Poetry

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The Deep by Samuel Tongue

25 Feb 2014

Filling in our usual Flash Fiction slot, Samuel Tongue presents a short sea-themed poem

where three men were lost on a single moonlit night, their fathers combing the whitetops, splitting each running wave open, straining for a call. Samuel Tongue reads at StAnza’s Poetry in Protest, Byre Theatre, Sun 9 Mar.

Flash Fiction: Earth by Helen Sedgwick

29 Jan 2014

Poem from poet editor-in-chief at Cargo Publishing

They made the hut when they were still kids; neither of them wants to mention how it’s too small now. They crawl inside and sit on the sleeping bags that have been zipped together to make a padded floor mat. They end up with their feet sticking out of…

Valentines Day Poetry: verses for every stage of your relationship

24 Jan 2014

Poems for everything from first dates to break-ups, by Tracey S Rosenberg, William Letford and more

Step 1: The First Date 'How to Drink on the First Date' by Tracey S Rosenberg You're different. I can tell. For you I'll say: let's skip the pub entirely. I know this little place off the Links where the only drinks they serve are chocolate.

International line-up of poets set to attend 2014 Stanza poetry festival

21 Jan 2014

Carol Ann Duffy, Louis de Bernieres and Paul Muldoon among highlights of St Andrews festival

Dip your toe - or better still, take a swim - into the pool of words that makes up the 2014 Stanza poetry Festival in St Andrews from 5-9 March. This year, as ever, there is a great line-up of international and national poets reading their work…

Celebrate the legacy of Robert Burns, Scotland's national poet, on Burns Night

7 Jan 2014

Find an event or create your own with our handy guide to Burns Suppers

It’s important, during the winter months, to keep in contact with close friends and loved ones. The cold weather and dark nights are best combatted with a mixture of food, drink and merriment, and while Christmas and Hogmanay go some way to making sure…

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Hot 100 2013: 89-80

11 Dec 2013

Anna Meredith, Neil Forsyth and Greg McHugh among Scotland's hottest cultural contributors in 2013

The Hot 100 is our list of Scotland’s 100 hottest individuals and groups who’ve made a splash this year, from comic book writers to comedians, artists to actors. If they've contributed to Scotland's cultural landscape in 2013, you'll find them here.

Alasdair Roberts & Robin Robertson - Hirta Songs

5 Dec 20134 stars

Rich work exploring St Kilda and summoning the old, weird Scotland via Gaelic melodies

On Hirta Songs, folk singer Alasdair Roberts and poet Robin Robertson set sail for the remote Hebridean archipelago of St Kilda. After at least two millennia of human settlement, St Kilda was evacuated in 1930, leaving this rugged Atlantic outcrop to…

Flash Fiction: Falling #121 by Ryan Van Winkle

6 Nov 2013

Poem from Edinburgh-based writer

Winter and I cannot remember a single breakfast. All the problems have become snow: not the drinking nor the distance, it is the snow. It has been falling for months, gets ploughed to the side of the road, envelops the short Christmas days…

Interview: John Cooper Clarke on how poetry and music work

31 Oct 2013

The punk poet on Arctic Monkeys, the return of spoken word and when not to combine poetry and music

My introduction to John Cooper Clarke came via Neil Innes, who performed his haiku: 'Expressing yourself / in seventeen syllables / is very diffic-' at a show back in 2004. Parallels can be drawn between the two men. Physically, sure, Innes is the…

Paul Muldoon, Carol Ann Duffy and John Burnside announced for StAnza 2014

3 Oct 2013

Sujata Bhatt, David Constantine, Tishani Doshi, Brian Turner and Menna Elfyn also to appear

StAnza, Scotland's International Poetry Festival, has revealed the names of some of the poets who will be appearing at the festival from Wed 5–Sun 9 Mar 2014, including Paul Muldoon, Carol Ann Duffy and John Burnside. The full program, which will not be…

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Peggy Hughes remembers Seamus Heaney 1939–2013

25 Sep 2013

Programme Director at Dundee Literary Festival on the legacy of the Nobel Laureate

What to say at the passing of Seamus Heaney, Nobel Laureate, luminary and seer, a figure dear to the imaginations and hearts of poetry lovers around the globe. I could consider his poetry, but there’s not enough room. A few favourites, even? Ditto…

The Poet Speaks: Homage to Allen Ginsberg - Playhouse, Edinburgh, 13 Aug 2013

30 Aug 20134 stars

Heartfelt tribute from two figureheads of modern American culture

The festival is awash with two-for-one deals, but you’d have to go some to surpass Tuesday night at the Playhouse: not just one colossus of modern American culture on stage but three – classical composer Philip Glass on piano, punk poet and singer Patti…

Luke Wright: Essex Lion

22 Aug 20134 stars

Showcasing the poet's electric delivery and carefully sculpted craft

In case you missed last year's silly season scoop, Luke Wright's sweary titular poem recounts the tale of Essex natives losing their shit after spying a lion in a field. (Spoiler alert: was not a lion). Their impotently impassioned refrain, 'We fucking…

Poets from Dear World and Everyone In It anthology set for Edinburgh Book Festival event

1 Aug 2013

New anthology features Sam Riviere, Miriam Gamble, Emily Berry and Jo L Walton

Want to know what's really going on in the current UK poetry landscape? Roll up! Dear World and Everyone In It, a ground-breaking anthology which ‘attempts to define a generation’ has (re)drawn the map for you – and this event offers a guided tour.

