Blog Our Sweet Old Etcetera

Blog Our Sweet Old Etcetera

Behind the scenes at the Scottish Poetry Library

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The Thursday Post: 'Effortless Zen' - Memories of Alexander Hutchison

The poetry community was sad to learn this week of the death of Alexander Hutchison. 'Sandy' to friends, he was not only a poet of considerable talent - recognised last year when he won the Saltire Prize for Best Collection of Poetry - he gave a great deal of encouragement to young poets. Today we publish three more memories of Sandy.

Alexander Hutchison 1943-2015

The poetry community in Scotland and beyond was saddened and shocked to hear this week of the death of the poet Alexander Hutchison. His friend and fellow poet August Kleinzahler has penned a tribute for the SPL blog.

The Thursday Post: Welcome back

It's an odd feeling. Settling back into the refurbished Library once more after many months away. The place feels familiar and yet so different. We continue to do so many of the things people liked and wanted us to keep doing - loaning books, putting on events, doing the social media thing - but now in a transformed space.

The Thursday Post: Beneath Troubled Skies

This month sees the publication Beneath Troubled Skies: Poems of Scotland at War, 1914–1918 (Polygon, £12.99), edited by Lizzie MacGregor, with commentaries by Yvonne McEwen. This anthology traces the progress of Scotland’s war through poetry written by serving soldiers and those on the home front. A foreword is provided by the historian Sir Hew Strachan, an excerpt of which you can read in our blog.

Re-open the Doors! The SPL's Reopening in Pictures

On Wednesday, 28 October 2015, the Scottish Poetry Library reopened its doors. The Library closed in May of the same year when the building began a major refurbishment. The reopening attracted a number of noteable guests, noteably Cabinet Secretary Fiona Hyslop and National Poet Liz Lochhead, who both spoke at the event. This blog features many images of the day and of the building.

The Thursday Post: Washing my hands in the Danube

Ahead of an event bringing together Czech-o-Slovak filmmakers and Scottish authors, Richard Price recalls his visit to the Czech Republic as part of a festival that brought Scottish writers to eastern Europe.

The Line Break: Alvin Pang - One More Ghost

This month on The Line Break podcast, Ryan Van Winkle talks to the Singapore-born poet, editor and translator - Alvin Pang - about multiculturalism and poetry as a force of resistance. Plus ideas for writing exercises.

The Thursday Post: 'Listen, this library-silence thrums'

On Wednesday, October 28, the Scottish Poetry Library reopened its doors after an extensive refurbishment. We held a ceremony to mark the occassion. We were delighted when the Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop, the winner of Poetry by Heart Scotland 2015 Lydia Roy and the National Poet of Scotland Liz Lochhead could join us and speak at the ceremony. We were especially delighted that Liz penned a poem in honour of the occasion, a poem she is allowing us to share with you today. The poem is called 'Random' and is a wonderful tribute to the new-look Library.

The Thursday Post: Second Wind

Earlier this month the Scottish Poety Library and Saltire Society published Second Wind, a pamphlet featuring new work by Douglas Dunn, Vicki Feaver and Diana Hendry have all contributed a series of poems to the volume, as part of a special ‘Late Style’ artist commission supported by The Baring Foundation. This week's blog is taken from Vicki Feaver's introduction to her poems.

The Thursday Post: Mick Imlah

Mick Imlah (1956-2009) was a poet, editor and reviewer of considerable gifts. This year saw the publication of his Selected Prose. This week's blog gives a taste of the book by reproducing Imlah's review of Douglas Dunn's collection Dante’s Drum-kit, originally published in the Independent on Sunday in 1994.

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