BurnedThumb

Website of poet Elizabeth Rimmer


Events


  • Autumn Voices Poetry Competition

    Autumn Voices – an organisation which celebrates the creativity of older people, is running its annual poetry competion this year. You can find out more about it, the theme, judge, prizes, elegibility and so on, by following the link, where you will find that I have had the honour of being asked to be the mentor for the winners. The deadline for this is 31st October, and I look forward to meeting the successful poets!


  • Environment Day At The Meadows Community Garden Edinburgh

    Grassroots in the Meadows
    For Katherine Cameron
    There’s so much surprising green in this city’s
    grey stone heart, so douce, so mercantile.
    I miss that four pointed arch at Jawbone Walk
    beyond the cherry trees, all pink and lyrical
    under a wide spring sky, enormous, shocking
    in its frank commemoration of brutality,
    Yet this is generous. There are paths here
    for cyclists and joggers and grass for barbeques,
    kids making out, students with their books,
    but no-one selling anything but thought –
    all this space and no ice-cream concession,
    but campaign booths and vegan festivals
    and summer camps for children, rainbow flags.
    Radical starts here, with all the marches –
    stop climate change, ban trident, the white
    ribbon we wrapped round Edinburgh
    to make poverty history. It’s the place for change,
    beyond the university’s bounds. I saw
    my first feminist badge here – the future is female –
    pink on the coat of a mother at the swings.
    But most radical of all, on that March day
    before Thatcher, in the winter of discontent,
    when snow fell, and lay, and froze, and people
    skied down Princes Street, we put on hiking boots
    and crossed The Meadows to the Simpson,
    last day of two, the day when you were born.

    The Meadows in Edinburgh seems to me to be characterised by radical generosity, and The Community Gardens on the Meadows really demonstrates this. It is one of my favourite community projects, and I am delighted to be taking part in their Environment Day on Saturday 20th August. I will be running a creative writing workshop from 12-1.30 (It includes time to eat a picnic, if you bring one.) It is based around close observation of the garden and responses to it. Later there will be Carbon Conversations with Jean Mathieu Gaunand, and the weather looks as if it will be dry, so please come!


  • The Earth is Our Home

    I have long admired the poetry of Gerry Loose, and I am delighted to say that I have a poem in this project that he is bringing to birth. Please take a look at the on-line issue, and do consider pre-ordering a copy.

    World Poetry Movement Scotland, in association with Mythic Horse Press, is delighted to be publishing the e-book The Earth is Our Home, the work of 19 brilliant Scottish poets. It’s entirely free to download: https://issuu.com/ecojoe/docs/our_earthIn addition we are intending to print and publish a book of the same title.We are accepting pre-orders now, for publication in the summer. This will be a limited edition of 200 copies.As a bonus, a thank you, the first 100 subscribers will receive in addition a free copy of TEN SEASONS: explorations in Botanics, (Luath / SPL), 127 pages of poetry, photographs and more – in fact what it says in the title.Pre-sales are at £9.99 + P&P and the offer will last for 30 days including today.If you’re interested in poetry, photography, climate and social justice and the humans and nonhumans with whom we share Our Home, then this offer is for you.If you would like to pre-order a copy of The Earth is Our Home, please email dharma46@hotmail.com and we’ll set it up.Please share widely with your friends and contacts!


  • Poetry and Geopoetics Conversation Online

    This is an event we’ve been planning for quite some time:

    A Virtual Conversation about Poetry and Geopoetics
    with Helen Boden and Elizabeth Rimmer
    on Thursday 26 May at 17.00 BST

    A lively conversation between two experienced poets, beginning with an outline of their connection with geopoetics, (including poems as illustrations), a discussion of earth-based poetry before Kenneth White, and some suggestions of where geo-poetry and geopoetics are now. Suggested donation £5 or what you can afford, please book at Eventbrite at https://bit.ly/poetry_geopoetics.

    A Virtual Conversation about Poetry and Geopoetics
    with Helen Boden and Elizabeth Rimmer 
    on Thursday 26 May at 17.00 BST
    – please note change of date – and BOOK NOW!

    A lively conversation between two experienced poets, beginning with an outline of their connection with geopoetics, (including poems as illustrations), a discussion of earth-based poetry before Kenneth White, and some suggestions of where geo-poetry and geopoetics are now. Suggested donation £5 or what you can afford, please book at Eventbrite at https://bit.ly/poetry_geopoetics.




    Helen Boden  grew up on the edge of the Pennines and is resident on the edge of the Pentlands. Her first poetry collection, A Landscape to Figure In, from Red Squirrel Press in 2021, is about place and identity, and explores ways in which land is reimagined as map, sign or picture. She is widely published in poetry magazines and antholgies and also collaborates with visual artists. A former Lecturer in English & Scottish Literature at Edinburgh University, she works as an independent Literature professional, devising & delivering creative writing activities across a broad range of community, healthcare, cultural and environmental settings, with  particular interests in facilitating Writing & Place and  Writing for Wellbeing.

     

    Elizabeth Rimmer (@haggardherbs) is a poet, poetry editor for Red Squirrel Press and occasional translator. She has published four collections of poetry with Red Squirrel Press, Wherever We Live Now, in 2011, The Territory of Rain, in 2015, Haggards in 2018, and The Well of the Moon in 2021. She has edited fifteen full poetry collections and six pamphlets for Red Squirrel Press and two editions of Stravaig, where two essays, The Occasional Tang of Salt and By the Book: Herbs, Landscape and Ways of Knowing were published. She has also published a translation of the Anglo-Saxon Charm of Nine Herbs. Her website is www.burnedthumb.com.












