Tag Archives: Stewart Conn

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

Jackie Kay, wins the Scottish Book of the Year.

8 Sep

The poet and writer Jackie Kay was the worthy winner of the Scottish Book of the Year Award, for her memoir, Red Dust Road. During the awards ceremony at the Edinburgh International Book Festival last month, poetry and song featured large in the extract she read and during her chat with BBC Radio Four’s Jenni Murray. Also there to receive the prize for the poetry category was Stewart Conn, whose collection The Breakfast Room offers delicate reminders of  the precious fragility of life and of what seems, at first glance, to be everyday and ordinary. This theme resonated in Kay’s writing too.

We are delighted that Jackie Kay will appearing at StAnza in 2012. We’ll be announcing more names early next month.

For more about the Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust Award winners, visit the website: http://www.scottishbookawards.com/

Vote for the Scottish Book of the Year Award

27 Jul

There is still time to cast your vote for the Scottish Book of the Year Award: the public poll closes on Sunday, 31 July.  Sponsored by the Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust, this prize is awarded to one of four writers, each of whom is already a winner in their category. This year’s shortlist comprises Leila Aboulela (Fiction) for Lyrics Alley; Sue Peebles (First Book) for The Death of Lomond Friel; Stewart Conn (Poetry) for his collection The Breakfast Room and poet Jackie Kay (Literary Non-Fiction) for her memoir Red Dust Road. For more information about the shortlist and how to cast your vote, click here

The awards ceremony hosted by BBC Radio 4 presenter, Jenni Murray, will take place at the Edinburgh International Book Festival on 26 August.

The Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust Awards are held in partnership with Creative Scotland.

Time to Vote for Poets?

18 May

StAnza 2011 Bookstall

The StAnza bookstall may have been folded away, but it’s still book season. The first stage of judging in the Scottish Mortgage Trust Book Awards have two favourite Scottish poets as category winners, Stewart Conn for the poetry prize for his collection The Breakfast Room and Jackie Kay who wins the non-fiction prize for Red Dust Road.  Both of  them have won £5,000 and now go head–to–head with the winners of the fiction and first book prizes to compete for the Scottish Book of the Year honour – and a further £25,000 of prize money.  The twist this year is that the public get to vote. Just go to Scottish Book Awards to register your vote. At the moment there could be a 50% chance a poet is going to emerge as winner, so these seem to be good starting odds.

Poetry while the sun shines …

22 Apr
 
While the sun has been shining, April has been a busy month for poetry. Last weekend saw a Calderwood Press triple launch at the Scottish Poetry Library in Edinburgh on Saturday evening – new publications from Geoff Cooper, Eddie Gibbons and Lyn Moir. Then on Sunday evening at Rob Mackenzie’s regular Poetry at the Store event, Matthew Stewart was over from Spain to launch his first chapbook collection from HappenStance.

 

In St Andrews On the Rocks has been taking place this week, a festival organised by local students which will feature the first performance of Robinson, Brian Johnstone’s poem sequence about American poet Weldon Kees with new music composed by Richard Ingham. That’s at the Byre Theatre on Saturday 23rd April at 7.00pm.

James McGonigal at StAnza 2011

Meantime the shortlists have been announced for the Michael Marks Awards for Poetry , and we’re delighted to see Mariscat Press featuring in the best publisher category and James McGonigal shortlisted for his pamphlet Cloud Pibroch.  Jim took part in the Saturday In Conversation  at StAnza last month discussing Beyond the Last Dragon, his biography of Edwin Morgan. That’s double good news for Jim – Beyond the Last Dragon is in the running for the Scottish Book of the Year awards, for which the long list was also announced this week. Stuart Kelly, who took part in a StAnza Past & Present event on Sir Walter Scott last month is also on the non-fiction list for his book Scott-land. Poets are well represented this year, with two more on the non-fiction list, Jackie Kay and Andrew Greig.

Kei Miller, Poet in Residence at StAnza 2010

The poetry long list (of four) includes last year’s Poet in Residence at StAnza, Kei Miller  for his book A Light Song of Light, as well as Eddie Gibbons  who also took part at StAnza last year and Stewart Conn , who was a participant at StAnza 2011.  Along with Robin Robinson they are in the running for the Poetry Book of the Year, as well as for the £5,000 Book of the Year award.  Good luck to them.

Finally, there’s also poetry in the First Book category this year, Maggie Rabatski’s first pamphlet, Down from the Dance.

StAnza’s programme is now online!

9 Dec

If you are snowed in and have time to surf, take a look at StAnza’s programme for 2011 which has just gone online at www.stanzapoetry.org

The plethora of poets are due to appear at the festival at the Byre Theatre (left) and other venues in St Andrews, 16-20 March. The line-up is one of the most intriguing yet. Just confirmed is slam legend Bob Holman, who made this brand of performance poetry a force to be reckoned with. Fellow New Yorker Marilyn Hacker is also making a rare visit to Scotland. These transatlantic poets will be joining talents from closer to home: Ciaran Carson: the acclaimed poet from Northern Ireland. Julia Donaldson: the hugely popular children’s author and poet, of Gruffalo fame, who will be heading up the festival’s Children’s Programme and Douglas Dunn, Scotland’s most eminent poet. Recent T. S. Eliot Prize winner Philip Gross has also just been added to the list.

More names to plan your visit to StAnza around are Paul Farley, Selima Hill, Yang Lian, Carrie Etter and Fiona Sampson. Scotland’s voices include John Burnside, Stewart Conn, Helena Nelson, Rab Wilson, Hugh MacMillan and Tom Pow.

Among the international voices are Italy’s Antonella Anedda, Iraqi poet, Adnan al- Sayegh, Belgium’s sound and visual poetry group Krikri, and poets from Georgia and Australia. We’ll be posting more entries about the line-up over the next few months.

%d bloggers like this: