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Eileen Myles
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May 15, 2018 04:44 AM PDT
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Poet, novelist, and essayist Eileen Myles is a trailblazer whose decades of literary and artistic work 'set a bar for openness, frankness, and variability few lives could ever match' (New York Review of Books). In March, they performed at the Scottish Poetry Library, reading from a new memoir Afterglow (A Dog Memoir). While here, we sat down with Eileen to talk about how to be an artist during the Trump era, anthropomorphism and the linguistic legacy of growing up working class. As well as pondering whether George W Bush was a space snake alien thing.

Rory Waterman
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March 23, 2018 07:25 AM PDT
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Rory Waterman is the author of Tonight the Summer's Over and Sarajevo Roses, both published by Carcanet. Rory was born in Belfast in 1981 before moving at an early age to Lincolnshire. Today, he's senior lecturer in English at Nottingham Trent University and co-edits the poetry pamphlet series New Walk Editions. In our latest podcast, Rory Waterman discusses writing poems about Trump and Brexit, growing up the child of divorce, and running a poetry magazine.

Elaine Feinstein
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February 27, 2018 05:35 AM PST
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Elaine Feinstein is a poet, translator, novelist, playwright and biographer. Her last collection, The Clinic, Memory (Carcanet) combines new poems with a 'best of', bringing together over half a century’s worth of work. During the podcast, Feinstein discusses anti-semitism, Donald Trump, Don Quixote and translating poetry.

Image by V. Carew Hunt

Alan Spence
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February 02, 2018 06:56 AM PST
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Our first podcast of 2018 features an interview with new Edinburgh Makar Alan Spence. Novelist, short-story writer, dramatist and, of course, poet, Spence is one of the leading lights of the Scottish literary scene. With his work informed by his Buddhism, Spence imbues his poetry with both a cosmic perspective and a Scottish sensibility to comic and enlightening effect. During the course of the interview, Spence discusses Zen and the art of poetry, working with visual artists, and the rivalry between Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Peter Mackay
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December 20, 2017 06:08 AM PST
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Pàdraig MacAoidh / Peter Mackay is a native Gaelic speaker from the Isle of Lewis. He is an academic, writer and broadcaster whose work is influenced by the diverse linguistic heritage of his birthplace. His debut collection, Gu Leòr / Galore, was published by Acair. In our latest podcast, Mackay discusses repressed Scots, journalism versus poetry, and growing up bilingual.

Hera Lindsay Bird
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November 28, 2017 03:54 AM PST
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Hera Lindsay Bird is a poet from New Zealand. Her first poetry collection, also called Hera Lindsay Bird, was published in July 2016 by Victoria University Press and quickly sold out its first print run. A UK edition was published in November 2017. In August, when Bird was in Edinburgh to take part in the Edinburgh International Book Festival, she found time to come down to the Scottish Poetry Library. While in the Library, she argued in favour of hating wisely, what it's like when a poem goes viral, and why sentiment is nothing to be scared of.

Henry Marsh
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November 03, 2017 04:26 AM PDT
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Henry Marsh is a Scottish poet who divides his time writing about the natural world and Scotland's troubled history. In the past, he's written about Mary Queen of Scots, John Knox and the Covenanters. In his latest collection, Under Winter Skies (Birlinn), Marsh focuses on James Graham, the first Marquess of Montrose, a brilliant soldier and poet who changed sides during the War of the Three Kingdoms. Marsh explains why he wanted to write an entire collection about this tragic figure in the SPL's latest podcast.

Sinéad Morrissey
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September 28, 2017 06:07 AM PDT
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Winner of the 2017 Forward Prize, Sinéad Morrissey visited the Scottish Poetry Library to talk about her latest collection, On Balance (Carcanet).

Morrissey grew up in Northern Ireland. At the age of 18, she won the Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Award, an early indicator of future success. She’s worked with schools, charities, prisoners, and while Laureate of Belfast, she met the Queen. Currently, she’s living in Northumberland and working in the creative writing department at the University of Newcastle.

During the course of the podcast, Morrissey talks about her fascination with engineering, her grandfather's communism, and why writing is a spooky art.

Joni Wallace
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August 24, 2017 08:19 AM PDT
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Joni Wallace grew up in Los Alamos, the birthplace of the atom bomb. Her latest collection Kingdom Come Radio Hour (Barrow Street Press), which is inspired by her childhood, focuses on the extraordinary life of J. Robert Oppenheimer, the father of the nuclear bomb. Wallace discusses her personal connection to Oppenheimer, 'documentary poetics', Hank Williams, and why deer appear so often in her work.

Umbrellas of Edinburgh
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July 27, 2017 07:23 AM PDT
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Last year, the publisher Freight put out an anthology called Umbrellas of Edinburgh. This collection of new work brought together poems all about Scotland’s capital. Co-edited by Claire Askew and Russell Jones, Umbrellas of Edinburgh is a poetic map of the city, from the centre and Princess Street, to the rim of the city and areas like Wester Hailes. There are also, as you’ll hear, poems about Edinburgh’s monuments and landmarks. Many of the poets you’ll hear have appeared on previous SPL podcasts, writers such as Harry Giles, Christine De Luca and Ryan Van Winkle. Many may be new to you. There’s even a poem about the Scottish Poetry Library waiting for you at the end of the podcast.

Image: Umbrellas Near London Bridge by C., under a Creative Commons licence

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