The unexpected situation of the Byre Theatre suddenly closing, six weeks before this year’s Festival, no doubt gave the organisers considerable extra headaches and additional work, but they’ve risen to the challenge magnificently, and the show will go on. Eleanor Livingstone and her team have put in place alternative arrangements for ticketing and venues with amazing speed, and I want to pay tribute to them here.
This year, as one of the participants, I got myself organised early, and my accommodation and tickets have been sorted out for a while now. My reading is on the Sunday, with Andrew Forster from the Wordsworth Centre, and I’m looking forward to it very much. I’m attending 14 events as well as my own, plus the exhibitions and the Poets’ Market on the Saturday, where Calder Wood Press will have a stall.
So, with just over a month to go, I’m starting to plan my set. Andy and I are billed as ‘Two poets whose poetry is rooted in place’, so we’re clearly at home within the Festival’s Legacy and Place theme. I’ve blogged elsewhere about Poetry and Place, so I won’t go further on that here, and I’ll obviously include poems about place in my reading, but I also want to explore Legacy – personal and historical. I also enjoy working with other artists – visual, sound, film and ceramic – so I will look at Design too. If I can choose poems which make connections between these elements that will be even better.
I don’t set out to write poems which fall into a particular category; they just happen that way, and I will try to show variety in the reading – short, long; public, private; loud, soft and so on.
I think I’ll largely read published work, but I also want to include some new work which has been accepted for publication, but which hasn’t yet appeared in print or on screen.