I went to the party for Stewart Conn’s 70th birthday recently. He’s one of the kindest people I’ve met – everyone says so, and it’s true. He’s also a fine poet, with a substantial back catalogue of excellent collections. His themes vary widely: paintings, fishing, Scotland, love, the natural world, Southern Africa… His poetic voice is strong, yet subtle and warm, with a natural command of language and an open sense of inquiry.
The party was in The Counting House in Edinburgh – it’s the pub above what used to be Maxie’s Bistro, where my son & daughter-in-law held their wedding reception. The place was packed with poets – many of them mutual friends. Poets read, mainly from a commemorative volume – There’s a Poem to be made – published by Shore Poets. Music was provided by multi-instrumentalist John Sansom and singer/songwriter Stuart Hanratty. A great night.