The Lantern Scottish Poetry podcast launched this week. These first episodes feature seven outstanding poets sharing work across three beautifully recorded episodes.
The Lantern is hosted by Scotland’s Makar, the national poet Kathleen Jamie. She told the SPL about the project;
“Podcasts and poetry seem a marriage made in heaven. Our podcasts, featuring poetry and discussion, explore our many-faceted literary culture, give space to all our languages, dissolve our geographical challenges, and remind us that poetry is made for the ear.
Guests are asked to bring two or three poems of their own on a theme. The poets then read a couple of things and we discuss them and their work and pick up points of difference and similarity and speak about the poetry of the past.
It’s part of my remit as Makar to be a central figure in Scottish poetry. This is a way of bringing my knowledge, from years of living and writing in Scotland, of who’s doing what where, and then we’re able to bring the very youngest and emerging writers and put them in the room with the older generation.”
Each podcast sees poets respond to a central theme:
WATER, ITS CENTRALITY TO OUR LIVES AND EXPERIENCE is explored by award-winning poet Don Paterson and emerging voice Roshni Gallagher. Roshni brings fascinating narratives of her ancestors moving between Indian and the Carribean as the slave trade ended and cheap labour sources were exploited elsewhere. Don shares powerful work from across his stellar career. The Guardian describe him as “one of our most outstanding poets.”
SOLITUDE, ISOLATION, LONELINESS is explored by two poets working in Scots. Tik Tok superstar Len Pennie and Borders translator Brian Holton explore work created by Len during the Covid lockdown and by lonely Chinese writers working in the first millennium AD, which Brian has put into Scots. A fascinating listen.
THE POWER AND IMPORTANCE OF READING is explored by John Glenday and Irish poet Liz Houchin, who was at the time of recording Poet in Residence at the Scottish Poetry Library.
The Lantern Scottish Poetry is funded by Creative Scotland and supported by the Scottish Poetry Library. It will look to run for the duration of Kathleen’s time as Makar, and is actively looking for sponsors.
LISTEN TO EVERY EPISODE HERE: