Past & Present
In our Past & Present sessions, contemporary speakers give a personal response to favourite past poets writing in English and other languages.
Best known as a novelist, Muriel Spark said of herself that, “although most of my life has been devoted to fiction, I have always thought of myself as a poet,” going on to suggest that “for creative writing of any sort an early apprenticeship as a poet is a wonderful stimulant and start”. With this as his starting-point Stewart Conn responds to her poetry: wry, witty, and ironic, with its echoes of the Ballads and assemblage of spectral figures marking her out as a Mistress of Unease.
Mary Stuart, otherwise known as Mary, Queen of Scots, is famous for many things, but the fact that she wrote poetry tends to be forgotten. Mary Stuart was one of the most well-known Scots to write poetry in French – but she wasn’t alone. French was the language of the Scottish court in the late middle ages, Emmanuelle Lacore-Martin will explain how French impacted on Scottish language, literature and culture.
Supported by EventScotland and part of Scotland’s Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology 2017