We’re back! Buffeted by gales and paddling in the tide of emails, but in good poetry heart for 2012. Delighted to hear that The Bees by Carol Ann Duffy has won the Costa poetry award – it has been selling well from the SPL shop (£12) – and also that Matthew Hollis’s account of the last five years of Edward Thomas’s life, Now All Roads Lead to France, has won the Costa biography award. Congratulations to Jo Shapcott on receiving the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry. We saw Edwin Morgan’s, awarded in 2000, and it is a thing of beauty.
We were sad to learn of the death of artist Mary Louise Coulouris, who designed three wonderful rugs for the Scottish Poetry Library, still glowing here after thirteen years of use. Apparently you can fit 26 seated children on the MacDiarmid rug, at a squeeze…
January encourages us to look forward as well as back. Lots to look forward to, of course! The winter edition of our Poetry Reader is coming up and our Nothing But the Poem sessions return in expanded form: each session will focus on the work of one poet and run twice – once on Thursday evening, once on Saturday morning. You can book by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Our Ryan will team up with the Poetry School to host Read Like a Writer /Write Like a Reader, a course of five fortnightly sessions here in the library. Even though our Christmas decorations have returned to their boxes, the library is packed with visual pleasures, with an exhibition of concrete poetry from the Edwin Morgan Archive curated by Greg Thomas, a PhD student and volunteer cataloguer we’ve had the pleasure of working with these past three years. You can see rarities from the archive and take a step back to see a large vinyl print of ‘Bees’ Nest’ by Edwin Morgan, as shown above.
As if that weren’t enough, we have a calendar that is positively distracting in its lushness, courtesy of our colleagues at Creative Scotland, celebrating the Year of Creative Scotland 2012. It’s online here and features dancers, drama, and delightful vistas. Flick all the way to next December where you’ll see Chris Scott‘s dramatic photograph of our projection of ‘Disenchantments’ by Douglas Dunn onto Edinburgh’s Castle Rock, part of the Carry a Poem campaign in association with Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature.
Returning to January, of course we’re looking forward to gatherings both digital and physical on Burns Night. How will you be celebrating?