Shore Poets NOVEMBER: Quiet Slam!

Cat Dean
(Cat Dean performing at the this collection all-female Quiet Slam in 2011)

Dear readers, fans, friends, poets…

As promised in our last blog update, we’re mixing it up this month… doing something we’ve never attempted before!

Shore Poets NOVEMBER: Quiet Slam
in association with Be The First To Like This and Book Week Scotland

That’s right – we’re slamming! For the first time ever, we’re hosting our very own (quiet) poetry slam, especially for Book Week Scotland 2014. Ten poets will compete: six of them will be poets featured in Be The First To Like This, the brand new, very exciting poetry anthology from Vagabond Voices. The other four slam slots are open to anyone, and successful slammers’ names will be picked from a hat on the night! Prizes up for grabs include book tokens, poetry books and CDs, and our overall winner will progress to the Scottish Slam Championship finals!

What’s the format?
Each of our ten poets will perform twice. We’ll have a first round, in which each poet will read for a skinny two minutes, and be scored by our judges. After a break there’ll be a second round, and each poet will read again – this time for 2.5 minutes. This means each poet gets two chances to wow our judging panel! The top three highest scoring poets from rounds one and two will go into a final, where they’ll get chance to read for three whole minutes.
Interspersed among all this we’ll have our usual lovely music, this month from Various Moons. We’ll also have our raffle, so you’ll still get chance to win the infamous lemon cake!

What’s a quiet slam?
A quiet slam is a slam where loudness is not necessarily a virtue. Participants won’t be marked down for speaking softly, reading from paper, or being nervous (this seems obvious really, because we’re nice people and we don’t have hearts of stone). We also want to encourage slam virgins to take part – have you been intrigued by the whole slam thing but put off by the competitiveness and shouting? This is a good place to cut your slam teeth. Finally, judges will score participants on the quality of their poem and the quality of their performance alone. There will be no score for audience reaction – because it’s not fair for someone to walk off with the top prize just because they brought a lot of friends!

Prizes!
The highest scoring poet of the night will win a £30 book token and automatically go forward to compete in the Scottish Poetry Slam Championship finals.
The runner up will win a £20 book token and third prize is a £10 book token.
All performers will receive a small prize for taking part, too!

Can I take part…?
You can! There are four open spots up for grabs and performers will be selected via a random draw on the night. Just email publicity@shorepoets.org.uk to have your name put in the hat!

…even if I’m not in Be The First To Like This?
Yep! We’re promoting BTFTLT by offering six of our slam slots to poets who appear in that book. We’ll also be selling copies of the book on the night. This is because we feel the anthology is a really lovely recognition of Scotland’s many talented new and upcoming poets, and we want to help promote it. But the BTFTLT poets will also be drawn from a hat to find out who competes, and they’ll compete on the same footing as everyone else!

Judges
We’re happy to announce that our Head Judge will be our very own Jane McKie – you may remember her mad slam-judging skills from last Book Week Scotland, and the Dead Poets Slam at the Bongo Club! Helping Jane out with her very tricky task will be Dr Alan Gillis, Honorary Shore Poet and Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Edinburgh, and Jennifer Williams, Programme Manager at the Scottish Poetry Library.
The event will be hosted by Shore Poet and BTFTLT contributor Claire Askew.

Don’t worry – we’re not changing too much. Our venue is still the lovely Henderson’s at St John’s, and you’ll still be able to buy tickets for our famous raffle (books and other goodies added to the mix this month, as well as the lemon cake)! We hope you’ll come along and support us as we venture into new, uncharted territory!

Here are the most important details:

SHORE POETS QUIET SLAM: NOVEMBER 2014
Sunday 30th November 2014, 7.45 pm to 10.00pm (doors open 7.15pm)
Henderson’s at St John’s, St John’s Church, corner of Lothian Road and Princes Street, Edinburgh
Admission: £5 (concessions £3)

You can also join us at our Facebook group.

Readings by mainly Scottish poets on the last Sunday of every month

Scottish Book Trust

Shore Poets November: Gerrie Fellowes, Christine de Luca & Tracey S Rosenberg

Hello, friends!
Are you ready for a last showcase of brilliant Scottish poetry before the Christmas break? It’s time for Shore Poets November!

