You get two for the price of one this week. I am a sucker for rich colours and natural forms so Fiona Robertson’s web-site is always a joy. It has recently been updated by her husband, who just happens to be artist Douglas Robertson. His own beautiful web-site is here.
I haven’t been looking after this blog as well as I would have liked this week, as the Edinburgh Festival is on, and, while I haven’t been at anything in the actual festival, in and around the edges of this extravagance, poets have turned Edinburgh into an extended and glorious poetry party, with so much stuff going on I find myself bemused and punch-drunk.
Last week I was taking part in No Sleep in Bristo in the endangered and amazing creative space The Forest – thirty-six hours of non-stop poetry, with about a hundred poets participating. It finished up with an event called A Knife Fight in a Telephone Box, which sounds as if it was both fascinating and very funny. Unfortunately, having been sabotaged by some ravioli which turned out to contain undeclared cheese, I had to take the resulting migraine home to bed.
This Tuesday I was at three events – the Courtyard Reading hosted by Christine de Luca who read Nae Aesy Mizzer which is one of my favourite poems from her recent book North End of Eden, then Get me Out of Here, organised by the Grey Hen press – fierce and funny poems by women of ‘a certain level of experience’. They included among others my friends AC Clarke, Eleanor Livingstone, and poets new to me, but names to look out for – Angela Kirby and Julia Deakin.
I hadn’t the stamina to go along to Immortality Now by Andy Jackson, which was a shame as he read the title poem at the Courtyard, and it was excellent. But I did make it to the 6 Poets reading in the Fruitmarket. The six poets were Simon Barraclough, Helen Mort, Isobel Dixon, Helen Ivory, Andrew Philip and Rob Mackenzie – a diverse collection of poets all very different from me in styles and themes and preoccupations, but all the more interesting for that. And, as at all the best parties, I met friends and caught up with all the news and made plans for the next time—
This will be at the Callander Poetry Weekend where, if everything goes to plan, I’ll be able to see the first copies of Wherever We Live Now. And that really will be some party.