Edinburgh in August has to mean the Edinburgh International Book Festival which takes place this month from Saturday 9th to the 25th. More than 800 authors will deliver a vibrant and inspiring festival for all lovers of the spoken word, with 750 events, bookshops, cafes and plenty of activities for children jostling for space in the specially created tented village in Charlotte Square Gardens, right in the heart of Edinburgh.
Poetry events are always a key part of the Book Festival and we have information on a few of the highlights from this year’s programme which might catch the eye of StAnza regulars. Thanks to our partners at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, we also have a pair of free tickets to offer for Paul Muldoon's event, so read on! And for more details on events or to book tickets, visit the Book Festival’s website, www.edbookfest.co.uk, or call their box office on 0845 373 5888.
Sweet Potato and Callaloo: Voices from the Caribbean Diaspora
Sat 9 Aug, 4:30pm - 5:30pm, £10.00, £8.00
Jackie Kay introduces a vibrant generation of writers and poets whose work has its roots in the Caribbean. She is joined by Guyanese writer and poet Sasenarine Persaud, British-born Bajan performance poet Dorothea Smartt, British-born writer and performance artist Malika Booker, and Jamaican poet Millicent A A Graham.
Buy tickets at https://www.edbookfest.co.uk/the-festival/whats-on/sweet-potato-and-call...
Stewart Conn & Hugo Williams: Ordinary Lives that Breed Special Verse
Sun 10 Aug, 10:15am - 11:15am, £10.00, £8.00
A stirring hour of poetry from two award-winning writers that delve into the everyday and find something quite extraordinary. Ayrshire-bred Stewart Conn’s latest collection is The Touch Of Time, a retrospective across five decades, while London-based Hugo Williams has recently published I Knew The Bride, an irony-infused memoir that reflects on his post-war childhood.
Buy tickets at https://www.edbookfest.co.uk/the-festival/whats-on/stewart-conn-hugo-wil...
Rowan Williams: Gravity and Grace
Sun 10 Aug, 6:30pm - 7:30pm, £10.00, £8.00
During his 10 years as Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams’s talents as a poet were often eclipsed by his high-profile religious role, but since he stood down to become Master of Magdalene College in Cambridge, his poetry is flourishing. His latest collection, The Other Mountain, explores moments of human transformation, whether in body or in spirit.
Buy tickets at https://www.edbookfest.co.uk/the-festival/whats-on/rowan-williams-1
Andrew Greig with Rachel Newton: Performing Poetry, Prose and Music
Mon 11 Aug, 3:00pm - 4:00pm, £10.00, £8.00
Why do the stories of the Scottish-English borderlands – the Border Ballads – remain so compelling today? Writer and poet Andrew Greig and celebrated clarsach player Rachel Newton explore tales of the past in an enchanting dialogue that moves between poetry, prose, story and music. Buy tickets at https://www.edbookfest.co.uk/the-festival/whats-on/andrew-greig-with-rac...
Robert Crawford & Paul Farley: Magnificent Poetry
Thu 14 Aug, 10:15am - 11:15am, £10.00, £8.00
Scottish writer Robert Crawford creates poetry ‘to be homesick for’; sensitive to its local environment as well as magnificently universal. At this event he will read from Testament, his first collection in six years. The Selected Poems of multi award-winning Liverpudlian Paul Farley are drawn from four collections including his most recent, The Dark Film. His poignant, searingly honest work reflects the smallness of existence in a bafflingly vast world.
Buy tickets at https://www.edbookfest.co.uk/the-festival/whats-on/robert-crawford-paul-...
Michael Longley: Things We Cannot Forget
Fri 15 Aug, 7:00pm - 8:00pm, £10.00, £8.00
Michael Longley’s poems have been described as ‘masterpieces of lucidity, economy, sincerity…’. The distinguished Northern Irish poet will read from his powerfully moving new collection, The Stairwell. Longley is widely regarded as one of the finest poets of his generation and his new poems, shot through with references to The Iliad, include elegiac meditations on the death of his twin brother Peter and the Great War.
