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Website of poet Elizabeth Rimmer


Callander Poetry Weekend


  • The Year on the Turn

    gooseflight2

    Not a great picture, but the best I could do at the time. We have hit that time of year. The children are back at school, the rowans are red – though the birds don’t seem too bothered just yet – and there are geese overhead in the twilit sky. These are not the migratory pink-footed geese which come in from the north in astonishing numbers in September. These are greylags which have been here all year round, but which are gathering together and finding more suitable roosts for the coming harder weather.

    It is not quite autumn, although the first bronzing is showing on trees most exposed to temperature change. We have had plums, but no apples yet. The brambles are ripe, but hips and haws are barely tinged with colour, and the elderberries hard green pips. Tomatoes are ripening fast in the greenhouse, and though the winter  barley has been harvested (and one field ploughed already) the spring wheat will stand a week or two yet – much to the joy of the sparrows and finches. There are plenty of swallows and housemartins, but every telegraph wire has its long line of birds sitting, thinking about it, getting ready to move on.

    I’ve been in Edinburgh a lot at the festivals, including the magnificent Grit at the Playhouse, and helping to launch Signal, the book of responses to Ciara Phillips Every Woman a Signal Tower project. signal

    And I’m winding up the festival season at Callander, at the Poetry Weekend. It’s going to be the usual mix of poetry, book launches (including four from red Squirrel Press), book sales, performance, discussion and socialising, and this year includes a walk along the Poetry Path at Corbenic and The Write Angle’s

    Word Exchange, 

    on the Saturday evening, which sounds intriguing.

    But I’ve been using the summer pause to revisit some old projects and re-evaluate where I’m going next. I’ve done a lot of new things so far this year – poems for five anthologies, judging a competition, editing and translating, and more readings and reviews than ever, and I’ve loved it. I’ve been at my desk more and in the garden and walking the territory less, which I’m less happy about, and some things seem to have been lost in the shuffle – regular themed posts here, for one. The grounded poetics strand is one I’ll be revisiting over the next month, as well as herb poems and some thoughts about weathering changes in both personal social and environmental life. There’s a thing called ( full of mythology and politics and ecology) The Wren in the Ash Tree which is going to make its debut at Callander, and which is going to take me some time ——

    Stick around, it’s going to get interesting!


  • Lavender’s blue

    lavenderbanner

    Well, you’d think, wouldn’t you. But sometimes lavender can look like this – lavender stoechas, possibly ‘Avignon’

    stoechas2

    or this

    Pink lavender

    Which is lavender rosea, or this

    white lavendar

    which is lavender alba. They are all flowering their lovely heads off, and I’ve taken cuttings. With luck there will be some to share with poets at the Callander Poetry Weekend, which falls this year on the 2nd to the 4th September. Usually I would be encouraging people to sign up for a reading slot, but it seems that the word is out already and there is a wonderful programme in prospect, with the usual mix of readings, book launches, performance pieces, discussion groups, and a lot of good food and conversation.

    The weekend got plenty of publicity at the Callander Haiku readings last night, as many of the contributors had met, or learned about haiku at previous weekends. I can’t recommend this weekend too highly, particularly as all the events are free, so if you are new to poetry readings, it’s an easy way to dip your toe in the water.

    But in the meantime, I’ve been gardening, harvesting gooseberries and redcurrants, drying oregano for the winter, and beginning to cosset the first tomatoes. The roses are in full bloom and the honeysuckle is just beginning to flower – I think the combination of warm weather and torrential rain which we’ve had this week has really suited the garden! And there are flower buds on the myrtle bush for the first time.

    In the quiet of the school holidays, I’ve taken time to rethink the next phase of this blog. I have a couple of poetry projects cooking – some translations from Old English, and a LONG poem dealing with land ownership and exile, environmental neglect, femininity, wildness and poetry. I’m getting sidetracked by research into wrens, fairy tales, folk music and early monasticism, but if I can bring it off, it’s going to be enormously satisfying. I may post scraps of it here every now and then. And I’m focusing my reviews to come up with a poetics of inhabitation – more human than eco-poetry, but less anthropocentric than pastoral. But I have no doubt that there will be the same mix of territory walking, domesticity and comment as usual. I hope those of you who are kind enough to read this regularly will enjoy it.

    lavendersblue



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