A Night of Sex in the Gutter!

That's <strong>Gutter Magazine</strong>, so don't get too excited. Or maybe you should, because they've a very unusual event planned...

Feature by David Agnew | 29 Jun 2010
  • Adrian Searle, Gutter

When asked why The Skinny’s readers should go to Gutter Magazine’s event at Unbound, the magazine’s editor Adrian Searle gets straight to the point: “Ours will be the smuttiest... the magazine is named Gutter after all!”

Actually, it’s possible that his claim will be a hard one to uphold in this programme (all being well!) but then again... “The event is called McSex,” says Searle “and will examine whether there’s such a thing as an erotic tradition in Scottish literature.” To this end, “We’re asking four published and three unpublished Scottish writers to read from their own work and others from any period of Scottish literature, past or present,” which should provide ample proof of this theorem.

Confirmed authors so far include Zoë Strachan – “a brilliant erotic writer” – and Ewan Morrison – “who has written some of the most important books about contemporary sexuality in the last twenty years – Swung and the fabulous Ménage’." They’re the promised published authors, with two others still to be confirmed. Searle continues, “They’ll be joined by three outstanding young writers, Helen Sedgwick, Anneliese Mackintosh and Allan Radcliffe, all of whom coincidently are graduates of Glasgow University’s renowned creative writing Masters programme”.

Gutter’s event is probably running in the Unbound strand because it wouldn’t fit elsewhere in the Book Festival’s programme. Not because of the subject matter though, more because Unbound is being used as a way to give new writers an outlet. Searle says “I think Nick Barley and his team are to be commended for introducing the Unbound strand of late night events. The Scottish literary scene is bouncing just now, and while EIBF is excellent at attracting big names to Edinburgh, it can also provide an important platform for emerging Scottish talent.” And he continues that the freedom of the Spiegeltent atmosphere, and the format of the Unbound events “give us the freedom to break out of the traditional, relatively static approach to literary events and deliver something more vibrant.”

Gutter itself should also be commended for providing a platform for emerging writers. And it seems there’s an audience for the magazine, too. “Issue 1 has sold out and Issue 2 is selling very well,” says Searle. ”We now have a well established subscriber base and we’ve had some great events, particularly at Aye Write and the National Library of Scotland.”

Their event at Unbound looks set to be similarly great. Perhaps it’ll even be good enough to produce something that matches the moment Searle tells me is his favourite ever from the Edinburgh International Book Festival: “Hunter Davies asked Janice Galloway if she was a man-hater. She almost roasted him alive!”

Maybe not quite. Still, in addition to quality readings, there will be "a short acoustic set from Grant Campbell, Scotland’s answer to Tom Waits. And we’ll be announcing the result of a public poll as to who is the nation’s favourite erotic Scottish writer.” Get your votes in now, and get to the Spiegeltent on 15 August for A Night In The Gutter.

A Night In The Gutter will be on Sunday 15 Aug

For more information on Gutter magazine, please see www.guttermag.co.uk