St Mungo's Mirrorball

The Glasgow network of poets and poetry lovers

January showcase

Thursday 20th January at 7pm on Zoom

We have an excellent line of poets to kick off our first Mirrorball of 2022: Leela Soma, Hamish Whyte Eveline Pye, and Jason Allen-Paisant.

Jason Allen-Paisant is a writer, academic and the Director of the Institute for Colonial and Postcolonial Studies at the University of Leeds. Born in Jamaica and currently living in Leeds, he holds a doctorate in Medieval and Modern Languages from the University of Oxford and speaks seven languages. He serves on the editorial board of Callaloo: Journal of African Diaspora Arts and Letters. His debut book, Thinking With Trees, a poetry collection that examines and navigates themes including nature and race, leisure, property and space was published by Carcanet in 2021.

Eveline Pye worked in the Zambian Copper Mining Industry and lectured in applied mathematics and statistics at Glasgow Caledonian University. Her first 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 new pamphlet, STEAM, places A for Arts within the STEM subjects. Published by Red Squirrel Press, it explores the inner world and external perspective of her scientific mind.

Hamish Whyte was born near Glasgow where he lived before moving in 2004 to Edinburgh. Paper Cut is his fourth collection with Shoestring Press. He has edited many anthologies and runs the award-winning Mariscat Press. He’s been a librarian, indexer and crime fiction reviewer. For Edwin Morgan’s 100th birthday year in 2020 he edited his Centenary Selected Poems (Carcanet) and published a memoir, Morgan & Me (HappenStance). He’s a member of Edinburgh’s Shore Poets and plays percussion and drums in a couple of bands.  

Leela Soma was born in Madras, India and now lives in Glasgow. Her poems and short stories have appeared in many anthologies and publications. She has published three novels and two collections of poetry. Her pamphlet Chintz was published recently by Dreich. She has served on the East Dunbartonshire Arts & Culture Committee and is chairperson of Bearsden Writers. She is the Scriever of The Federation of Writers Scotland for 2021.  Some of her work reflects her dual heritage of India and Scotland. She was nominated for the Pushcart Prize 2020.

All events are currently on Zoom, and are for members only. For information on how to become a member please email membership secretary Vicki Husband: vickihusband@hotmail.com

 

November Mirrorball Showcase

The next Mirrorball showcase will be on Thursday 18th November at 7pm on Zoom.

Cynthia Miller is a Malaysian American poet and innovation strategist living in Edinburgh. In 2021, her debut book Honorifics was awarded an Eric Gregory Prize from the Society of Authors and is shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection. She co-founded the award-winning Verve Poetry Festival and sits on the advisory board of its sister publishing house, Verve Poetry Press. She has been long-listed for the Women Poets Prize and shortlisted for the Bridport Prize and Jerwood Compton Fellowship. She has performed at the Cheltenham Literature Festival, Birmingham Literature Festival, National Writers’ Conference and Poetry Swindon.

Garry MacKenzie is a poet and non-fiction writer based in Fife. His poetry has been published in journals and anthologies including Antlers of WaterDark Mountain and The Clearing. He is a recipient of a Scottish Book Trust New Writers Award and was shortlisted for an Arts Foundation Environmental Writing Fellowship in 2021. He has won the Robert McLellan Poetry Competition and the Wigtown Poetry Competition. His book-length poem Ben Dorain: a conversation with a mountain is published by The Irish Pages Press. Ben Dorain explores the ecology of a Scottish Highland mountain and its herd of red deer – drawn in part from Garry’s translation of an eighteenth-century Gaelic poem, and incorporating contemporary environmental knowledge.

AC Clarke has published five full collections and six pamphlets, two of the latter, Owersettin and Drochaid, in collaboration with Maggie Rabatski and Sheila Templeton. She was one of four winners in the Cinnamon Press 2017 pamphlet competition with War Baby and in 2019 won the Second Light Long Poem competition for the second time. She was commended in the National Poetry Competition in 2005 and longlisted for it in 2014. She has been working on an extensive series of poems about Gala Éluard, later Gala Dalí, and the Surrealist circles in which she moved. The first set of these, Wedding Grief, was published by Tapsalteerie in 2021. A second set was shortlisted for the Cinnamon Poetry Pamphlet Prize in 2021.

Trisha Heaney began writing poetry after retiring. She attended Donny O’Rourke’s class and was delighted to discover a vibrant, eclectic poetry scene in Glasgow. Alongside Gerry Loose and Lynnda Wardle, Trisha recently took part in Mirrorball’s collaboration with Interfaith Glasgow’s Weekend Club project for refugees in a poetry workshop in the Botanic Gardens. Awarded in their Bread and Roses Competition – Trisha’s debut collection Apricot Sunis published by Culture Matters, the literary branch of Unite union. Apricot Sun glows with warmth and compassion whether the focus is on the solidarity experienced growing up on a Glasgow housing scheme, or on the sense of belonging she discovered as a teacher in Sudan. 

All Zoom events are currently only open to members – see the Join Mirrorball page re: how to join

Billy Bonar Celebration Event

Billy Bonar

We’re holding a special event on Thursday 11th November at 7pm on Zoom. This will be an opportunity for Mirrorball members to celebrate the life of Billy Bonar, a founder member of St Mungo’s Mirrorball. 

October Showcase

The October Mirrorball Showcase will be held on Thursday 28th October at 7pm on Zoom with a great line up of poets: Harry Josephine Giles, Chris Agee, Imogen Forster and Lynn Valentine.