Buy tickets at https://www.edbookfest.co.uk/the-festival/whats-on/michael-longley-1
Celebrating Lermontov: New Translations of an Old Master
Fri 15 Aug, 8:30pm - 9:30pm, £10.00, £8.00
Descended from Scottish ancestry and hugely influenced by Walter Scott, Mikhail Lermontov is viewed as one of Russia’s greatest poets. This bicentenary year sees publication of newly translated poems. Join translators Peter France, Rose France and Alexander Hutchison to explore the intricacies of translating a literary great’s work into English and Scots.
Buy tickets at https://www.edbookfest.co.uk/the-festival/whats-on/celebrating-lermontov
Robin Robertson: Gimlet-Eyed Poetry
Sun 17 Aug, 10:15am - 11:15am, £10.00, £8.00
Few poets write with the piercing, unflinching honesty that Robin Robertson brings to his work. Hill of Doors, his latest collection, offers up a grim cornucopia of human suffering, sacrifice and excess. Yet Robertson’s subjects range from the brutal to the divine. Like the terrifying Hebridean whirlpool of Corryvreckan he describes in one of his finest poems, for Robertson life and death form an endlessly mutating cycle.
Buy tickets at https://www.edbookfest.co.uk/the-festival/whats-on/robin-robertson-3
Paul Muldoon: Poetry's Force of Nature
Sun 17 Aug, 2:00pm - 3:00pm, £10.00, £8.00
Born in Northern Ireland, Paul Muldoon is now a professor at Princeton University and poetry editor of the New Yorker. His poetry has won major prizes including the Pulitzer and the T S Eliot Prize and Muldoon is widely regarded as one of the most important poets working in the English language. In this event he previews a forthcoming collection, One Thousand Things Worth Knowing.
Buy tickets at https://www.edbookfest.co.uk/the-festival/whats-on/paul-muldoon-2
Patience Agbabi & Jen Hadfield: Poets Inspired by Places
Mon 18 Aug, 10:15am - 11:15am, £10.00, £8.00
They come from opposite ends of the British Isles, but Patience Agbabi and Jen Hadfield share a fascination for poems with a sense of place. Agbabi’s Telling Tales is a retelling of The Canterbury Tales for a multicultural Britain; a vibrant and sometimes outrageous mix of rhyme, sonnets and rap. Hadfield’s Byssus is a different kind of paean: poems that celebrate the sea, shore and moor of her adopted Shetland.
Buy tickets at https://www.edbookfest.co.uk/the-festival/whats-on/patience-agbabi-jen-h...
Kei Miller & Tom Pow: In Search of the Promised Land
Mon 18 Aug, 3:30pm - 4:30pm, £7.00, £5.00
Two award-winning poets consider how we imagine – and sometimes actually forge – a better life elsewhere. Glasgow-based Jamaican Kei Miller has written The Cartographer Tries to Map a Way to Zion, which explores the lure of the rastaman’s mythical city of Zion. Edinburgh-based Tom Pow presents A Wild Adventure, the tale of a late 18th century artist convicted of forging Scottish banknotes and sentenced to 14 years in Australia’s Botany Bay.
Buy tickets at https://www.edbookfest.co.uk/the-festival/whats-on/kei-miller-tom-pow
David Harsent & Alexander Hutchison: ‘I Ken Aabody / Exceptin Masel’
Tue 19 Aug, 10:15am - 11:15am, £10.00, £8.00
A winner of the Griffin and Forward prizes, David Harsent is described by John Burnside as ‘probably the richest, most seductive…imagination working in English poetry today.’ Here he reads from his new collection Standing Shadows. Quite different in register, but equally accomplished, Alexander Hutchison brings a lively and exuberantly Scottish voice to his poetry in the wide-ranging collection Bones & Breath.
Buy tickets at https://www.edbookfest.co.uk/the-festival/whats-on/david-harsent-alexand...
And the first person to email firstname.lastname@example.org not later than midnight on Friday 8th August with a note of the year in which Paul Muldoon last appeared at a StAnza spring festival wins a pair of free tickets to his above listed EIBF event on 17th August.