St Mungo's Mirrorball

The Glasgow network of poets and poetry lovers

March Mirrorball

Our March Mirrorball will take place on Thursday 25th March at 7pm with readings from: Catherine Eunson, Magi Gibson, Aoife Lyall and Heidi Williamson

The event will be held on Zoom, only members can attend our virtual events at present, please see membership page for details.

Heidi Williamson is an Advisory Fellow for the Royal Literary Fund. She was Royal Literary Fund Fellow at the University of East Anglia from 2018-2020 and again in 2021. As a Poetry Surgeon for The Poetry Society,  she mentors poets by Skype worldwide. Heidi also teaches for Poetry School, National Centre for Writing andThe Writing Coach. Her first collection, Electric Shadow (Bloodaxe 2011), was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation and shortlisted for the Seamus Heaney Centre Prize and her next, The Print Museum (Bloodaxe, 2016), won the 2016 East Anglian Book Award for Poetry. Heidi’s third collection Return by Minor Road (Bloodaxe 2020) revisits her time living in Dunblane at the time of the Primary School shooting and its aftermath. www.heidiwilliamsonpoet.com @heidiwilliamson

Aoife Lyall was born and raised in Dublin and now lives and works in the Scottish Highlands. She earned a BA in English Studies from Trinity College Dublin, an MPhil in Medieval Literature from St John’s, University of Cambridge, and a PGDE (English) from the University of Aberdeen. Aoife was awarded an Emerging Scottish Writer residency by Cove Park in 2020, was twice shortlisted for the Hennessy New Irish Writing Awards, shortlisted in Wells Festival of Literature Open Poetry Competition and the Jane Martin Poetry Prize and longlisted for the inaugural Rebecca Swift Foundation Women Poets’ Prize in 2018. She has worked as a guest curator for both the Scottish Poetry Library and Butcher’s Dog. Her reviews have appeared in The Interpreters’ House and Poetry London. Aoife’s debut collection, Mother, Nature (Bloodaxe, 2021), explores the tragic and tender experiences of pregnancy and early motherhood. https://www.aoifelyall.com/ @PoetLyall

Magi Gibson has six published poetry collections including Washing Hugh MacDiarmid’s Socks (Luath, 2017) and most recently I Like Your Hat (Luath, 2020) which sold out its first print run in a week. She won the Scotland on Sunday/Women 2000 Poetry Prize and has also won the Stirling Open Poetry Prize. Magi has held three Scottish Arts Council Creative Writing Fellowships, a Royal Literary Fund Fellowship, Writer in Residence in Glasgow’s Gallery of Modern Art and Scottish Book Trust Reader in Residence at Glasgow Women’s Library. She was the first Makar of the City of Stirling in 500 years. Her poetry appears in many anthologies, including Modern Scottish Women PoetsScottish Love Poems (both Canongate) and The Twentieth Century Book of Scottish Poetry (Edinburgh University Press). Magi co-edits The Poets’ Republicand runs Wild Women Writinghttp://www.magigibson.co.uk @MagiGibson

Catherine Eunson is originally from Orkney and lived on Benbecula in the Outer Hebrides for twenty years, where she brought up her two children and was variously busy with jobs in the arts, the community and education. Now living in Glasgow, Catherine was a joint winner of the James McCash Scots Poetry Competiton, 2018 and was highly commended the year before. She composed and recorded music for Pauline Prior-Pitt’s North Uist Sea Poems which featured in Poetry at Sunset at StAnza 2020, just before the world changed. Her poems have been published in Henge in the Surge on the George Mackay Brown Fellowship website, Northwords Now, Ink Sweat and Tears, Riggwelter and The Scores. Catherine published her debut chapbook, Mend, at the end of 2020. https://catherineeunson.net

 

Glenday Headlines

The headliner for our event on Thursday 4th February, Daisy Lafarge, has unfortunately had to cancel at the last minute, we wish her well. We are very grateful to John Glenday for stepping in at the last minute and we’re looking forward to hearing him read along with Sheila Templeton, David Cameron and Robin Lindsay Wilson.

