Sold Out! by madmolecule, under a Creative Commons licence
I was very much hoping last Thursday to manage to be in two, maybe three, places at once; it didn't happen.
I was sorry to miss Against Poets at the Word Power Books Edinburgh Book Fringe. I hope both their events went wonderfully well; great line ups. I also managed to miss Last Orders at EIBF. I heard it was beautifully hosted by the magnificent Miss Peggy Hughes.
I did thankfully manage to be in at least one place – which was at the 06 | 16 – The Fruitmachine reading at the Fruitmarket Gallery. Now in its second year and hopefully becoming a regular Festival fixture, the reading featured Isobel Dixon, Kapka Kassabova, Chris McCabe, Rob A Mackenzie, Andrew Philip and Tony Williams.
It was a delightfully fruitful evening of poetry for poetry lovers as Kapka humorously pointed out when she asked how many people in the audience wrote poetry and just about every hand lifted a little toward the ceiling. The work ranged topically from our Scottish shores to those around the world, and felt fresh, global, financial and sometimes even experimental – for instance, when Saison Poetry Library's librarian Chris McCabe read a poem consisting of the 40 delightfully various names he and his wife had come up with for their son in his first years.
While the Edinburgh International Book Festival is of course a beacon event at this time of year, it's exciting and refreshing to see brave organisers hosting poetry events outside of Charlotte Square as well; the more poetry the better, I say.
On that note, the Word Power Edinburgh Book Fringe runs up to and including the 24th, the BBC Poetry Slam* is on all this week and Poetry in the Persian Tent, readings with music to raise funds for the Old MacDonald had a Farm for Africa Project in association with Oxfam will be on up to and including the 26th at St John's Church. Plenty of Fringe and PBH’s Free Fringe shows feature poetry as well, so keep your eyes and ears open.
Speaking of finding poetry everywhere, do stop in to see the Ian Hamilton Finlay exhibition at the Ingleby Gallery as I was lucky enough to do at the opening. I also toured the Edvard Munch exhibition at Modern Two last weekend, and was intrigued to find the following quote in the introductory wall text of the exhibition:
Primarily focussed round the period 1845-1902, the collection features several unique hand-coloured impressions by the artist, including a rare version of one of his most iconic works, The Scream. This was amongst the images that formed the artist's Frieze of Life series which Munch described as ‘a poem of life, love and death’.
Poetry to see, poetry to hear, poetry to live and love! Now if only those scientists would get a move on with my cloning machine…
*I made it through to the second round in the BBC Poetry Slam on Monday, and what a fun ride it was! I felt so lucky to share a stage with wonderful poets, and Young Dawkins was the most charming MC, with his love for the art of spoken word expanding the pink tent like a swelling heart.
Jennifer Williams, Programme Manager