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[SPL] April 2014: Niall Campbell
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April 17, 2014 04:03 AM PDT
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Niall Campbell is one of the most promising poets of the younger generation of Scottish writers. Hailing from the island of South Uist in the Western Isles, Campbell is a poet whose work is as lyrical as it is intriguing. With his debut collection Moontide just published by Bloodaxe, Campbell took time to talk to the SPL about growing up on an island, his interest in spirituality without God, and the similarities between sculpture and poetry.

[SPL] Lee Si-Young with Marcus Slease & Claire Potter
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April 06, 2014 10:00 PM PDT
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On this episode we talk with Korean poet Lee Si-Young and his translator, Brother Anthony of Taize. He reads some of his poems and reflects on how his work has evolved since the military dictatorship in South Korea when it was dangerous and extremely difficult to publish poetry. It 'was a responsibility that young poets had to take to stand up and dare take the risk to oppose and indicate there was another way ahead.' He also discusses his views on political poetry - 'without something that emerges from the human heart you cannot have a poem... If I am simply angry then nothing will come out in terms of poetry. It has to be transformed.' You may find more information about Lee Si-Young and other Korean poets on Brother Anthony's website http://hompi.sogang.ac.kr/anthony/ We also feature one of the collaborations from SJ Fowler's Camerade project with Marcus Slease and Claire Potter. Listen to more of the collaborations at http://bit.ly/LaserCam and find out more at: http://sjfowlerpoetry.com. Presented by Ryan Van Winkle @rvwable and produced by Colin Fraser @kailworm of Culture Laser Productions @culturelaser http://www.culturelaser.com

[SPL] March 2014: Alexander Hutchison
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March 31, 2014 07:50 AM PDT
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Alexander Hutchison, a poet and translator in Scots and English, was born in 1943 in Buckie in the north-east of Scotland, and currently lives in Glasgow. His first book Deep-Tap Tree (University of Massachusetts Press, 1978) is still in print. Other collections include The Moon Calf (Galliard, 1990) and Carbon Atom (Link-Light, 2006). Melodic Cells, an interview with Hutchison conducted by Andrew Duncan appears in Don't Start Me Talking: Interviews with Contemporary Poets. (Salt: Cambridge, 2006). Salt also published Scales Dog: New and Selected Poems in 2007. In this podcast SPL Programme Manager Jennifer Williams talks to Alexander about his most recent collection, Bones & Breath (Salt), tardigrades, ancient spears, the poet’s voice and much more!

[SPL] March 2014: J.L. Williams
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March 19, 2014 09:43 AM PDT
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J.L Williams is a poet fascinated by the possiblility of metamorphoses, whether it be witnessed in the natural world or experienced in one's own life. Her first collection Condition of Fire (Shearsman) was inspired by Ovid, and in her new collection Locust and Marlin (Shearsman) she returns to the theme of change, albeit from a fresh perspective. In our latest podcast, she talks to us about the nature of stone, the poetry of locusts, and just how spiritual she is.

Commonwealth Poets United: Tanya Shirley
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March 11, 2014 03:52 AM PDT
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Commonwealth Poets United is an international exchange between six Scottish poets and poets from six Commonwealth nations: Canada, India, Jamaica, New Zealand, Nigeria and South Africa. It will establish relationships between artists, organisations and communities through a culturally enriching poetry exchange. You can read more about Commonwealth Poets United at commonwealthpoetsunited.com/

Tanya Shirley, who lives in Jamaica, came to Scotland as part of the exchange trip. She visited the Scottish Poetry Library in early March 2014. While visiting, she spent time discussing her work with SPL programme manager and fellow poet JL Williams. Tanya read poems about her great-grandmother's funeral and her gun-toting grandfather. The poems, like Tanya's conversation, are full of life and laughter. The poetry opens the door on facets of Jamaican life.

[SPL] March 2014: Mark Doty
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March 06, 2014 05:00 PM PST
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Mark Doty speaks with Ryan Van Winkle about daring to do the things in poems that others are scared to do and bringing aspects of your own personality into your writing and your readings. In this wide ranging discussion we cover such topics as Alec Baldwin, dogs, celebration and the importance of reading widely to develop as a writer. Presented by Ryan Van Winkle @rvwable and produced by Colin Fraser @kailworm of Culture Laser Productions http://www.culturelaser.com @culturelaser.

[SPL] February 2014: MacGillivray
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February 27, 2014 06:12 AM PST
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In this podcast the poet and artist MacGillivray (http://www.macgillivray.org.uk/) reads from and discusses her new book, The Last Wolf of Scotland (Pighog http://www.pighog.co.uk/authors/MacGillivray.html). The collection is an exploration of connections between Scotland and the American Frontier whose form brilliantly reflects the subject matter of the poems. MacGillivray joins SPL Programme Manager Jennifer Williams in a conversation that maps the rich web of influences from which her poetry emerges, taking in Doors frontman Jim Morrison, mock ancient Scottish bard Ossian, and the mysterious ‘Man with Fourteen Lives’. Plus a debate about whether poetry works better on the page or read aloud, or memorised and recited. Image courtesy of Christian Thompson.

[SPL] February 2014: Gerda Stevenson
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February 17, 2014 06:18 AM PST
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Actor-writer-director-singer-songwriter, Gerda Stevenson recently added another string to her bow with the publication of her first book of poetry If This Were Real, which came out on Smokestack Books last year. In interview with the SPL, Gerda discusses how her other life as an actor has influenced her poetry, performing Edwin Morgan’s words on stage, and her rhythmical inheritance from her composer father. She also gives poets tips on how to get the best out of their live performances.

[SPL] February 2014: Luke Wright
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February 05, 2014 10:00 PM PST
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Ryan Van Winkle @rvwable talks with Luke Wright @lukewrightpoet about his first collection Mondeo Man in this interview recorded just after his sell out event at the Edinburgh International Book Festival. Luke reads a couple of his poems and discusses how he has evolved as a poet, why he felt the need to publish a collection now and how becoming a parent changed his attitude to his own work. http://www.lukewright.co.uk We also feature the track 'Gospel According to the Purple Cotton Dress' by C.R. Avery. http://www.cravery.com Produced by Colin Fraser @kailworm of Culture Laser Productions @culturelaser http://www.culturelaser.com Photo: Steve Ullathorne

[SPL] January 2014: Lynn Davidson & Alyson Hallett
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January 28, 2014 03:35 AM PST
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In this podcast SPL Programme Manager Jennifer Williams talks to two Hawthornden Fellows Lynn Davidson and Alyson Hallett about where they come from, loneliness versus aloneness, and their current and upcoming work.

Lynn Davidson’s fiction and poetry has appeared in journals and her short fiction has been broadcast on national radio. Davidson has received several grants and fellowships to develop her work, including the 2003 Louis Johnson New Writers' Bursary from Creative New Zealand.

Alyson Hallett's work spans different continents and art forms. She has a poem carved into Milsom Street pavement in Bath, words etched into glass in a library in Bristol, and she runs the international poetry and public art project The Migration Habits of Stones. She currently works as a Fellow with the Royal Literary Fund. Suddenly Everything is her second full volume of poetry.

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