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:
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