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Marcas Mac an Tuairneir, Hamish Henderson and The Darg
October 08, 2019 03:26 AM PDT
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To mark the centenary of Hamish Henderson's birth, we're joined by Marcas Mac an Tuairneir, poet and Gaelic language advocate. He talks about Henderson's legacy as a writer and activist. He also discusses the Poets Republic, which has recently published a tribute volume in honour of Henderson, to which Mac an Tuairneir has contributed. He also talks about his own poetry and how he came to write in Gaelic.

Penny Boxall
August 30, 2019 05:47 AM PDT
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Penny Boxall is the winner of the 2016 Edwin Morgan Poetry Award and the 2018 Mslexia / Poetry Book Society Poetry Competition. She's the author of two collections, Ship of the Line and Who Goes There?, both published by Valley Press. She was born in 1987 and grew up in Aberdeenshire and Yorkshire. We spoke earlier this year and at the time of the interview she was Development Manager at Shandy Hall, Laurence Sterne’s house in the North York Moors. Jackie Kay, who was one of the judges the year Boxall won, said of her poetry: ‘Penny Boxall runs a tight ship. Her poems are beautifully crafted. Reading her is to go on an interesting journey of exploration—stopping at fascinating places along the way. She has a curator’s mind and is always putting one thing beside another in an unexpected way.’

Niall O'Gallagher
July 29, 2019 04:08 AM PDT
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To coincide with Niall O'Gallagher's appointment as Bàrd Baile Ghlaschu, Glasgow's Gaelic poet laureate, we present an interview with O'Gallagher.

Niall O’Gallagher’s first book of poems, Beatha Ùr (Clàr), was published in 2013. Beatha Ùr continued Gaelic poetry’s long-running engagement with Scotland’s largest city. His second collection, Suain nan Trì Latha (2016), made this explicit in a series of poems, many addressed to the poet’s infant son, echoing classical Gaelic love lyrics.

Although he's translated other's poetry from Gaelic to English, O’Gallagher has declined to translate his own poetry, preferring to rely on others, like Deborah Moffat and Peter Mackay, to produce English versions of his poems. During the podcast he talks about why he refuses to translate his own work, why Glasgow has always been a linguistic hub for Gaelic poetry, and what he plans to do as Bàrd Baile Ghlaschu.

Mary Jean Chan
June 28, 2019 03:04 AM PDT
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This month Suzannah V Evans takes over as host; she's in conversation with Mary Jean Chan in an interview recorded at StAnza, Scotland's poetry festival, earlier this year.

Chan was born in 1990 and raised in Hong Kong before continuing her education at the Universities of Oxford and London. She's already been nominated for the Forward Prize for Poetry's Best Single Poem category twice and earlier this year she was given an Eric Gregory Award. Her first full-length collection Flèche has just been published by Faber.

During the podcast, Chan discusses fencing (where the term 'flèche' comes from), how learning English at a young age made her realise some languages are more valued than others, and queerness.

Nina Bogin, Eoghan Walls and Beverley Bie Brahic
May 30, 2019 06:08 AM PDT
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Our latest podcast departs from our usual interview format. It's a recording of a reading held in the Scottish Poetry Library in March. The poets featured are Nina Bogin, Eoghan Walls and Beverley Bie Brahic.

Nina Bogin (pictured) was born in New York City and grew up on the north shore of Long Island. She attended Kirkland College and received a B.A. degree from New York University. She has lived in France since 1976. She taught English and literature at the University of Technology of Belfort-Montbéliard inFrance, until her retirement in 2017. She was a recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Grant in 1989 and Graywolf Press published her first book of poems, In the North, that same year. Two books of poems followed, The Winter Orchards in 2001 and The Lost Hare in 2012, both published by Anvil Press. Her latest collection, Thousandfold, is published by Carcanet.

Eoghan Walls was born in Derry in Northern Ireland. He attended Atlantic College on the coast of South Wales and has lived and taught in Germany, Rwanda, Scotland and presently, northern England. He won an Eric Gregory Award in 2006, an Irish Art's Council Bursary in 2009, and his work has been published widely in journals and anthologies throughout the UK and Ireland. His first collection of poems, The Salt Harvest, was published by Seren in 2011 and was shortlisted for the Strong Award for Best First Collection. He teaches creative writing at Lancaster University. His latest collection is Pigeon Songs, which is published by Seren.

