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[SPL] July 2014: Catalan, Gaelic and The Bloody Great Border Ballad Project
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July 07, 2014 07:00 PM PDT
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In an episode recorded at last year's Edinburgh Fringe, we speak with the organiser of The Great Bloody Border Ballad Project, Lorne Campbell, and two of its six participants, the poet Chris Thorpe and theatre practitioner Lucy Ellinson, about their involvement in what was a fascinating exploration of the artistic potential of borders and a reimagining of the modern ballad. We also speak with Catalan poets Josep Lluís Aguiló and Carles Torner who appeared at the Edinburgh International Book Festival together with Gaelic poets Padraig MacAoidh and Niall O'Gallagher. They discuss writing in their respective minority languages and how the situation with Gaelic publishing is almost the opposite of that enjoyed by Catalan. Presented by Ryan Van Winkle @rvwable and produced by Colin Fraser @kailworm of Culture Laser Productions http://www.culturelaser.com @culturelaser.

[SPL] July 2014: Brian Johnstone
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July 04, 2014 01:32 AM PDT
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In this podcast Jennifer Williams talks to Brian Johnstone about his newest book, Dry Stone Work (Arc, 2014), and about upcoming The Fields of War performances (https://www.facebook.com/Fields.of.War) with poet Chrys Salt at the National Library of Scotland and other venues.

Brian Johnstone is a Scottish poet, who was born in Edinburgh in 1950, but who has lived in Fife since 1969. A well-known figure on the Scottish poetry scene, he is a published poet with six collections to his name, a literary event organiser of broad experience and a live performer of his poems both as a solo reader and with various musical collaborators.

Find out more about Trio Verso – Brian’s jazz collaboration project, The Fields of War and more at: http://brianjohnstonepoet.co.uk/

Many thanks to James Iremonger for the music in this podcast. www.jamesiremonger.co.uk

[SPL] June 2014: Christian McEwen
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June 26, 2014 05:26 AM PDT
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This podcast with author Christian McEwen was recorded in the summer of 2013. Christian talks about her book World Enough & Time: On Creativity and Slowing Down, and about a life built around making the spaces to write and create. Christian works as a freelance writer and workshop leader. For many years, she taught poetry to teachers through the Creative Arts in Learning Program at Lesley University. A collection of her poems, In the Wake of Home, was published by Meadowlark Press in 2004

[SPL] June 2014: Alasdair Paterson
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June 19, 2014 03:41 AM PDT
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Odysseys of one sort or another theme the latest SPL podcast. Our guide, the poet Alasdair Paterson, takes us on a journey from a wry take on Homer's Greece through the Livepool music scene of the 1970s, onwards to post-Soviet Russia, ending in Arcadia. Little wonder Paterson's latest collection is called Elsewhere or Thereabouts (Shearsman). Along the way we welcome guests such as the geologist James Hutton and Paterson's fellow librarian-poet Philip Larkin.

[SPL] June 2014: Michael Schmidt and Peter Rose
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June 10, 2014 05:00 PM PDT
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We talk with two poet editors on this episode: Michael Schmidt, founder, editor and director of Carcanet Books and editor of the PN Review, and Peter Rose, editor of the Australian Book Review. Both read us a selection of their poems and discuss their approach to editing and to writing. Presented by Ryan Van Winkle @rvwable and produced by Colin Fraser @kailworm of Culture Laser Productions http://www.culturelaser.com @culturelaser. Photo: Ben Schmidt

[SPL] June 2014: Commonwealth Poets United: Toni Stuart and Rachel McCrum
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June 06, 2014 03:44 AM PDT
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Commonwealth Poets United is an international exchange between six Scottish poets and poets from six Commonwealth nations. Toni Stuart is a South African poet named in the Mail and Guardian’s list of 200 Inspiring Young South Africans for her work in co-founding I Am Somebody! – an NGO that uses storytelling and youth development to build integrated communities. Rachel McCrum, originally from Northern Ireland, is an Edinburgh resident today, a poet and the co-creator of popular spoken word event Rally and Broad. Both poets visited each other's countries to draw inspiration from a different culture. When Toni was visiting Scotland, she came into the Scottish Poetry Library with Rachel to talk about their exchange trips, how food united them, and how 'when you learn a new language, you gain a new soul'.

[SPL] May 2014: Ilyse Kusnetz
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May 27, 2014 06:52 AM PDT
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In this podcast Jennifer Williams talks to Ilyse Kusnetz who was visiting Scotland during the StAnza Festival 2014. They talk about when to put the poem in the closet, feminism and politics in poetry and what the Scottish Referendum looks like from across the Atlantic.

Ilyse Kusnetz received her MA in Creative Writing from Syracuse University and her Ph.D. in Feminist and Postcolonial British Fiction from the University of Edinburgh. Her poetry has been published in journals such as Rattle, Crazyhorse, the Atlanta Review, Stone Canoe, Poetry Review, the Cimarron Review, Poet Lore, and MiPOesias, and her book reviews and interviews have appeared in The Scotsman, Scotland on Sunday, The New Statesman, the Orlando Sentinel, and The Florida Review. She is the author of a chapbook, The Gravity of Falling. Currently, she teaches English and Creative Writing at Valencia College in Orlando, where she lives with her husband, the poet Brian Turner.

Ilyse Kusnetz is the winner of the 2014 T. S. Eliot Prize for Poetry for her collection, “Small Hours.”

Music by James Iremonger www.jamesiremonger.co.uk

This podcast was recorded in association with StAnza, Scotland’s International Poetry Festival at StAnza 2014.

[SPL] May 2014: Jenny Lewis
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May 15, 2014 05:44 AM PDT
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When we think of World War One, our images of the conflict is largely shaped by those of the Western Front or perhaps Gallipoli. It was a truly global conflict, however, and one less remarked upon campaign was that of an Anglo-Indian force despatched to what is southern Iraq today, to secure oli supplies. Perhaps because the campaign turned into something of a disaster. Poet, playwright and songwriter Jenny Lewis' father fought as part of that force. Her new collection Taking Mesopotamia (Carcanet) reimagines the campaign using her father's diaries. It also takes in more recent wars in the region as well as the story of Gilgamesh, the ancient Sumerian warrior king, to create a vision of mankind that repeatedly fails to learn the lessons of war. Lewis took time out from the StAnza poetry festival, where she was appearing in March 2014,to talk to us about war, oil, myth, and the gods.

[SPL] May 2014: Caroline Bird
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May 05, 2014 02:53 AM PDT
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We talked with Caroline Bird after her recent reading at The Sutton Gallery in Edinburgh. She discusses her latest collection The Hat-Stand Union and reads a couple of her poems. She also talks about the importance of reading for a poet and how an Arvon course she attended when she was 13 persuaded her to transform her readings habits. It obviously worked as she published her first collection at just 15 years of age. Presented by Ryan Van Winkle @rvwable and produced by Colin Fraser @kailworm of Culture Laser Productions @culturelaser http://culturelaser.com

[SPL] May 2014: Brian Turner
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May 01, 2014 02:41 AM PDT
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In this podcast poet Brian Turner talks to Jennifer Williams about the poetry that came out of his own experience as a solider, and how poetry can be a line thrown out by the breath or a question planted inside a reader.

Recorded in association with StAnza, Scotland’s International Poetry Festival at StAnza 2014.

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