Last week I had a contact from a local radio station – East Coast FM – which netcasts from a studio in Haddington. They asked me to come on to their Thursday morning show last week, so I did just that. It was an informal chat, interspersed with records, and we talked about my writing and publishing activities. I read a few poems and talked about my interests, including StAnza, Tyne & Esk Writers, and my local Dunbar group. It seemed to go down well, and I’ve had some positive feedback from listeners. The only bit which threw me was when I was asked to choose a music track. My mind went blank at that point. I couldn’t think who to request, but finally Pink Floyd popped into my head. Which track? Well, I asked for ‘See Emily Play’, but they didn’t have it, so I settled for ‘Money’ which I’d heard the previous night introducing a programme about the ongoing financial crisis. I’ve actually used the phrase ‘see Emily play’ in a poem called Kirsty’s Walk, which has a lot of references like that in it, and a punning title too. It occurs to me that where 19th century writers used a lot of classical references, writers of today can and should include references to our own cultural backgrounds – there’s nothing wrong with that.
One outcome of the programme was that I was asked to co-ordinate a ‘book slot’ on the Thursday show, where I can introduce local writers to the programme. I think it’s a great idea. And I liked the atmosphere of a radio studio and a live show. It was relaxed but stimulating at the same time. Plus, although it’s a local station, it goes out through the internet, so it’s available anywhere, including near you.