It’s been a busy time, this last week or so, so this is a bit of a catch-up.
Last Saturday saw the triple launch, at the SPL, of pamphlets by Geoff Cooper and Eddie Gibbons, and a full collection by Lyn Moir. All three readers were terrific, in contrasting and entertaining ways, and the evening was a delight.
Geoff’s reading was impassioned and emotional, and I loved it. I’m planning a long-delayed Glasgow launch for Geoff in May. He was followed by Eddie Gibbons, who was warm and witty. Eddie has just been long-listed for the Scottish Book of the Year for his earlier collection What They Say About You, from Leamington Books. Then Lyn Moir, with her brilliant poems inspired by the Velázquez painting Las Meninas, from the Prado, and by the Picasso variants in Barcelona. The audience was enthusiastic and appreciative, and I was delighted to see so many old friends there, including Janet Paisley and Magi Gibson. All three of these titles are available from the Calder Wood Press website.
This morning I finished the edits and design of Marion McCready’s collection, Vintage Sea, and it’s now with the printers. Here’s her cover:
Then tonight I was at the National Galleries of Scotland to read my own poem, Tondo, inspired by a Raphael painting in the collections. I’m not going to quote from it, since it’s going to be published later in the year, but it was based on a memory of being asked by the Gallery to identify the plants in the painting when I was Librarian at the Botanics. It’s written in the persona of someone who’s not quite me, something I enjoy doing these days. Another prize-winner was my friend Anna Dickie, whose collection Heart Notes is also still available from Calder Wood Press.
On the home front, while driving to Comrie to visit my mother on Sunday I witnessed a horrendous cycle crash just outside the village, which resulted in the death of one of the cyclists. I stayed with the group until the helicopter arrived, and the sights and sounds will haunt me for years, I’m certain. Then on Wednesday Perthshire Social Care started providing the personal care to my mother they should have been providing since January.