For the past month, we’ve been trailing an event that we’re holding at the Aye Write festival on Saturday, 30 March. The event is based on our online anthology Best of the Best Scottish Poems, which was guest-edited by broadcaster, author and journalist James Naughtie. At the event, Naughtie will be on hand to discuss his approach to editing this anthology, which is drawn from 15 years of the SPL’s annual Best Scottish Poems collections. So far, we’ve let you know that Naughtie will be present – but not which poets, who will be on hand to read the poem chosen for Best of the Best.
So – drum roll – the Library is pleased to announce the following poets will appear on the night.
- Claire Askew was runner-up for the 2014 Edwin Morgan Poetry Award for Scottish poets under 30 for an earlier version of her debut collection This Changes Things, which was published by Bloodaxe in 2016. She’ll read her poem ‘I am the moon, and you are the man on me’, taken from BSP 2008.
- Jim Carruth grew up on his parents’ dairy farm, which he has drawn upon for his poetry. He is one of the founders of St Mungo’s Mirrorball, a network of Glasgow-based poets. In 2014, he became Glasgow’s Poet Laureate. He is the author of two collections, Killochries and Black Cart. He’ll read his poem ‘The Moleman’s Apprentice’, taken from BSP 2006.
- Liz Lochhead is a poet, playwright, translator and broadcaster. Between 2011 and 2016 she was the Makar, or National Poet of Scotland. She’ll be reading her poem ‘In the Mid-Midwinter’, taken from BSP 2016.
- Aonghas Macneacailwas born on Uig, on the Isle of Skye, where he was raised speaking Gaelic. Known primarily as a poet, MacNeacail has also worked as a songwriter, screen writer, and literary commentator in print and on Gaelic radio. He’ll perform his poem ‘Winter Visitors, Carluke’, taken from BSP 2004.
- Tom Pow has published several collections which have won awards, with three shortlisted for Scottish Book of the Year. He has also written young adult novels, picture books, radio plays and a travel book about Peru. He’ll perform his poem ‘Full Stretch’, taken from BSP 2016.
- John Purser is a composer, musicologist, and music historian, whose book Scotland’s Music remains a major reference work on musical history. He’ll perform his poem ‘Croftwork’, taken from BSP 2007.
- J.L. Williams is a Saltire Prize-nominated poet who has published three full collections Condition of Fire, Locust and Marlin, and After Economy. She’ll perform her poem ‘Time Breaks the Heart’, taken from BSP 2013.
In addition to reading their own poem, each poet will also read a Scottish poem they regard as one of ‘the best’.
Tickets for the event are £10 and can be bought online via the Aye Write website here.