Henderson’s at St John’s, Lothian Road, Edinburgh
7.45 pm to 10.00 pm
Sunday 24th November 2013

Bar from 7.15pm
Admission £5 / Concessions £3

fellows, gerrie Our November headline poet, Gerrie Fellows, was born in New Zealand, lives in Glasgow, and works as a creative writing tutor. Her first collection, Technologies and other poems, was published by Polygon in 1990, and ten years later they also published The Powerlines, a collection that traces Scottish and New Zealand connections through a variety of women’s voices. The Duntroon Toponymy was published by Mariscat in 2001, and Window for a Small Blue Child by Carcanet in 2007. You can read some of Gerrie’s poem at the Scottish Poetry Library website.

Shore Poets October -- host Christine de Luca
The Shore Poet for November is Christine de Luca. Christine has published five collections of poetry in English and Shetlandic. The Shetland Library brought out the first three: Voes & Sounds (1994), Wast Wi Da Valkyries (1997), and Plain Song (2002). The first two of these won the Shetland Literary Prize. Luath Press published Parallel Worlds in 2005 and North End of Eden in 2010. A bilingual Selected, Mondes Parallèles, (éditions fédérop, 2007) won the poetry Prix du Livre Insulaire. Christine’s first novel, And Then Forever, was published in 2011. Find out more at christinedeluca.co.uk

Tracey S Rosenberg, new poet at Shore Poets November! Our new poet for November is Tracey S. Rosenberg. Tracey is from America, and lives permanently in Scotland with her husband and cat. She’s the author of the historical novel The Girl in the Bunker (Cargo Publishing, 2011) and a poetry pamphlet, Lipstick is Always a Plus (Stewed Rhubarb Press, 2012). Her work has appeared in a variety of places, including New Writing Scotland, Gutter Magazine, and the Journal of the American Medical Association, and she’s performed her poetry at many slams and festivals. She is currently working on a new collection, and a variety of jigsaw puzzles. Tracey blogs at tsrosenberg.wordpress.com

There’ll also be chance for YOU to read your work as part of this stellar line up! Just bring a poem, put your name in the hat at the door when you arrive, and you may be picked for one of our TWO three-minute wildcard slots!

We’ll also have live music from Andy Miller, and of course, our lemon cake raffle!

Shore Poets NOVEMBER
Henderson’s at St John’s, Lothian Road, Edinburgh
7.45 pm to 10.00 pm
Sunday 24th November 2013

Bar from 7.15pm
Admission £5 / Concessions £3

Let us know you’re coming — and invite your friends — using our Facebook event!

If you would like to receive regular news about our poetry events, send e-mail to: newsletter (at) shorepoets.org.uk

You can also join us at our Facebook group.

Readings by mainly Scottish poets
on the last Sunday of every month

Scottish Book Trust logo

Shore Poets June: Don Paterson, Nancy Somerville and Clydebuilters

Well, it’s the last event of the Shore Poets 2012-2013 season, before we take a short break over the summer (we’ll be back in September!). It’s been a great year, and we thought we’d end on a high.

SHORE POETS: JUNE
Henderson’s at St John’s, Lothian Road, Edinburgh
7.45 pm to 10.00 pm
Sunday 30th June 2013

Bar from 7.15pm
Admission £5 / Concessions £3

Carry a Poem: Poets for Haiti

We’re very excited to announce that our headline poet this month is the inimitable Don Paterson.

He’s an extremely prolific poet and writer, as you can see from this section of his personal website:

His collections of poetry are Nil Nil (Faber, 1993), God’s Gift to Women (Faber, 1997), The Eyes (after Antonio Machado, Faber, 1999), Landing Light (Faber, 2003; Graywolf, 2004), Orpheus (a version of Rilke’s Die Sonette an Orpheus, Faber, 2006) and Rain (Faber, 2009; Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2010).

He has published two books of aphorism, The Book of Shadows (Picador, 2004) and The Blind Eye (Faber, 2007), and a compendium, Best Thought, Worst Thought (Graywolf, 2008). He has also edited a number of anthologies.

