The Callander Poetry Weekend just past was, in my view, one of the best. Time after time, listening to poets read their work, I thought, “Oh, that’s good,” or even, “Wow!” Edwin Stockdale’s Bronte poems were an eye-opener, as was Christopher Barnes’ set. My friend Juliana Geer read beautifully from the heart; Fred Beake’s talk ‘On Establishments’ was excellent, and it led to a very lively and stimulating discussion. It was great to catch up with old friends, and to make new ones. I missed the late sessions, as I was staying with my mother over in Comrie, but I attended everything else.
Ian Blake’s fine new collection, Remembering Falstaff and Others is the Diehard one. Ian was on hand to read the poem sequence on the Book of Kells from it, and he had brought along his copy of the wonderful full-size facsimile of it.
The two Red Squirrel Scotland collections are both by dear friends of mine, and I’m looking forward to reading them both. First, Elizabeth Rimmer’s ‘Wherever We Live Now’ displays her breadth of interests and her deep humanity.
Finally, Anne Connolly’s first full-length collection ‘Love-in-a-mist’ is also available from Red Squirrel. Calder Wood Press published her first pamphlet collection, Downside Up (now out of print), and I’m delighted that her warm and wise poems are out there in the world.
A vintage ‘Callander’. Thanks again to Sally Evans and Ian King for their hospitality, which seems to know no bounds.