John Glenday is one of our foremost lyric poets whose poems often meditate on elemental themes and the natural landscapes of Scotland. His poetry collections include: The Apple Ghost (Peterloo Poets, 1989), which received a Scottish Arts Council Book Prize; Undark (Peterloo Poets, 1995), a Poetry Book Society Recommendation;Grain (Picador, 2009), shortlisted for both the Ted Hughes Award and the Griffin International Poetry Prize; The Golden Mean (Picador, 2015), shortlisted for the Saltire Scottish Poetry Book of the Year and Winner of the 2015 Roehampton Poetry Prize; and most recently Selected Poems (Picador, 2020); and The Firth (Mariscat 2020). John is the mentor of St Mungo’s Mirrorball, Clydebuilt 12.

2021 Mirrorball

For the first Mirrorball of 2021 we’ll be hosting readings from Daisy Lafarge, David Cameron, Sheila Templeton and Robin Lindsay Wilson. The event will be held via Zoom on 4th February at 7pm; Members will be sent to link in the Museletter. Please see membership page for details on how to join Mirrorball.

Daisy Lafarge is the author of Life Without Air, a collection of poetry published by Granta Books and shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize 2020. Daisy grew up in Sussex and South London and has lived in Scotland since 2011. She studied at the University of Edinburgh and is currently working on Lovebug – a book about infection and intimacy – for a practice-based PhD at the University of Glasgow. Daisy has published two pamphlets of poetry: understudies for air (Sad Press, 2017) and capriccio (SPAM Press, 2019), and her visual work has been exhibited in galleries such as Tate St Ives and Talbot Rice Gallery. She received an Eric Gregory Award in 2017, was runner-up in the 2018 Edwin Morgan Poetry Award and received a Betty Trask Award in 2019 for her novel, Paul, forthcoming with Granta. Life Without Air is Daisy’s first poetry collection. 

David Cameron was born in Glasgow in 1966 and now lives near Belfast. In 2014 he received the Hennessy Literary Award for Poetry. His collection, The Bright Tethers: Poems 1988-2016 (Rune Press, 2016), was chosen by Ron Butlin as a Book of the Year in the Sunday Herald. His most recent books are the experimental novel Prendergast’s Fall (Into Books, 2019), the critical study Samuel Beckett: The Middle and Later Years (Greenwich Exchange Ltd, 2019), and the poetry book Korean Letters (Rune Press, 2020). His ongoing collaboration with the Toronto-based composer David Jaeger has resulted in three song cycles and other pieces. Seamus Heaney said of Cameron’s work that it  ‘provides an answer to Frost’s wish for poems about subjects common in experience but rare in books’.

Sheila Templeton writes in Scots and English. She was delighted to be nominated as Scots Writer of the Year in the Scots Language Awards 2020. She’s also won a number of prizes, the latest being the Neil Gunn Adult Poetry Competition 2019 and the James McCash Scots Language Poetry Competition 2020… for the 4th time. She often works in collaboration with Maggie Rabatski and AC Clarke in their Three Languages of Scotland project, which has resulted in publication by Tapsalteerie Press in its Biggin Brigs series of poetry pamphlets. The latest is Drochaid, published December 2019. Her most recent poetry collection isClyack by Red Squirrel Press, due out in February 2021. She is getting through these strange times as best she can, with much help from having become a grandmother… spending as much time as she can with her baby grandson.

Robin Lindsay Wilson was born in South Australia and has lived in Scotland for many years. He is Programme Leader of the Acting for Stage & Screen course at Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh. Robin has written playscripts for television, radio and theatre, several selected for awards. His poetry has been placed in a number of national competitions (including a commendation in the National Poetry Competition 2005) and is displayed in the corridors of the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow. Robin’s first poetry collection was Ready Made Bouquets (Cinnamon Press, 2005), followed by Myself & Other Strangers in 2015 and Backstage in Paradise in 2019. Rehearsals for the Real World(Cinnamon Press, 2020) is a collection of over five hundred mini monologues, flash fiction and poetry.

