Here we are in the Scottish Poetry Library’s new reading space, on Saturday. Outside it is snowing, and the wind is blowing from the east along the Royal Mile, but we are warm, dry and full of good writing and squirrel cookies.
Anne Connolly and I have been reading together for a long time, and we know each other’s work well, but there were two other writers launching books. Carolyn Patricia Richardson’s pamphlet, Scots Rock, should have been out in September, but was prevented by illness from completing the proofs in time. She has made a wonderful recovery since then and read four poems dealing with significant Scottish musicians. And Tim Turnbull – whose poem about Strictly Come Dancing was one of the highlights of last year’s Double Bill anthology, launched Silence and Other Stories an astonishing book of short stories, witty and creepy and completely gripping.
And this is Sheila Wakefield, characteristically animated and enthusiastic. It is hard to believe that Red Squirrel Press is coming up to its tenth birthday, but, so it is – over 130 publications so far, and a new fiction imprint, Postbox Press, launched in 2016. There will be celebration events in April, in Newcastle, Edinburgh and Glasgow, and a new website, so I can recommend following the squirrel on facebook to find out what’s going on.
Thank you to Sheila, to the authors, to the staff of the Scottish Poetry Library who made us so welcome, and to all the people who came out in such terrible weather. We had a wonderful time, and I hope we’ll see you at the next event.