"From the start, I have been an enthusiast for the Poetry Archive website, one of the best things to come out of the traditional post of Poet Laureate. It was because of this that we invited Founder/Directors Andrew Motion and Richard Carrington to hold the Archive’s Scottish launch at StAnza back in 2006. Supporting a brand new initiative in the poetry world seemed an obvious thing to do. A few years later I was asked to write an introduction to their recording of Alastair Reid, but I never expected to be included in the Archive myself. I was therefore both astonished and overjoyed to receive an email from Richard Carrington in late 2013 inviting me to record for them.
"At the time I was concentrating on my new book Dry Stone Work which was due out in early summer of 2014, so it was decided to set a date for the recording after the book had been launched. In that very steamy July, then, I made the trip to London and recorded an hour of my poems at the Soundhouse Studios in Acton. Over the intervening time the recording was edited, publishing rights were agreed, the poems were made ready for the internet complete with critical essay, links and a biography. Then, in early February, I got the email I’d been waiting for. My page on the Poetry Archive would go live the next day.
"In 2006 Andrew Motion, who was then Poet Laureate came to StAnza for the Scottish launch of the Poetry Archive website of which he was a co-founder. The website features audio clips of leading poets reading some of their own poems. Brian Johnstone, who was one of StAnza’s founders, is the latest poet to be added to the website. We asked him for a comment and this is what he said:
"Of course, it’s a terrific honour to be included with the great names past and present on this prestigious site and I am delighted that my work has been chosen to be featured on the Archive. It is a wonderful opportunity for any poet and I am hugely grateful to both of the Archive’s directors but also to all of the friends and colleagues, many of whom are associated with StAnza, who have encouraged me in my poetry over the years.
"Everything is now up and running. My page is out there in the virtual world with three poems – two from my recent collection and one from the previous book – available in audio and text form, plus a link to a poetry film of one of them. Downloads of the other recorded poems will be available shortly. Do have a look and a listen: http://www.poetryarchive.org/poet/brian-johnstone "