Clydebuilt 13

This year marks the beginning of our partnership with the Edwin Morgan Trust and, as part of the Edwin Morgan Centenary celebrations, we are excited to launch Clydebuilt 13. Edwin Morgan was an internationalist, writing across forms, themes, and languages and yet he was also very much a Glasgow-based poet; it is with this spirit that St Mungo’s Mirrorball designed the Clydebuilt Verse Apprenticeship Scheme. Founded in 2007, the scheme provides intensive support for poets at an early stage of their writing careers, encouraging a greater dialogue between them and more experienced practitioners. Mentors have included poets such as Liz Lochhead, Gerry Cambridge, John Glenday, Gerry Loose, Gerrie Fellows, A. B. Jackson, J. L. Williams, Miriam Gamble, and Alexander Hutchison.

This year the returning mentor is Gerry Cambridge and the poets with whom he’ll be working are:

Anjeli Caderamanpulle, Sean Wai Keung, Chris Boyland and Julie Laing.

Anjeli Caderamanpulle’s debut pamphlet Boys, published in March 2020 with SPAM Press is a response to the #metoo movement, and examines celebrity idolisation, sexual abuse and gender binary. Their poetry has been published in SPAM, Gutter, Adjacent Pineapple and Blue House Journal. They have been asked to read at Soft Shell, University Camarade and for SPAM. In May 2020, Caderamanpulle was selected as a featured reader for the Scottish BAME Writers Network.

Sean Wai Keung has released three pamphlets to date, you are mistaken (Rialto 2017), how to cook (Speculative Books 2018) and be happy (Speculative Books 2020). He has also had poems published in anthologies including Haunted Voices (Haunt Press 2019), The Dizziness of Freedom (Bad Betty 2019) and Why Poetry? (Verve 2018) and zines including Marbles Mag404InkBlood BathMonstrous RegimentZARF and SPAMZine. Wai Keung has a BA in Creative Writing from Roehampton University (2014) and an MA in Poetry from the University of East Anglia (2016). 

Chris Boyland’s debut pamphlet ‘User Stories’ was published in April 2020. Addressing the conditions of modern living (not the conditions we live in but those we’re forced to accept), ‘User Stories’ responds to Hanya Yanagihara’s challenge “poetry must be a quarrel with the times, otherwise why write?” ‘User Stories’ is available now from the independent, Edinburgh-based small press Stewed Rhubarb. You can find animated short films of two of the poems in the collection here and here.

Julie Laing’s practice includes creative writing, photography and sound and she has exhibited in Scotland and Singapore. Her undergraduate degree was in English Literature and History and she completed a MRes in Creative Practices at Glasgow School of Art in 2016 while working as a media lecturer in a college. Laing had short stories published in magazines such as West Coast in the 1990s, then after a long hiatus, was a runner up in the 2013 Guardian/Sony Futurescapes short story competition. For the last two years she has concentrated on poetry and have been published in anthologies: Gutter 21, The Edwin Morgan Centenary Collection, Time and Tide Solstice Shorts (Arachne Press) and Molly Bloom.

There were 35 applications to the scheme, and the standard was extremely high. Congratulations to all four poets and we look forward to hearing the results of the year’s apprenticeship at the Showcase!

December Showcase

 

We have a great line-up for our December showcase: Sinéad Morrissey, Alycia Primohamed, Mark Russell and Leslie Benzie. The event will be held on 10th December at 7pm on Zoom. Only members can join events at present, please see details on About page re: joining.

Sinéad Morrissey is the author of six poetry collections. Her awards include a Lannan Literary Fellowship, first prize in the UK National Poetry Competition, the Irish Times Poetry Prize (2009, 2013), and the T. S. Eliot Prize (2013). In 2016 she received the E. M. Forster Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. On Balance was the winner of the Forward Prize for Best Collection 2017 and of the European Poet of Freedom Award 2020. She is Professor of Creative Writing at Newcastle University and Director of the Newcastle Centre for the Literary Arts. Morrisey’s latest book of selected poems is Found Architecture, published by Carcanet.

