Scottish Poetry News: January 2022

Prizes, writing courses, live events and new releases all feature in 2022's first poetry and spoken word round-up

Feature by Beth Cochrane | 05 Jan 2022
  • Webster's Theatre Glasgow

If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to get writing more, then why not join Dr Tawnya Selene Renelle in her two new Beyond Form Creative Writing courses? The first seven week course, Archiving, Museums, and Personal Narrative, starts on 12 January, and will ask you to bring the imagined archive of your life to the page, in order to find the materials for writing. A new and experimental way to approach personal narrative, memoir and nonfiction, this course is ready to renew your approach to confessional poetry. The second course, Experimenting With, begins on 17 Jan and runs for six weeks. It’s designed to spark your curiosity and get you exploring and experimenting with your writing, and is suitable for writers of any skill-level or medium. Both Beyond Form Creative Writing Courses are set on a sliding scale pricing system, and you can find out how to sign up via the website.

Or if you’ve got some writing drafted, redrafted, and edited already, why not submit it to the Manchester Poetry Prize? The deadline for 2021 is later than usual, with your 3-5 poems due at 5pm on 28 Jan. The entry price is steep at £18, but with a prize of £10,000 you might think it’s worth it. This year’s judges are an excellent panel, with poets Romalyn Ante, Malika Booker, and Zaffar Kunial making the decisions.

Although this next one isn’t taking place until early February, I’d recommend getting your tickets booked now, because it’ll likely sell out quickly. Victoria McNulty is showing the premiere of her spoken word film, Exiles, in Glasgow’s Websters Theatre on 4 Feb at 7.30pm. McNulty is the recent winner of Scots Writer O the Year (Scots Language Awards) and Exiles was the short film winner of the John Byrne Award 2021. At the premiere, musician Calum Baird will be performing live alongside the film. Post-screening, Victoria will be discussing all-things-Exiles with poet Kevin P. Gilday and director David Hayman Jr.

Wayne Holloway-Smith is releasing his fourth poetry collection, Lobsters, with Makina Books on 13 Jan. The collection explores mental illness, class, dysfunctional families, and loss, and is Holloway-Smith’s most personal work to date. He’s already been shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize and won the National Poetry competition in 2018, and Lobsters is set to be an exhilarating new work which not only explores the vulnerability of the poet, but also invites the reader to "take part in the performance yourself", according to fellow poet, Will Harris.