Last month, we launched our online anthology Best Scottish Poems 2016. Each spring, since 2005, the SPL has published an edition of BSP, which collected the previous year's 'best' poems by a Scot or a poet resident in Scotland, as chosen by a guest editor. In previous years, editors have included Janice Galloway, Alan Spence and Jen Hadfield. This year, we were delighted that Catherine Lockerbie agreed to read a year's worth of Scottish poetry. Lockerbie is the former Director of the Edinburgh International Book Festival and one of the country's foremost advocates for the pleasure of reading.
One of the ways in which we pay Best Scottish Poems the honour it's due is by featuring each one of the 20 poems chosen on our homepage as a Poem of the Moment. For the course of a month, each day we change the Poem of the Moment, and this year was no exception. Our blog this week, then, collects all 20 of the homepages we've worked though over April and May, with links to each of the poems below, starting with – above – Andy Jackson's poem about the SPL itself, 'Enquiry Desk'.
'This Is It' by William Letford is 'perfectly pitched and full of hope in the midst of pie-eating desperation and memories of home – "bit singin, wee man, yur singin". Which is what we all need to do, in whatever way we can.'
'People Made Glasgow' by Kate Tough is 'an angry narrative, brimming with contempt for marketing and swaggering stereotypes, laying bare the dark history which Glasgow prefers to forget in its desire to portray a gallus and egalitarian image.'
'Full Stretch' by Tom Pow is 'a vivid, poignant, moving inhabiting of an ageing cat and a fine meditation on the role of memory and passing years on different mortals, wonderfully rendered in an entirely believable cat-speak.'
Finally, 'What Not to Write on the Back Jacket of Your Debut Collection' by Helena Nelson 'is defiant, funny and bubble-bursting from the title onwards. This particular wry and droll list of desperate pleas (“Please buy this book") to the potential reader is perfect.'