Alycia Pirmohamed was announced as the winner of the 2020 Edwin Morgan Poetry Award for her collection The Ghosts that Visit Us as We Dream. A Canadian-born poet living in Scotland, she has recently completed her PhD at the University of Edinburgh on poetry written by second-generation immigrants. She is the co-founder and director of the Scottish BAME Writers Network. Her second pamphlet, Hinge (Ignition Press) was Poetry Book Society Pamphlet Choice of Summer 2020. Alycia currently reads for Tinderbox Poetry Journal.

Mark Russell has published two full collections and five pamphlets, the latest being (the book of gatherings) with Red Ceilings Press. He won the 2020 Magma Poetry Judge’s Prize, and his poems have appeared recently in Tears in the Fence, Gutter, Tentacular, Poetry Birmingham, Molly Bloom, The Fortnightly Review, Denver Quarterly, and Adjacent Pineapple

Lesley Benzie’s new book Fessen/Reared, is a volume of Doric and English poems from Seahorse Publications. Lesley has been published in a variety of literary magazines over decades, including, West Coast MagazinePushing Out The Boat and Cutting Teeth. Her first collection of poetry, SEWN UP, was published in 2000. Most recently, her poems have been selected for, A Kist of ThistlesPopshots Magazine and the upcoming Black Lives Matter Anthology. She received a ‘Highly Commended’ in the FWS Vernal Equinox Competition and was Runner up in the McCash Scots Poetry Prize. 

November Mirrorball

Our headliner is David Morley. His latest book from Carcanet Press, FURY, was a Poetry Book Society Choice and shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best Collection. David trained as an ecologist in the Lake District and won the Ted Hughes Award for The Invisible Gift: Selected Poems. His other books from Carcanet include The Magic of What’s There, The Gypsy and the Poet, Enchantment and The Invisible Kings. David wrote the bestselling The Cambridge Introduction to Creative Writing. He also pioneered podcasting in creative writing through his Slow Poetry and Writing Challenges spoken word projects. He is a professor at Warwick and Monash universities and a Fellow of The Royal Society of Literature.  

Our headliner will be supported by a programme of poetry from STEM Poets curated by Eveline Pye. The event will be held on 12th November at 7pm on Zoom. Currently only members can attend, please email Jim Carruth (Mirrorball chair) jimcarruth63@gmail.com or Vicki Husband (membership secretary) vickihusband@hotmail.com for details on how to join.


STEM poets readings on Ecopoetry

STEM poets are established poets with scientific backgrounds or a special interest in one of the sciences, pursued over many years, and they are committed to promoting informed writing on all scientific subjects. Ecopoetry is a marriage between ecology and poetry, a place where science and poetry overlap, where environmental awareness and ecological concerns can be expressed in an emotionally meaningful way. 

Eveline Pye is the only poet ever to be published in Significance, the joint magazine of the Royal Statistical Society and the American Statistical Society. She was an invited poet at Bridges Conferences on mathematical poetry in Sweden, Finland, Netherlands, Austria and Canada and her work has appeared in all four of their anthologies of mathematical poetry. The latest anthology can be purchased at http://bridgesmathart.org/bridges-2020/.  Eveline’s collection, Smoke That Thunders, was published by Mariscat Press (2015) and, from it, the poem Mosi-Oa-Tunya was chosen for the 20 Best Scottish Poems of that Year. Her second pamphlet, STEAM, is to be published by Red Squirrel, in 2021, and features poems on science, technology, engineering and mathematics, the STEM subjects. She was awarded 2nd prize in September 2020 in the SciPo competition run by St Hilda’s College, Oxford (https://www.st-hildas.ox.ac.uk/content/winners-announced-scipo-poetry-competition-science-seas)

November Mirrorball

Save the date for the next Mirrorball on 12th November at 7pm on Zoom, details to follow. Only members can attend virtual Mirrorball sessions at this time, for details on how to join please email chair, Jim Carruth: jimcarruth63@gmail.com or membership secretary: Vicki Husband: vickihusband@hotmail.com

October showcase

We have four great poets – Ross Wilson, Molly Vogel, James McGonigal and Janette Ayachi – lined up for our next event on Thursday 29th October at 7pm on Zoom. Please note only current members can attend and will be sent the Zoom link by email (for membership see membership page). Details of all readers below. Thereafter save the date for the November Mirrorball on the 12th.