     

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  • Dates for the Diary

    Forth Friday, Stirling

    Next Friday at 7pm Stirling’s Forth Fridays resume, this time at the Smith Museum. I will be there, with Irene Evans, representing Red Squirrel Press, with Russell Jones and Stewart Sanderson representing Tapsalteerie. You can find out more about the event, and book tickets via Eventbrite here.

    Greening the Street, Edinburgh

    Greening the Street is a group based around the Meadows in Edinburgh, which runs a community garden. They are very active not only in growing vegetables and herbs, and tackling climate change, but providing green spaces for local people to play and relax, and activities to welcome refugees or people with mental health or other difficulties, and I am delighted to be joining them for a pre-Christmas event.

    On 4th December they are running a Christmas craft workshop at 4pm, in Lauriston Church hall, Lauriston Place, followed by a break for tea, and a poetry workshop. Designed to extend the range of their creativity beyond simply recording activities, (follow them on Facebook or Instagram for an insight into how active they are), they have thrown this open to everyone who might want to reflect on our relationship with nature, with plants and landscapes. We will look briefly at how poets have used plants and gardens in their work, whether appreciating their beauty, or as symbols of something else, or connecting with memories, and move to writing about our own individual connections and responses to the natural world. It is open to anyone, from beginners to experienced writers, and payment is by donation. For further information, please see here.


  • Red Squirrel Press Quadruple Launch event at the Mersey Arts Zone w/ Maureen Weldon, Kemal Houghton, Elizabeth Rimmer and David J Costello.

    About this event: Red Squirrel Press Quadruple Launch event at the Mersey Arts Zone The full lineup of readers is:

    Maureen Weldon – The Waking Hour

    Kemal Houghton – There Will be Dancing

    Elizabeth Rimmer – The Well of the Moon

    David J Costello – Heft Date & time: Thursday 16th September 2021 Start 18:00 Duration approx 1.5 hours Drinks (wine/soft drinks) provided Event bookshop on site

    Tickets Info The event is free but due to restricted numbers it is strictly ticketed at 1 person per ticket booked.

    https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/rsp-quadruple-launch-event-mersey-arts-zone-16921-tickets-168035600003?aff=RSP1

    You can book on the behalf of someone else but you will need to make two different registrations for tickets on Eventbrite. If you have booked a ticket but can no longer make it please cancel it asap (advice on how to do so here) or get in touch. Venue Address: Mersey Arts Zone, Vale House, Vale Park, Magazine Lane, New Brighton, Merseyside. CH45 1LZ.

    More details here

     


  • One Weekend in Stirling

    One Weekend in Stirling which the organisers describe as ‘four days of music spoken word and arty shenanigans’ will take place from the 23rd to the 26th September in and around the Settle Inn in the top of the town. Please see the Facebook page for the huge variety of events on offer. This is one of the most varied, welcoming and friendly events I’ve ever attended, and I’ll be taking part in this one!

     

    https://www.facebook.com/events/345376340401068/?ref=newsfeed

    Red Squirrel Press showcase – two novelists and a poet!


  • Poem in The Scotsman

    cutting from The Scotsman

    Colin Waters of the Scottish Poetry Library has very kindly included the Burnedthumb poem as Poem of tthe week in The Scotsman of 7th August. It is an extra special affirmation for my poetry, as you can imagine, so I am particularly grateful that he chose this as an example from The Well of the Moon.

     


  • Launch of The Well of the Moon

     

    cover of The Well of the MoonWe have lift off! After last week’s lovely readings at St Mungo’s Mirrorball, Ellen McAteer, William Bonar and I are launching our new books from Red Squirrel Press, online, on Tuesday 22nd June, at 7 pm. Please book a (free) ticket via Eventbrite.

    I’m sorry there will be no wine or squirrel cookies, but it would be lovely to see your faces – and it does mean that many of you who don’t live in central Scotland might be able to come.

    Thank you to the many people who have bought copies already. If you haven’t you can buy them from my shop, or from Red Squirrel Press. 

    I can recommend Ellen’s and William’s books too! Give your ears a treat and come listen!

     


  • The Well of the Moon

    I will be reading from The Well of the Moon at the on-line St Mungo’s Mirrorball reading at 7pm on 3rd June. The headliner poet will be Vahni Capildeo, and also launchingwill be Red Squirrel Press poets Ellen McAteer (The Honesty Mirror) and William Bonar (The Stuff of the Earth), whose books I had the delight of working on last year. Unfortunately it is a members only event, but it will be a great night.

    I am very grateful to have had two wonderful endorsements for the cover of The Well of the Moon which I would like to share here:

    These poems pull us in, ask us to look again, re-evaluate our own relationships with the natural world around us, fall in love all over again.

    Elizabeth doesn’t shrink from the difficult in these poems, but brings us with her to face it over and over again. In doing so, she shows us how one finds “her own place”.

    I love the way Elizabeth’s poems listen and respond to the living things around her – from the smallest weed to cormorants to cows – almost as if, by reading her words, we’re slowly learning how we might engage with the shape of the land around us, and all the miraculous living things that inhabit it.

    Marjorie Lotfi Gill

    Elizabeth Rimmer’s poems in The Well of the Moon are records of accurate detail assembling particular things through an emotional structuring of language which ensures a sensitised apprehension of the world, from wrens to rainbows, from weeds to ways of water, light and air, their taste and scent, their sound and language. All these careful noticings, of plants, vegetables, birds, geographies of actual place and tentative emotional uncovering, accumulate gently to a book that teaches unobtrusively a sharp sustained attention.

    Alan Riach



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