Scottish Poetry Library Podcast
Monthly poetry podcasts presented by Colin Waters.
February 02, 2018 06:56 AM PST
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
December 20, 2017 06:08 AM PST
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
November 28, 2017 03:54 AM PST
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
November 03, 2017 04:26 AM PDT
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
September 28, 2017 06:07 AM PDT
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
August 24, 2017 08:19 AM PDT
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
July 27, 2017 07:23 AM PDT
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 licenceJL Williams: After Economy
June 29, 2017 04:16 AM PDT
JL Williams (also known as one of our former podcast hosts, Jennifer WIlliams) recently published a new collection After Economy (Shearsman), inspired by nanotechnology and a vision of a post-capitalist society. In May, she launched the book at Edinburgh's Talbot Rice Gallery, accompanied by cellist Atzi Muramatsu. In the latest episode of the SPL's podcast series, we include excerpts of Williams' and Muramatsu's performance, plus Williams talks about the inspiration behind After Economy.Jim Carruth
May 18, 2017 08:24 AM PDT
With warm words on the back of his latest collection from Douglas Dunn and Les Murray, Jim Carruth comes highly recommended. Scotland's leading living poet of its rural experience, Carruth grew up on a family farm near Kilbarchan.
His first collection Bovine Pastoral was published in 2004, since when he has brought out a further five collections, the latest of which is Black Cart (Freight, 2016). In 2010 he was chosen as one of the poets showcased in Oxford Poets 2010.
In 2014 he was appointed Poet Laureate of Glasgow. He's also one of the founders of St Mungo’s Mirrorball, which is responsible for one of Glasgow's best poetry nights and for pairing emerging poets with experienced poets for a year's mentorship.
In our latest podcast, Carruth discusses Scotland and the rural experience, mental health in the countryside, and not taking over the family farm.William Letford
April 18, 2017 07:50 AM PDT
Nicholas Lezard called William Letford 'the new Scottish genius', a judgement the SPL is not inclined to disagree with. With a new collection, Dirt (Carcanet), in the shops, we thought it was a good time to catch up with him. We discussed how India changed his life and poetry, whether he's funnier in Scots and the influence of work.
Monthly podcasts from the Scottish Poetry Library, hosted by Colin Waters.
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