Scottish Poetry News: February 2020

A new book festival in Paisley and spoken word night, Inky Fingers, teaming up with the Scottish BAME Writers Network are among February's poetry event highlights.

Article by Beth Cochrane | 03 Feb 2020
  • Paisley Book Festival

In an exciting and very welcome start to the year, Inky Fingers have partnered up with the Scottish BAME Writers Network to create a three-month event production residency. The Network will host Inky’s next three events, keeping the feature performer and open mic format of its usual events, but this time focusing on readings from BAME writers. The first event will take place on 4 February at Lighthouse Books in Edinburgh and feature headline poet Courtney Stoddart, an incredible young performance poet who’s already been on stages at the Edinburgh International Festival, Brazilian arts festivals and Neu! Reekie!

Also on 4 February, Blackwells Bookshop in Edinburgh will be hosting Carcanet at 50: a celebration of one of the world’s leading poetry publisher’s half-century birthday. There will be readings from Lucy Burnett, Oli Hazzard and Frank Kuppner, chaired by editor of Fifty Fifty: Carcanet's Jubilee in Letters, Dr Robyn Marsack

The inaugural Paisley Book Festival will take place between 20-29 February. There is a strong poetry strand running throughout the festival, beginning with the launch event featuring Glasgow’s Poet Laureate, Jim Carruth. The opening night will take place on 20 February at Paisley Art Centre, and will also feature a reading from Maggie Craig and music by Heir of the Cursed. Other poetry events in the programme include Jackie Kay, Poets in the Library (readings from poets such as Sheila Templeton, Linda Jackson and Ross Wilson) and Jenny Lindsay’s This Script.

A particular highlight is sure to be Writing Queer Identities with Dean Atta and Eris Young, taking place on 26 February. Eris Young – writer-in-residence at Lighthouse Books and author of They/Them/Their – and Dean Atta – acclaimed poet and spoken word performer whose debut novel The Black Flamingo surged to well-deserved popularity – will be discussing the challenges and successes of writing queer identities.