Blackwell’s Bookshop in Edinburgh was the setting for the launch this evening of two new Red Squirrel Scotland titles – Andy Jackson’s The Assassination Museum, and Colin Donati’s Ancient and Now. I just got my copies tonight, so I haven’t read them through yet, but on the strength of tonight’s readings by both poets I know I’m going to enjoy them.
Colin’s been a friend for many years, from evenings with the School of Poets and from the Poems and Pints readings in the West End Hotel (of blessed memory). He’s one of the most original thinkers and users of language I know, and his poetry is often startling and surprising.
my words were your dogs
worrying themselves into existence:
everywhere i looked – I barked
Andy’s another friend, and I think I met him in library circles before hearing his poetry at one of Poetry Scotland’s wonderful Callander Poetry Weekends, run by Sally Evans each September. He’s in a long tradition of librarian poets, which includes Philip Larkin, Douglas Dunn, Judith Taylor and myself (I suppose you can add to the list). This full collection ranges widely, demonstrating his considerable skills and, as Ian McMillan says, “…the excitement of a new voice emerging with confidence and real ability.”
Both titles are available through the Red Squirrel Press website, and will also be on sale at the Poets’ Market at StAnza this year. I’ll blog more at a later date on some other Red Squirrel Scotland titles which are imminent.