb

One of the highlights among many exciting events at StAnza this year will be a concert featuring the first performances of work by three talented young composers: winners of the Sorley MacLean musical composition competition.

All three winning pieces will be performed as part of a concert at StAnza on Sunday 20 March at the Byre Theatre, St Andrews, with the St Andrews Chamber Orchestra, three Scottish Chamber Orchestra soloists and the soprano Lesley-Jane Rogers. To complement the music, StAnza’s Poet-in-Residence, Maoilios Caimbeul, will read Sorley MacLean’s poems in Gaelic.  Tickets are available from the Byre Box Office, 01334 475000.

The competition winners are as follows:

Elisabeth Cowe (pictured) studied cello at Napier University and gained a Masters in Composition at the University of Edinburgh in 2010. She is currently working on a number of compositional projects and enjoying playing in a trio with two flautists. She said: ‘I was so pleased to hear that I had been selected as a winner in the StAnza competition. I am really looking forward to the concert and hearing my piece performed.’

Matthew Oglesby is a young composer based in Leeds. ‘Having come to orchestral writing after several years simply as a choral composer,’ he says, ‘I’m pretty shocked to find that I will actually have the opportunity to hear my work rehearsed and performed this year. I’m already grateful to the folks at SCO for their input and help so far, and I also look forward to working with the St. Andrews University Chamber Orchestra in the run-up to the March performance.’

Lliam Paterson (pictured) studied piano, horn and composition at Aberdeen City Music School and St. Mary’s Music School, Edinburgh, before starting studies in Music at Cambridge University (Fitzwilliam College) in 2009. He said: ‘Opportunities for young composers to have their works performed by world-class musicians are quite rare, so I’m very excited about having my song performed by the musicians and Lesley-Jane Rogers. As an admirer of Sorley MacLean’s poetry, I’m proud that my work will form part of his centenary celebrations – it is a chance to honour a great Scottish creative mind.’

There’s more about the competition and the winners on the SCO website: http://www.sco.org.uk/connect

Part of this year’s centenary celebrations of the birth of the poet, the competition was held in partnership with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and the University of St Andrews Music Centre; with the support of the Garrick Charitable Trust; and in association with The Sorley MacLean Trust and Carcanet Press.


StAnza tickets on sale next week

1 Jan

Festive greetings from StAnza and all best wishes for 2011.

Our programme for March has grown considerably since it went online a month ago. There is now a parcel of additional events and a few changes elsewhere, so do check it out http://www.stanzapoetry.org/2011/eventsdate.php and let us know what you think.

The printed brochure will be available very soon and tickets go on general sale on Tuesday 11th January: online, by phone or in person at the Box Office in St Andrews. You will note we have kept our prices affordable, plus there are early bird and bulk purchase discounts available too, and numerous free and unticketed events on offer.

There is too much happening to summarise it all here – 87 events, exhibitions, installations and films – but look out for our Gaelic focus and Australian focus, and for a range of Poetry Cafe events as part of Scotland’s Land of Food and Drink. For those who like to join in, our Saturday night Slam will have a New York vibe this year and, by popular demand, we’ve got a new early evening event – for those who prefer a mellow open mic experience.  More on all of this shortly, but meantime why not take advantage of the holidays to check out the updated programme online here http://www.stanzapoetry.org/2011/events.php.

Bob Holman

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