Shore Poets OCTOBER: update, and events to the end of the year

So much information to pass on that it all deserved a separate blogpost.

Below, you’ll find information about the memorial event for Tessa Ransford. We also regret the recent passing of Elizabeth Burns; as she was awarded the Mark Ogle Memorial Award in 2009, we will be incorporating a memorial for her in the MOMA event in 2016.

We’ve updated the October event – the blogpost has been amended, but if you just want the highlights, here they are (also remember that the clocks go back this weekend!):

– Thanks to Scottish PEN, our October event will also include an appearance by Iranian poet Sepideh Jodeyri. You can read more about her translation of the French graphic novel Blue Is the Warmest Colour, for which she has been heavily criticised in Iran, in the Guardian.

– Because we’ve added a fourth poet to the line-up, unfortunately there will not be a wildcard spot this month. We hope to have one in November.

– Our musician now has a biography: Sheena Jardine was born in Stirling and studied violin at the RSAMD. After leading the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland in a tour which culminated at the Edinburgh Festival and London Proms, she went on to lead the RSAMD Symphony Orchestra and RSAMD Chamber orchestra, and won several prizes for chamber music. On leaving college she freelanced with Scottish Opera, BBC SSO, Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Scottish Ballet. In December 2013 Sheena gave a critically acclaimed performance of the Beethoven Violin Concerto with the St Andrew Orchestra conducted by John Mortimer. Sheena also plays traditional music with the band Sporran Again.

Additionally, Shore Poets founder Brian Johnstone notes that the evening of our event (Sunday 25 October) comes during a point when the Forth Road Bridge is completely closed. Please be sure to adjust your travel plans accordingly.

NOVEMBER: Don’t forget to mark your diaries for our final event of the year (Book Week Scotland ahoy!) on Sunday 29 November, with main poet Tawona Sithole. Time and location are to be confirmed, so check back for further updates.

DECEMBER: Tessa Ransford, founder of the Scottish Poetry Library, died last month at the age of 77. The following information about her memorial event comes from Shore Poet and Edinburgh Makar Christine de Luca:

Date and time: Monday 7th December, 7pm–10pm (doors open 645pm).
Location: St Andrew’s and St George’s West Church, 13-17 George St, Edinburgh EH2 2PA.

We hope it will be a wonderful celebration of Tessa the poet, editor, champion of Scottish poetry and poetry pamphlet publishing but, supremely, the moving force in the creation of the Scottish Poetry Library, and its first director.

There will be tributes, music and poems; contributions from a few of the many people who worked with Tessa and valued her friendship. Some go back a long way to the start of the SPL (Joy Hendry, Tom Hubbard, Aonghas Macneacail, Eric Wishart); others have supported her over the intervening years (Anne C Clarke, Ken Cockburn, Alan Gay, Tom Pow, Chrys Salt, Morelle Smith Alan Spence, Gerda Stevenson) or worked closely with her in translation and the appreciation of other cultures (Peter France, Iyad Hayatleh, Ghazi Hussein, Jila Peacock). Others are special poetry friends, including more recent ones (Kevin Cadwallender, Alec Finlay, Richie McCaffery, Stuart Paterson, Michael Pedersen, Stephen Watts, JL Williams). Sadly Robyn Marsack can’t be with us as she will be in NZ, but she is sending a very able substitute in Jennifer (JL) Williams to represent the SPL. It was Tessa’s wish that there be music as well as poetry and that her grand-children Max and Lucy Hutchison should entertain us along with her friend Toby Mottershead. Quite a line up!

So please invite other friends you think might enjoy this celebration in Tessa’s memory, using all the social media at your disposal. It would be really helpful in gauging numbers if you could do an RSVP email to

The event is free but since we want to raise as much money as we can for St Columba’s Hospice do please donate in Tessa’s memory at, gift-aiding your donation if you are a UK tax-payer.

We are grateful for the support of Lady Marks in defraying expenses.

Many thanks!

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Tracey S. Rosenberg

I write. I do other things, of course, but here is where I discuss writing (mostly).

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