Patti Smith set for Edinburgh and Glasgow dates in 2013

11 Jul 2013

The punk poet shows no signs of slowing

At 66, Patti Smith is entering the twilight of her career with an energy and passion for the creative process that feels remarkably fresh and vital. Whether as poet, writer, photographer, activist or musician, she continues to produce a body of work…

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Helen Ivory - Waiting for Bluebeard

16 May 20134 stars

The poet's latest collection dissolves the barriers between reality and fantasy

In what is undoubtedly her most bewitching poetry collection to date, Helen Ivory peels away the layers of reality and leaves her reader a tantalising world to explore. Each poem is beautifully woven together to create a dream-like narrative. Through…

Writer and perfume expert Alex Musgrave delivers talk on poetry and scent

10 May 2013

Custom-scented verse, live music and free wine

What does poetry smell like? Would a rose by any other name smell... well, let's save the rest for Alex Musgrave AKA perfume blogger the Silver Fox, as well as a poet, novelist and business manager at the Edinburgh branch of perfumery store…

Interview: John Cooper Clarke set for 2013 UK tour

9 May 2013

Punk, poet and comic recaps 35-year career with humour and fresh insight

Like a recently awakened raven, all hair teased to eternity and trademark skinny suit, John Cooper Clarke is one of the most unique figures in poetry and punk. His forthright poetry, delivered in a breathless, freight-train rush of breath, was perfectly…

Andrew Philip - The North End of the Possible

17 Apr 20134 stars

Collection of poems of love, place and politics highlights Philip’s considerable formal talents

Salt cements its reputation for fresh contemporary poetry with this much-anticipated second full collection from acclaimed Scottish poet Andrew Philip. Humour and invention are mainstays of Philip’s work, and in both English and Scots, his wit leads us…

2013 StAnza lecture delivered by National Poet of Wales Gillian Clarke

14 Mar 2013

Poet cites elegiac poem Y Gododdin as shared cultural reference point of Welsh and Scots

The StAnza lecture given by Gillian Clarke, the National Poet of Wales started by referring back to a Britain when Brythonic was spoken throughout the land extending from Wales into the Midlands and through Cumbria as far north as Fife. This immediately…

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Gillian Clarke, Liz Lochhead and Mark Doty among Stanza 2013 highlights

12 Mar 2013

St Andrews poetry festival focusses on poetic forms and shared legacy of ancient Britons

The five days of StAnza has delivered its stimulating mix of poetry, masterclasses, workshops and slam with sorties into art, music, and sculpture along the way. Despite, the sudden closure of the Byre theatre which had become the central hub of the…

StAnza's Poetry Breakfasts streaming online

8 Mar 2013

Those unable to make it to the St Andrews-based poetry festival can watch online

The StAnza Poetry Festival 2013 is currently in full swing, with wordsmiths Robin Roberston, John Hegley and Gillian Clarke joining Scotland's Poet Laureate Liz Lochhead in St Andrews. This weekend the festival, which runs until Sun 10 Mar, will be…

StAnza 2013 to feature appearances by Liz Lochhead, Luke Wright and John Burnside

22 Feb 2013

The poetry festival will also feature art exhibitions, including screenprints by Ian Hamilton Finlay

This year’s StAnza has already had its ups and downs. The recent shock closure of the Byre Theatre in St Andrews (StAnza’s customary nerve centre) almost spelled disaster for the international poetry festival: with the announcement made just weeks…

Luke Wright - Mondeo Man

22 Feb 20134 stars

Poetry collection with a rich strain of empathy from the Edinburgh Festival Fringe favourite

Performance poet Luke Wright’s Cynical Ballads was an unquestioned highlight of the 2011 Edinburgh Fringe, earning gushing reviews for his witty, unsparing view of modern England. Several pieces from that show are reproduced here in his debut poetry…

StAnza, Fife Jazz Festival and other events to continue in wake of Byre Theatre's closure

28 Jan 2013

The St Andrews theatre is set to close on Thu 31 Jan; scheduled shows will go on in new venues

The Byre Theatre, St Andrews, is being forced to shut down because of its financial difficulties. The theatre has struggled to cover its costs in recent years, with problems exacerbated with the withdrawal of funding by the former Scottish Arts Council…