His poetry has won a number of awards, including the Forward Prize for Best First Collection, the Whitbread Poetry Prize, the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Award, and the T S Eliot Prize on two occasions. Most recently, Rain won the 2009 Forward prize. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and a Fellow of the English Association; he received the OBE in 2008 and the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry in 2010.

Don has been the poetry editor for Picador since 1996, and is also a musician. We’re greatly looking forward to hearing him read, and advise everyone to come along early to this event, as we’re expecting a high turnout!

The Shore Poet month is Nancy Somerville, and our ‘new poet’ slot is being ably filled by Clydebuilters — representatives of the Glasgow-based Clydebuilt poetry apprenticeship scheme, which you can read more about at the Scottish Poetry Library website.

Our Shore Poets wildcard slot is also up for grabs! In case you’re unfamiliar with the concept, you basically just need to turn up, clutching one poem (and one poem only), and put your name into our ‘poet hat’ when you pay at the door. One name will be pulled from the hat at the start of the night, and that person will kick off the night for us by reading their poem. We hope you’ll be brave enough to have a go!

Of course, we’ll also have live music on the night — this month, we’re delighted to welcome Tom Fairnie. Tom is an Edinburgh based singer/songwriter with a rich background of performance and recorded collaborations with other poets and musicians. You can read more about him at his website.

And last but not least, you’ll also be able to buy tickets for our infamous lemon cake raffle.

We hope to see you there!

7.45 pm to 10.00 pm
Sunday 30th June 2013

Bar from 7.15pm
Arrive early to nab a good seat!
Admission £5 / Concessions £3

Let us know you’re coming at our Facebook event!

If you would like to receive regular news about our poetry events, send e-mail to: newsletter (at) shorepoets.org.uk

You can also join us at our Facebook group.

Readings by mainly Scottish poets
on the last Sunday of every month

Scottish Book Trust logo

(Photo by Chris Scott)

Happy New Year! Come and celebrate 2013 at Shore Poets: January

Helena Nelson

SHORE POETS: JANUARY
Henderson’s at St John’s, Lothian Road, Edinburgh
7.45 pm to 10.00 pm
Sunday 27th January 2013

Bar from 7.15pm
Admission £5 / Concessions £3

Happy New Year to all our friends and followers!

We’re starting the new year with a bang this month at Shore Poets: January! Our headline reader is Helena Nelson.

As well as being a poet and critic, Helena also founded the wonderful Happenstance Press. Her two collections of poetry are Starlight on Water and Plot and Counter-plot. The former was joint winner of the Jerwood Aldeburgh Prize; the latter is her most recent collection, published by Shoestring Press in 2010. Helena has also self-published two short pamphlets of light verse.

At the Scottish Book Trust website, Helena says:

I love reading and writing poetry. I enjoy light verse very much, as well as the heavier variety, and I specially favour lyrical, musical poetry. I can’t write to order: I have to wait until inspiration strikes, but after that I beat the poem into shape remorselessly. As an editor, I love talking to other writers about their work; I love the fascination of seeing a poet develop, grow in confidence and finally soar. I think being a good reader of poetry is just as important as writing well: that’s why I continue to review widely. And finally I think poets, like most other people, need to cultivate a sense of humour to stay sane. The themes I explore include love, loss, anorexia, fun, poetic personae.

Also on our bill for January are new poet Nick Brooks, and Shore Poet Ian McDonough.

Ian McDonough and Nick Brooks

As always, there’ll be incredible poetry, live music, a friendly and cosy atmosphere and delicious cakes and other refreshments provided by Henderson’s!

The venue is Henderson’s at St John’s, Lothian Road, Edinburgh

7.45 pm to 10.00 pm
Sunday 27th January 2013
Bar from 7.15pm
Arrive early to nab a good seat!
Admission £5 / Concessions £3

If you would like to receive regular news about our poetry events, send e-mail to: newsletter (at) shorepoets.org.uk

Tell us you’re coming at our Facebook event! You can also join us at our Facebook group.

Readings by mainly Scottish poets
on the last Sunday of every month

Scottish Book Trust logo