Scottish Poetry News: September 2021

Rhyme Watch is back to bring you the good news of poetry publications, events (online and in-person, exciting!), and all other things poetic/poetry adjacent in Scotland

Feature by Beth Cochrane | 31 Aug 2021
  • SPAM Zine

One of our favourite Edinburgh festivals has returned and is looking stronger than ever: presenting, Hidden Door, 15-19 September at Granton Gasworks. As ever, the festival has a sparkling spoken word stage, with Jen McGregor taking centre stage on 15 September with Meet Your Doom. This ‘one-to-one spoken word experience’ is set to be another triumph in the wonderfully horrifying roster of McGregor works. Hidden Door will also host Edinburgh-favourite night Wax Lyrical (hosted by Iona Lee and DJ Nikki Kent, joined by The Repeat Beat Poet, Sean Lionadh, and Bee Asha Singh), as well as Annie Lourd’s Underpin.

In Aberdeen, Sincere Corkscrew is hosting its launch of the anthology, World-dreem, upstairs at the Blue Lamp on 3 Sep. The anthology features writers such as Hysteria’s host Mae Diansangu and Sincere Corkscrew’s very own Ian Macartney, so if you’re looking for your first in-person poetry event, this is your perfect option.

It’s an absolute pleasure to see Speculative Books continuing its fantastic track record of publishing exciting Scottish works. Its next book, Voodoo Daze, is a collection of acid house and rave poems (plus stories) by Jason Golaup and Stephen Watt. It’s launching at Stereo, Glasgow, on 22 Sep, but is available to purchase online now.

Continuing in Glasgow, SPAM has just published With the Boys, by fred spoliar. With a blurb like this – ‘There’s no escaping adjacency to the boys as an institution (so invulnerable! so fragile!) but are the boys themselves our enemies?’ – how could you not head straight to the SPAM website and order yourself a copy? As Brandon Brown reviews, the collection is ‘outraged and outrageous, dismissed and dismissive, hilarious and smouldering.’

Haunt Publishing is releasing Anna Cheung’s Where Decay Sleeps, which – in true Haunt style – is said to be beautifully unsettling. Revelling in the seven stages of decay, Anna’s work is sure to send mouldering shivers to your very core.

Finally, Tapsalteerie continues to fly the flag for poetry innovation, with Russell Jones and Aimee Lockwood releasing The Wilds: A Poetry Comic through the press. With stunning artwork and evocative writing, The Wilds, at its core, is an accompaniment to bereavement: a timely work that comforts young people and adults alike through their journeys of loss.