Janette Ayachi is a London-born Edinburgh-based Scottish-Algerian poet with a BA Combined Honours in English Literature and Film & Media from Stirling University, and a MSc in Creative Writing  from Edinburgh University.  After the publication of two poetry pamphlets and a hardback children’s book, her debut full poetry collection Hand Over Mouth Music (Pavilion Press, Liverpool University) won the 2019 Saltire Poetry Book of the Year Literary Award.  She has been published widely in various anthologies and shortlisted for a few accolades; her filmpoems have been screened at festivals, she collaborates with artists and has appeared on Scotland’s BBC radio and television either as an arts critic or literary performer.  Currently, she is working on a series of commissions and art projects alongside her book Lonerlust: Postcards From a Passed-On World, a nonfiction narrative about travelling alone searching connections between landscapes, culture and human connection.

James McGonigal is a poet, editor, teacher and a long-time member of St Mungo’s Mirrorball. He has a particular interest in the life and work of Edwin Morgan, who taught him as an undergraduate in the late 1960s, and then supervised his part-time research on modernist poetry through the 1970s. As Morgan’s friend and latterly his carer and a literary executor, he wrote a prize-winning biography: Beyond the Last Dragon, A Life of Edwin Morgan (Sandstone Press, 2010), and co-edited Edwin Morgan, The Midnight Letterbox: Selected Correspondence 1950–2010 (Carcanet Press, 2015). His Scotnote introduction to Morgan’s work for school students (Association for Scottish Literary Studies, 2013) has recently been translated into Chinese. In Touch with Language, a co-edited volume of Morgan’s uncollected prose 1950–2005, appeared in April 2020 from the Association for Scottish Literary Studies. 

Molly Vogel is a poet from Thousand Oaks, California. She moved to Glasgow to pursue a doctorate in English Literature, where she still resides. A selection of her poems featured in New Poetries VI (Carcanet, 2015) and her first collection, Florilegium, was released earlier this year (Shearsman, 2020) . She was shortlisted for the Edwin Morgan Poetry Prize in 2014 and received a New Writers Award from the Scottish Book Trust in 2016. 

Ross Wilson’s first full collection, Line Drawing (Smokestack Books) was shortlisted for the Saltire Book of the Year in 2019. His pamphlet, Letters to Rosie (Tapsalteerie) was published this year. He works full time as an Auxiliary Nurse in Glasgow.

Edwin Morgan Celebration

Edwin Morgan by Sandy Moffat

Celebration of Edwin Morgan’s Centenary

National Poetry Day Thursday 1st October 2020

Zoom 7.00 – 9.00 pm

St Mungo’s Mirrorball will celebrate the centenary of our former and first Honorary President, Edwin Morgan, on National Poetry Day. The event will be virtual courtesy of the Scottish Poetry Library Zoom account and will take place from 7.00-9.00 pm. The Zoom link will be emailed to members on the week of the event. If you are not a current member of Mirrorball, please see ‘About’ page on this blog, for details of how to join.

The Programme

7.00 – 7.30      James McGonigal The Prosaic Mr. Morgan

7.30 – 8.00      Members reading their favourite Morgan poems 

8.00 – 8.30      Greg Thomas — Concrete Glasgow: Edwin Morgan, Veronica Forrest-Thomson, and Irrational Obscurity

8.30 – 9.00      Members reading their favourite Morgan poems 

James McGonigal is a poet, editor, teacher and a long-time member of St Mungo’s Mirrorball. He has a particular interest in the life and work of Edwin Morgan, who taught him as an undergraduate in the late 1960s, and then supervised his part-time research on modernist poetry through the 1970s. As Morgan’s friend and latterly his carer and a literary executor, he wrote a prize-winning biography: Beyond the Last Dragon, A Life of Edwin Morgan(Sandstone Press, 2010), and co-edited Edwin Morgan, The Midnight Letterbox: Selected Correspondence 1950–2010 (Carcanet Press, 2015). His Scotnote introduction to Morgan’s work for school students (Association for Scottish Literary Studies, 2013) has recently been translated into Chinese. In Touch with Language, a co-edited volume of Morgan’s uncollected prose 1950–2005, appeared in April 2020 from the Association for Scottish Literary Studies.

