Developer and investor Parabola has announced that Rachel Plummer is the winner of its poetry commission in celebration of the creation of Mach 1 – its iconic marketing suite designed by award-winning artist David Mach currently under construction at Edinburgh Park. Parabola partnered with the Scottish Poetry Library to run the competition which had over 50 entrants.
The judges commented, ‘While so many entries stood out, Rachel Plummer’s re-imaginings of feats of architecture as living, breathing beings truly sang off the page. Plummer’s keen interest in exploring the geometry and metallurgy of the Mach 1 landmark installation particularly impressed us and we look forward to working together in the near future.’
Plummer will produce a long poem, which will be performed at Mach 1 in early summer 2020. Plummer, who is based in Edinburgh, is a recipient of the Scottish Book Trust’s New Writer Award for Poetry in 2016, and was a Troubadour prize-winner in 2014; earlier this year she published Wain: LGBT Re-imaginings of Scottish Folklore on The Emma Press. She says, ‘I am thrilled to have won the Mach 1 commission. This is a landmark project and I can’t wait to work with Parabola to explore David Mach’s unique building design through poetry.’
Commenting on the decision by the panel of judges, Parabola’s Arts Consultant for Edinburgh Park, Matthew Jarratt said, ‘Over the next 10 years Edinburgh Park plans to deliver some major public sculpture together with opportunities for emerging writers, photographers and visual artists based in the local area. A key part of our Arts Strategy is to build creative links with Edinburgh’s cultural venues so it has been great to work with the Scottish Poetry Library to attract over 50 applications from poets for our first commission to write a poem for Mach 1.’
An arts programme is being developed by Parabola, under the direction of Jarratt. Parabola will offer opportunities for a young writer and a photographer, both of whom will respond to the construction activity on site, and exhibit in the marketing suite. Their work will offer opportunities for outreach with local schools.
Maria Carnegie, Head Librarian of the Scottish Poetry Library, added: ‘The SPL is delighted to partner with Parabola on providing this very special commission. It’s exciting to be involved in this opportunity for an early career poet, and it was affirming to see the quality and range of submissions. The Parabola commission for the Mach 1 building recognises the role poetry has in bringing architecture and our surrounding built and natural environment to life.’
We would like to thank all of the poets who submitted their work to the competition and to congratulate Rachel Plummer on being selected for this commission.