Tag Archives: Robin MacKenzie

Just StAnza in Edinburgh this month

8 Aug
StAnza photo by Jacqueline Skelton

StAnza photograph by Jacqueline Skelton

We’re delighted that the Just Festival asked us to curate three poetry events for them this month in Edinburgh. The three events will be on Tuesdays 11th, 18th and 25th August, all 4pm to 5pm.

Eighteen years ago several Scottish poets got together to create annual StAnza festival, now a major annual international event. This series of three events at the Just Festival turns the spotlight 180° to focus on StAnza itself and some of the poets behind the festival’s success, as well as featuring short tasters of some poetry projects. Full details of each of the events are below. They take place in Edinburgh Fringe Venue 127, St John’s Church Hall, Princes Street, Edinburgh EH2 4BJ. Tickets are £5 and can be bought online at online here.

Tuesday 11th August, 4pm-5pm:  The current chair of StAnza’s Board of Trustees and himself a well-known and well published Scottish poet Colin Will will read with Jenny Elliott whose poetry pamphlets have been shortlisted for the Callum Macdonald Award in both 2014 and 2015, and Peter Jarvis whose first collection was published by HappenStance Press earlier this year. We’re also delighted that they’ll be joined by several poets who have contributed to StAnza’s Poetry Map of Scotland who will each read their poem from the map, including Charlotte Stirling, Elspeth Brown, Julie Hogg, Donald Adamson and Alwyn Marriage. This is an ongoing project but you can view the current version of the map at https://stanzapoetry.wordpress.com/poetry-map-of-scotland/.

Tuesday 18th August, 4pm-5pm: The Co-Founder of StAnza and our first Festival Director, Brian Johnstone heads the list of poets reading at this event, where he’ll be joined by two StAnza colleagues, Julia Prescott and Robin MacKenzie. We’re also delighted that they’ll be joined by several poets who have contributed to StAnza’s Poetry Map of Scotland who will each read their poem from the map, including Adam V. Cheshire, Colin Bartie, Peter Kerr, Keith Parker and  Elizabeth Rimmer. This is an ongoing project but you can view the current version of the map at https://stanzapoetry.wordpress.com/poetry-map-of-scotland/.

Tuesday 25th August, 4pm-5pm: Anna Crowe, one of the StAnza founders and now an Honorary President, is an internationally renowned poet and translator. She reads with the prize winning poet Claudia Daventry and Andy Jackson, poet and editor of the successful anthologies of poems about popular culture, Split Screen and Double Bill. And joining them, Carolyn Richardson, Matthew Macdonald, Nancy Somerville, Morgan Downie, Ruth Aylett and Michael Scott, contributors to the Double Bill anthology to read a selection of poems from it.

So if you are in Edinburgh this month, do come along to one of our events, we’ll be delighted to see you.

Poetry Map of Scotland poem 94: Glenrothes

13 Nov

Concrete Hippos, Glenrothes
An aetiological myth

One Sunday morning, as the bells
rang from Glenrothes parish church,
a troop of hippos lumbered up
from the river to the open grass
to celebrate the holy day
of the great goddess Taueret.

Just as they were about to start
bellowing to the heavy sky,
entreating the goddess to provide
succulent weed and luscious mud,
a voice boomed from the angry clouds:
‘Worshippers of the Hippo Calf,
you dare profane the Sabbath Day?’
At this, a spear of light flashed out
and turned the pachyderms to stone
before their prayers could reach the ear
of the recumbent Taueret
stretched on her sandbank in the Nile.

Now parents bring their children here.
A mother points towards the troop,
says ‘Hippo’ to her wide-eyed son,
a father hoists his daughter up
on to a hippo’s placid back.

 

Robin MacKenzie

 

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/.

Map data ©2014 GeoBasis-DE/BKG (©2009), Google Imagery ©2014 TerraMetrics

Map data ©2014 GeoBasis-DE/BKG (©2009), Google Imagery ©2014 TerraMetrics

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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