Just a brief report on today’s book launch in the Kibble Palace at Glasgow Botanic Garden. It’s the first time I’ve visited the palace since its restoration. For those who don’t know it, it’s a magnificent Victorian glasshouse. More than £1M was spent restoring it, and I have to say it’s just wonderful. Beautiful new glass – all the panes are curved and of different sizes – replacement ironwork where needed, new heating system, and new plantings. Beautiful, and now weatherproof! You used to get soaked indoors as well as out in the olden days.
Anyway, around 50 of were gathered to celebrate the launch of Gerry Loose’s Ten Seasons to commemorate his three-year period as Poet in Residence. It was always a joy to visit Gerry, to see what he was up to, and to take part in the unique acts of creation he helped to make happen. Again today, it was lovely to catch up with Gerry, and the many friends and fellow poets reading and not reading. As an East Coast poet, I’ve always made a point of keeping up my friendships with those of the Western persuasion (as well as the Northern and Southern brigades).
David Kinloch led off the readings, Jill Turnbull read two of Gael’s fine poems (very moving to those of us who were Gael’s friends), Peter Manson, myself, Joe Murray, Gerrie Fellows, Valerie Thornton, Brian Whittingham, and Liz Niven all read. Among those who didn’t read it was great to meet up again with Donny O’Rourke and Iyad Alhatleh, but there were many others there today that I knew and haven’t listed. It was a real family feeling, a typical Glasgow event. Brilliant.