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Vicki Husband
February 23, 2017 07:40 AM PST
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Vicki Husband is one of the most interesting Scottish poets to have emerged in the past year. 2016 saw the publication of her debut This Far Back Everything Shimmers (Vagabond Voices), which was shortlisted for the Saltire Society's Scottish Poetry Book of the Year Award, where she found herself shortlisted alongside Kathleen Jamie and Don Paterson. Her poems mix science and the everyday, finding the cosmic in the quotidian and vice versa. She talks to the SPL about using bees to diagnose illness, her mentor, the late Alexander Hutchison, and why there are so many animals in her poems.

Vahni Capildeo
January 26, 2017 01:40 AM PST
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‘I write because I must,’ says Vahni Capildeo, winner of the 2016 Forward Prize for Best Collection for Measures of Expatriation (published by Carcanet).
‘I think poetry,’ she says, ‘is a natural expression of humanity that has not been brutalized – which is able to take time and concentrate.’

In this podcast, Capildeo discusses the impact studying Old Norse at university had on her poetry, how women's voices are silenced, and why she objects to the word 'migrant'.

Andrew McMillan
December 20, 2016 07:10 AM PST
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Andrew McMillan is the author of Physical (published by Jonathan Cape), which won the Guardian First Book Award, the first time a collection of poetry won the prize. He was born in 1988 and grew up in a small village outside Barnsley in south Yorkshire, studying English at Lancaster and University College London before becoming a lecturer in creative writing at Liverpool John Moores University.

He visited the SPL in August of 2016 while up in Edinburgh for the EIBF. During the course of the interview he talks about the one thing he tries to instill in his creative writing students, the criminal neglect of poet Thom Gunn, and why there are so few poems about going to the gym.

Image: Urszula Sołtys

Eleanor Wilner (and Jennifer says goodbye)
December 07, 2016 03:19 AM PST
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In this goodbye podcast from Jennifer Williams, she shares her very first SPL interview with the American poet Eleanor Wilner. Jennifer first met Eleanor at the Scottish Poetry Library soon after she started, and Eleanor continues to be a friend and mentor for Jennifer in her life as a poet (www.jlwilliamspoetry.co.uk) and person who believes that art can do good work in the world. Jennifer would like to say a huge thank you to all the listeners out there who have tuned in all these years.

Eleanor Wilner: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poets/detail/eleanor-wilner

With many thanks, always, to James Iremonger for the music in this podcast: https://jamesiremonger.wordpress.com/tabla/

The Loud Poets
November 25, 2016 03:07 AM PST
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Since forming in 2014, the Loud Poets have been wowing festival audiences from Edinburgh to Prague with their live shows. Comprised of Kevin Mclean, Catherine Wilson, Doug Garry, and Katie Ailes, plus musicians, plus a large number of 'reserve members', the Loud Poets have attracted a lively and loyal following.

In the SPL's latest podcast, we ask the loud Poets about their 'origin story', making space for their brand of spoken word, and what they plan to do at the special Christmas show they're putting on here at the SPL.

That's right. The Loud Poets will be performing at the SPL on Wednesday 7 December, 6pm (with tickets £7 pr £5 concessions). Figgy pudding not supplied. Tickets can be bought here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/loud-poets-xmas-special-tickets-27026741712

Literary Europe Live
November 17, 2016 08:30 AM PST
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In this podcast Jennifer Williams speaks to our New Voices from Europe Literary Europe Live SPL Poets in Residence Juana Adcock and Árpád Kollár about writing poetry while listening to Hungarian punk music, the definition of Spanglish, how to write multi-lingual poems and much more. This project was made possible by Literary Europe Live, Literature Across Frontiers and the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union.



With many thanks to James Iremonger for the music in this podcast: https://jamesiremonger.wordpress.com/tabla/

Isobel Dixon
October 28, 2016 03:11 AM PDT
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In this podcast Jennifer Williams talks to the poet Isobel Dixon about the universal and the particular, collaboration and making space in a busy schedule to write, how to bring in the personal in poetry and much more.

Please note: unfortunately there is a buzz from a mobile signal through some short sections of this podcast. We have edited it out where possible, but could not take it out altogether, and we didn’t want to lose too much of Isobel’s interview. We hope it won’t detract from your enjoyment in listening. Many thanks.

Many thanks to James Iremonger for the music in this podcast.

Helen Mort
October 11, 2016 11:15 AM PDT
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Helen Mort is one of the UK's most exciting young voices. She came into the SPL to talk about her second book No Maps Could Show Them (Chatto & Windus) and to read poems from the collection. During the course of the interview, she talks about female pioneers of mountaineering, the strange health risks men believed running posed women, and the historical characters she's drawn to writing about.

Sarah Howe
September 22, 2016 04:46 AM PDT
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In this podcast, the poet Sarah Howe talks to Jennifer Williams about kicking off the 2016 Edinburgh International Book Festival, writing with multiple languages and alphabets, sense and non-sense in poetry and much more.


Sarah Howe is a British poet, academic and editor. Her first book, Loop of Jade (Chatto & Windus, 2015), won the T.S. Eliot Prize and The Sunday Times / PFD Young Writer of the Year Award, and was shortlisted for the Seamus Heaney Centre Poetry Prize and the Forward Prize for Best First Collection.

Born in Hong Kong in 1983 to an English father and Chinese mother, she moved to England as a child. Her pamphlet, A Certain Chinese Encyclopedia (Tall-lighthouse, 2009), won an Eric Gregory Award from the Society of Authors.

Her poems have appeared in journals including Poetry Review, Poetry London, The Guardian, The Financial Times, Ploughshares and Poetry, as well as anthologies such as Ten: The New Wave and four editions of The Best British Poetry. She has performed her work at festivals internationally and on BBC Radio 3 & 4. She is the founding editor of Prac Crit, an online journal of poetry and criticism.

Previous fellowships include a Research Fellowship at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, a Hawthornden Fellowship, the Harper-Wood Studentship for English Poetry and a Fellowship at Harvard University’s Radcliffe Institute. Find out more about her latest academic projects here. She is currently a Leverhulme Fellow in English at University College London.

Photo credit: Hayley Madden

Don Paterson and Krystelle Bamford
August 31, 2016 08:37 AM PDT
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Two poets, one podcast. Krystelle Bamford and Don Paterson are reading together at the Scottish Poetry Library at an event we’re holding on Wednesday 23 November, 6pm. Tickets are £7 (£5).

Bamford was born in the US but has been living in Edinburgh for over five years now. She completed an MLitt in Creative Writing at the University of St Andrews and has been published in The American Poetry Review and The Kenyon Review, and she has also won a Scottish Book Trust New Writers Award.

Two-time winner of the T.S. Eliot Prize for Poetry, Don Paterson more than deserves his reputation as one of Britain's foremost poets. His latest collection is 40 Sonnets (Faber). He hails from Dundee, and is living in Edinburgh these days.

Both poets came into the SPL in July where we spoke about translations, sonnets and what sort of a character makes for a good poem.

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