Beverley Bie Brahic is a poet and translator. A Canadian, she lives in Paris and the San Francisco Bay Area. Her second poetry collection, White Sheets, was a finalist for the 2012 Forward Prize. Brahic’s translations include Guillaume Apollinaire's The Little Auto, winner of the 2013 Scott Moncrieff Prize; and books by Jacques Derrida and Julia Kristeva.

Liz Berry
April 26, 2019 04:38 AM PDT
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Liz Berry was born in the Black Country which gave her first collection its title. Black Country won a chorus of praise, not to mention a Poetry Book Society Recommendation, a Somerset Maugham Award, the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Award and Forward Prize for Best First Collection. The collection is characterised by poems written in the Black Country dialect.

Her recent pamphlet The Republic of Motherhood was a Poetry Book Society Pamphlet choice and was shortlisted for the Michael Marks Award, while its title poem won the Forward Prize for Best Single Poem 2018. 

Recorded at the StAnza Poetry Festival in St Andrews, Berry talks about the lack of poetry that tells the truth about the experience of childbirth and rearing, the Black Country accent and pigeons.

Fiona Moore
March 29, 2019 07:06 AM PDT
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Fiona Moore works today as a full-time writer but, as you’ll hear in this podcast, she joined the Foreign Office after graduating from university, and it was through this job that she lived for periods in the 1980s in Eastern European countries behind the Iron Curtain. Her insights into totalitarianism inspired several poems which are all too timely. She reviews poetry, having served as an assistant editor for The Rialto. In 2014, she was Saboteur Best Reviewer. Her debut pamphlet, The Only Reason for Time, was a Guardian poetry book of the year and her second, Night Letter, was shortlisted for the Michael Marks Award for Poetry Pamphlets. Her first full collection, The Distal Point was published by HappenStance last year, and was described by her publisher as a book ‘in which she confronts personal loss and irretrievable change, as well as wider, more public themes—recent European history and the politics of power.’ In this podcast, Moore discusses grief, dictators and Brexit.

Ilyse Kusnetz and Brian Turner
February 28, 2019 08:45 AM PST
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The Library was saddened when we heard the American poet Ilyse Kusnetz had died in 2016; two years before her death, she'd recorded a podcast with the Library.

A new collection of work, Angel Bones, written while she was undergoing treatment for cancer, is about to be published by Alice James Books.

The book has been overseen into publication by Kusnetz's husband Brian Turner, a poet, editor and memoirist himself. He’s the author of the collections Here, Bullet and Phantom Noise and the memoir My Life as a Foreign Country.

We spoke to Turner about Kusnetz and Angel Bones via Skype as he is living in Florida. He talks about her love of Scotland and its poetry, the anger contemporary politics caused her, and how her poems take you inside the process of treatment for cancer.

Don Paterson on Aphorisms
January 31, 2019 02:57 AM PST
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Towards the end of 2018, Don Paterson came to the Scottish Poetry Library to discuss his latest book, The Fall at Home: New and Collected Aphorisms, which is published by Faber. Winner of the T.S. Eliot Prize and Whitbread Poetry Award, Paterson is one of Scotland's most accomplished poets, not to mention a musician, and in recent years has published several volumes of aphorisms, which are brought together in The Fall at Home. During the podcast, he discusses the relationship between poetry and aphorisms, why the English-speaking world doesn't have a strong tradition of aphorisms, and what happened the time he attended an aphorists convention.

Happy 100th Birthday, Muriel Spark! With Rob A Mackenzie and Louise Peterkin
December 18, 2018 04:14 AM PST
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Muriel Spark's 100th birthday was celebrated in 2018 in several ways honouring her status as arguably the greatest Scottish novelist of the twentieth century. One of the more imaginative ways came late in the year with the publication of Spark: Poetry and Art Inspired by the Novels of Muriel Spark, which was edited by poets Rob A Mackenzie and Louise Peterkin and published by Blue Diode. With contributors including Tishani Doshi, Vahni Capildeo and Sean O'Brien, the anthology does Spark justice. Mackenzie and Peterkin came into the SPL to talk about Spark and her career as a poet, from her controversial time at the Poetry Society in the 1940s to how poetry informed her novels. Plus a tribute to the late Matthew Sweeney.

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