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Poets For Haiti Event Thursday, 11 February 2010

Posted by edincityoflit in Events, Poetry in Edinburgh.
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The Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy, is to lead a once-in-a lifetime line-up of award winning Scottish and UK poets in Edinburgh to raise funds for the Haiti earthquake disaster appeal.   The event will take place on Sun 28 Feb at 6pm in the Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh.

Carol Ann Duffy said “Poetry has the power of prayer and is the place in language where we are most human. The people of Haiti need our humanity right now.”

20 of the foremost poets in the land are coming together for an unforgettable evening of the finest poetry for the most urgent of causes.  The event was inspired by the Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy, and Dundonian Don Paterson, who next month will receive the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry.  Poets reading on the night include such major literary figures as Alasdair Gray, Douglas Dunn, Jackie Kay, Kathleen Jamie and Sean O’Brien (the only writer to take the UK’s top two poetry awards – the Forward Prize and T S Eliot Prize – in the same year); as well as four UK poets laureate – Liz Lochhead (Glasgow), Ron Butlin (Edinburgh), Gillian Clarke (Wales) and Carol Ann Duffy.

Don Paterson said: “We’ve been completely overwhelmed with the speed and generosity of our colleagues’ response – it should all add up to the most spectacular poetry event ever seen north of the border, and we hope as many people as possible will come along and show their support.”

The Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, has given his full support to the event, describing Carol Ann Duffy as a “visionary humanitarian” and saying ”she has summoned together an amazing array of talent on one day in the service of one hope; a better future for the people of Haiti.”

Booking

The event will take place at the Queens Hall in Edinburgh on Sunday 28th February 2010 6.00pm – 8.00pm.  Tickets are £15 or £10 and available from the Queens Hall Box Office on http://www.thequeenshall.net or 0131 668 2019.  All participants have generously given their time in order that the proceeds from ticket sales and donations can be passed onto Mercy Corps for the Haiti Earthquake Emergency Appeal.

PARTICIPATING POETS

Ron Butlin                Gillian Clarke            Robert Crawford
Imtiaz Dharkar             Carol Ann Duffy          Douglas Dunn
John Glenday            Rody Gorman             Alasdair Gray
Andrew Greig            WN Herbert             Jackie Kay
Kathleen Jamie             Frances Leviston         Liz Lochhead
Aonghas Macneacail         Sean O’Brien             Don Paterson

STELLA’S STORY: BLUE NIGHT Thursday, 28 January 2010

Posted by edincityoflit in Stories.
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I have different poems to suit different occasions. Poems, fragments, even lines of poems I keep in my books, notice-board, notebook, iPod, in my heart and head. And I keep renewing them, thanks to the wonderful output of our poets. Last Christmas, I loved Carol Ann Duffy’s poem ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’; last year, for rainy days, I carried Don Paterson’s ‘Rain’; the last few years, Mary Oliver’s ‘Wild Geese’, hearing their ‘harsh and exciting’ cries as a wake up call to the world. For decades, I pondered over Giorgos Seferis’ ‘In the Manner of G.S.’. So many others…
Whenever I need reminding of my place in nature, in the order of things, whenever my expectations become too great, I reach for Sean O’Brien’s ‘Blue Night’. Downloaded from the Guardian, it lights up my computer screen. Therefore. Therefore, I become small, or tall. I draw strength and inspiration. Thank you Sean O’Brien.

from Blue Night by Sean O’Brien
They have no time for pity or belief,
The heavens, in their triumph of technique.

Stella Pierides writes prose and poetry.  Her forthcoming novel Alexandrias 40: In the Shade of the Lemon Tree is due out later on this year.

Nick’s story: ‘The Swing’ Wednesday, 13 January 2010

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<div xmlns:cc="http://creativecommons.org/ns#" about="http://www.flickr.com/photos/altopower/2355844680/"><a rel="cc:attributionURL" href=There’s one by Don Paterson which first appeared in Granta 100, called ‘The Swing’, but it also appears in his book Rain (published by Faber last September). It’s about love and loss. Maybe it’s because I’m a parent that it moves me to tears.

Read Don’s ‘The Swing’ in Granta 100 online.

Nick Barley is director of the Edinburgh International Book Festival