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 OCTOBER: Brian Johnstone, Ken Cockburn, Lindsay Macgregor, and Angela McSeveney

October already! Time for woolly scarves and pumpkin-spice flavoured everything, including – I am not making this up; they exist at Trader Joe’s – pumpkin-spice flavoured pumpkin seeds.

Whether Henderson’s @ St. John’s has pumpkin-spiced cake, I do not know, but they definitely have warming treats so you can enjoy those during our October event.

[Update! Claire assures me that Henderson’s have a “spiced ginger flapjack with pumpkin seeds on top”. I’m not one for ginger but it does sound nice.]

SHORE POETS: OCTOBER 2014
Sunday 26th October 2014, 7.45 pm to 10.00pm (doors open 7.15pm)
REMEMBER THE CLOCKS GO BACK THAT WEEKEND!
Henderson’s at St John’s, St John’s Church, corner of Lothian Road and Princes Street, Edinburgh
Admission: £5 (concessions £3)

Headline poets: Brian Johnstone and Ken Cockburn
New poet: Lindsay Macgregor
Shore Poet: Angela McSeveney
At least one wildcard poet
Live music by Ros, Roy & Corinne
and, as always, the lemon cake raffle

Our headline poets are two honorary Shore Poets: Brian Johnstone and Ken Cockburn.

Brian Johnstone has published six collections, most recently Dry Stone Work (Arc Publications 2014). His poems have been translated into over ten languages; in 2009, Terra Incognita, a chapbook in Italian translation, was published by L’Officina (Vicenza). A founder and former Director of StAnza: Scotland’s International Poetry Festival, he has appeared at numerous international poetry festivals, from Macedonia to Nicaragua, and venues across the UK. (In fact, as of the time this blog entry was being written, Brian was appearing at a festival in Canada!) He will be reading from his most recent book, as well as a few favourites from previous publications, with his poems ranging over subjects from travels in Greece to Scottish history, from life in the circus to cartoon characters, from 40s jazz stars to 60s pop groups.

Ken Cockburn was born in Kirkcaldy. He studied French and German at Aberdeen University, and Theatre Studies at University College Cardiff. From 1996 to 2004 he worked at the Scottish Poetry Library, as Fieldworker and Assistant Director. With Alec Finlay he established and ran pocketbooks, an award-winning series of books of poetry and visual art (1999-2002), and was subsequently a director of platform projects, its successor company. Since 2004 he has worked as a freelance writer, translator, editor and writing tutor. His first collection of poems, Souvenirs and Homelands, was shortlisted for a Saltire Award in 1998, and a collection of his translations of contemporary German poets, Feathers and Lime, was published in 2007, as was a new collection of poems, On the flyleaf. His poems have been published in translation in French, German, Hungarian and Slovakian.

Both Brian and Ken have pages on the Scottish Poetry Library website, where you can find more information and links to their poems.

Our new poet is Lindsay Macgregor.

Lindsay is co-founder and co-host of Platform poetry and music nights at Ladybank Station in Fife. She writes online poetry reviews for Dundee University Review of the Arts and co-edits Dundee Writes, a small magazine of prose and poetry by students and staff from across the University of Dundee. Her poems have been published in Northwords Now, Gutter, New Writing Scotland, Poetry Scotland, Ink, Sweat and Tears and New Writing Dundee. She is currently working on a text and image collaboration with Sutherland artist Merran Gunn.

Our Shore Poet is Angela McSeveney.

Angela’s first collection of poems, Coming Out With It, was published in 1992, after she received advice and encouragement from fellow writers Liz Lochhead and Ron Butlin. She has since published three pamphlets, the most recent of which, Still Bristling, was published by Mariscat Press in 2012.

Our live musicians are traditional musicians Ros, Roy & Corinne.

And who will be our wildcard poet? Maybe you! Just bring a poem you’d like to perform, put your name in the hat when you arrive at the door, and wait breathlessly to see if your name is picked!

Of course, you’ll have a chance to support Shore Poets and win the amazing lemon cake by participating in our raffle. Often, the raffle includes other prizes donated by our readers or Shore Poets. So even if you don’t win the lemon cake, you could walk away with a prize!

Those all-important details again:

Sunday 26th October 2014, 7.45 pm to 10.00pm (doors open 7.15pm)
REMEMBER THE CLOCKS GO BACK THAT WEEKEND!
Henderson’s at St John’s, St John’s Church, corner of Lothian Road and Princes Street, Edinburgh

See you there!

P.S. If you would like to receive regular news about our poetry events, e-mail us at 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

(Photo credit)

Shore Poets SEPTEMBER: Donny O’Rourke, Richie McCaffery, and Martin McIntyre

Welcome back to another season of Shore Poets, everyone! We’re glad to have survived the festivals, and by the time this event rolls around, we’ll have survived the Referendum.  (Unless we don’t, in which case we would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your support.)

We hope you can join us for the opening event of our new season.

SHORE POETS: SEPTEMBER 2014
Sunday 28th September 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)

Headline poet: Donny O’Rourke
New poet: Richie McCaffery
Shore Poet: Martin McIntyre
At least one wildcard poet
Live music by Karen Dietz and Richard Klein
and, as always, the lemon cake raffle

Our headline poet is Donny O’Rourke:

“Poet, songwriter, film maker, critic, editor, teacher and translator, Donny O’Rourke was born, brought up and educated in Renfrewshire and has degrees from the University of Glasgow and from Cambridge. Many fellowships and awards have come his way including the Hermann Kesten Stipendium which took him as Glasgow’s representative to its twin city, Nürnberg, in May 2004. After several years (and very senior positions) in television and journalism, Donny went freelance. He still broadcasts regularly and is the author or editor of more than a dozen books, CDs and works for the theatre including translations, mostly from French. He edited the landmark anthology Dream State: the New Scottish Poets, published in 1994 and updated in 2001.”

His page on the Scottish Poetry Library website (from which the above was taken) has even more information and links to a few of his poems.

Our new poet is Richie McCaffery:

Richie recently published his debut collection, Cairn, with Nine Arches Press. He also has two pamphlets, Spinning Plates (HappenStance, 2012), and Ballast Flint (Cromarty Arts Trust, 2013), the latter of which was written in collaboration with artist Hannah Rye. He’s won an Edwin Morgan Travel Bursary and has been a Hawthornden Fellow, and was shortlisted for the 2013 Melita Hume Poetry Prize.

He too has a page on the Scottish Poetry Library website, where you can find more information, though only one link to a poem.

Our Shore Poet is Martin McIntyre:

An acclaimed author, bàrd and storyteller, Martin has been working across these genres for a number of years now. His early poetry was published in Let Me Dance With Your Shadow in 2006, and in 2007, at The Lochaber National Mòd, Martin was crowned ‘Bard’ by An Comunn Gàidhealach. In April 2014, he was a panellist in the Commonwealth Writers Conversation “The Untold Story: By Our Own Tongues” as part of the Aye Write festival.

And yes, Martin also has a page on the Scottish Poetry Library website, including links to poems in both English and Gaelic.

Our live musicians are Karen Dietz and Richard Klein.

And who will be our wildcard poet? Maybe you! Just bring a poem you’d like to perform, put your name in the hat when you arrive at the door, and wait to see if your name is picked!

Of course, you’ll have a chance to support Shore Poets and win the amazing lemon cake by participating in our raffle.

Those all-important details again:

Sunday 28th September 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

See you there!

P.S. If you would like to receive regular news about our poetry events, e-mail us at 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

(Photo credit)