Greg Thomas is an independent writer and critic based in Glasgow. He is the author of Border Blurs: Concrete Poetry in England and Scotland (Liverpool University Press, 2019) and the article “Concrete Poetry and Scottish Women’s Writing: The Case of Veronica Forrest-Thomson” (Contemporary Women’s Writing, forthcoming). His most recent creative publications are Cloud Cover (Essence Press, 2018) and the poem-essay “Book 1: 1931-53”, for The Centenary Collection: Edwin Morgan (Speculative Books, 2020). He currently contributes to a number of art magazines including Aesthetica and Scottish Art News and is working on a short film on Ian Hamilton Finlay for BBC Scotland.

September Showcase

We have another great line up of poets for our next event: Bill Herbert, supported by Christie Williamson, Shehzar Doja and Charlie Gracie. The event will take place on Thursday 17th September at 7pm on Zoom. The Zoom link will be emailed to members on the week of the event. If you are not a current member of Mirrorball, please see ‘About’ page on this blog, for details of how to join.

 

W.N Herbert

W.N. Herbert was born in 1961 in Dundee, and educated there and at Brasenose College, Oxford. He is Professor of Poetry and Creative Writing at Newcastle University, and has published widely with OUP, Arc, and others, including six books of poetry with Bloodaxe, several collaborative volumes with other poets, and five pamphlets. He has edited best-selling and influential anthologies such as Strong Words (2000) and Jade Ladder (2012). He is also a librettist, a text-led public artist, and a translator, working in collaboration on texts in Bulgarian, Chinese, Dutch, Farsi, and Somali. He has been shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot prize, the Forward, and the Saltire, and has gained several PBS Recommendations and other awards, including the Cholmondeley. He was an original New Generation Poet, the first Wordsworth Trust Writing Fellow, and, between 2015 and 2018, the first Dundee Makar or city laureate. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. Bill Herbert’s latest book The Wreck of the Fathership will be published by Bloodaxe in October 2020.

 

Christie Williamson

Christie Williamson lives in Glasgow where he runs Tell it Slant Books and is treasurer of the Scottish Writers’ Centre. Arc o Möns, his debut pamphlet, won the 2010 Calum MacDonald Memorial Award. His latest collection, Doors tae Naewye, is published this year by Luath Press. He comes fae Yell.

 

Shehzar Doja is Founder/Editor-in-Chief of The Luxembourg Review and host of The Literary Lounge series. His poetry and translations have appeared in New Welsh Review, Pratik, Modern Poetry in Translation, Voice and Verses, Ceremony, Poems from the Edge of Extinction, Gutter, The Centenary Collection for Edwin Morgan, Fundstücke-Trouvailles and more. His poetry collection –Drift– was published by UPL/Monsoon Letters in 2016 and he co-edited  ‘I am a Rohingya: Poetry from the Camps and Beyond’ (Arc, 2019) with James Byrne which was recently Poetry Book Society’s inaugural ‘World Choice’ selection by Ilya Kaminsky.

 

 

Charlie Gracie
Charlie Gracie grew up in Baillieston, Glasgow. His work has appeared in a range of anthologies and journals, with some listed for literary prizes, including the Bath Novel Award, Cambridge Short Story Prize and Bridport Poetry Prize. His first novel, To Live With What You Are (2019) was published by Postbox Press. His poetry collections, Good Morning, (2010) and Tales from the Dartry Mountains (2020), were published by Diehard Press. He is the 2020 official Scriever for the Federation of Writers (Scotland), and Chair of the Scottish Writers’ Centre. He now lives on the edge of the Trossachs with his family.