Poetry while the sun shines ...

Friday 22 April 2011

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.

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