Harry Josephine Giles is a writer and performer from Orkney, living in Leith. Their verse novel Deep Wheel Orcadia has just been published this month by Picador. Their poetry collections The Games (Out-Spoken Press, 2018) and Tonguit (Freight Books, 2015) were between them shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection, the Saltire Prize and the Edwin Morgan Poetry Award. They have a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Stirling. Their show Drone debuted in the Made in Scotland Showcase at the 2019 Edinburgh Fringe and toured internationally, and their performance What We Owewas picked by the Guardian’s best-of-the-Fringe 2013 roundup – in the “But Is It Art?” category.www.harryjosephine.com

Chris Agee was born in San Francisco and grew up in Massachusetts, New York and Rhode Island. After high school at Phillips Academy Andover and a year in Aix-en-Provence, France, he attended Harvard University and since graduation has lived in Ireland. His third collection of poems, Next to Nothing, was shortlisted in Britain for the 2009 Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry, and its sequel, Blue Sandbar Moon, appeared in 2018. He is the Editor of Irish Pages and recently edited Balkan Essays, the sixth volume of Hubert Butler’s essays. His most recent collection Trump Rant came out in Spring 2021.

Imogen Forster lives and works in Edinburgh. In 2017 she completed an MA in Writing Poetry at Newcastle University, and her pamphlet, The Grass Boat, was published earlier this year by Mariscat. She is currently working on what she hopes will become a second pamphlet or a longer collection. She tweets as @ForsterImogen

Lynn Valentine‘s debut poetry collection Life’s Stink and Honey will be published by Cinnamon Press in April 2022, after winning their Literature Award. She has a Scots language pamphlet A Glimmer o Stars out with Hedgehog Poetry Press, after winning their dialect competition. Lynn was one of five ‘North’ poets to be commissioned by the Scottish Poetry Library as part of their Champions project 2020.

Mirrorball events are currently being held on Zoom and are restricted to members only. If you wish to become a member please email vickihusband@hotmail.com (membership fee is usually £20 per year October to May but, as MB doesn’t want to exclude anyone who cannot pay the fee, this is negotiable).

Clydebuilt 14

St. Mungo’s Mirrorball are pleased to announce that Alison Cohen, Xinyi Jiang, Lucille Mona Ling and Amy Rafferty are the poets chosen for the Clydebuilt 14 apprenticeship scheme, to be mentored by J L Williams. Congratulations!

Alison Cohen lives with her husband in Glasgow where she is stepmum to four adult men, keeps bees and an allotment. She started to write poetry in 2017 not long after she retired from working as a psychotherapist. Her enjoyable route to Clydebuilt 14 has included an Introduction to Writing Poetry week at Moniack Mhor, Donny O’Rourke’s weekly poetry classes, two Poetry School courses as well as regular meetings to share writing with poetry pals. Thank you to all of these for getting her to this point. She is very much looking forward to the coming year of working with Jennifer Williams and the other mentees. She has had a small number of poems published – in Federation of Writers (Scotland) anthology 2018, Obsessed with Pipework, Ink, Sweat and Tears and an Extinction Rebellion collection ‘Rebel Voices’ (forthcoming). She was the winner of the Hugh Miller Poetry Prize in 2020.

Xinyi Jiang was born in Qingdao (old spelling is Tsingtao as the beer), went to study in Nanjing and Shanghai and taught in Fudan University before coming to the UK. She completed a PhD with Cardiff University, worked in London and has since settled in Scotland. Xinyi discovered poetry when studying Writing Practice & Study with University of Dundee.

Lucille Mona Ling is a poet and visual artist currently living and studying in Glasgow. Her poetry can be found in The Dark Horse and in an online exhibition at Berlin 2021 suturo.com.

Amy Rafferty is a writer and photographer from Glasgow. She studied poetry at Glasgow University and has been tutored by Donny O’Rourke, Michael Schmidt and Kei Miller. She writes in both Scots and English and her work has been published in Magma, Envoi, Causeway/Cabshair, The Interpreter’s House, Lallans, Ink, Sweat and Tears, From Glasgow to Saturn and Poetry Scotland. She is currently working towards finishing two collections of poetry and has recently been collaborating with film makers, composers and musicians to create pieces of film and music with spoken word at their core. 

National Poetry Day: GMB

Join us on National Poetry Day – Thursday 7th October – for a celebration of George Mackay Brown with members reading favourite poems, and talks on encounters with the man and his work by Jim Carruth, Gerry Carruthers and Gerry Cambridge.

All Mirrorball events are still on Zoom at present and for members only. For details of how to become a member please email membership secretary Vicki Husband: vickihusband@hotmail.com

Clydebuilt: call out for poetry apprentices

St Mungo Mirrorball’s Verse Apprenticeship Scheme Clydebuilt

in partnership with the Edwin Morgan Trust

The Clydebuilt 14 Verse Apprenticeship Scheme Information Sheet

In partnership with the Edwin Morgan Trust, we are excited to launch our call for emerging poets to apply for Clydebuilt 14. Edwin Morgan wrote across forms, themes, and languages and supported other writers to find their voices; 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.

The scheme recruits no more than four poets who have yet to have a first full collection published (not counting pamphlet publication) and are not currently receiving any support with their development, e.g. not enrolled on an MLitt programme or fee-paying course. This mentoring will be given by an experienced poet-tutor over the course of 12 months, roughly from September 2021 to September 2022, and will consist of 5 group tutorials and 2 sets of one-to-one sessions which will be free to the participants. At these tutorials there will be a discussion of pre-submitted work with a mix of peer and tutor feedback. This will encourage participants to develop not only their own writing style but their ability to critique others. Over the year the participants will develop a portfolio of poems. Participants will give a reading of some of their resulting work along with their tutor at the end of the 12 months at a dedicated St Mungo’s Mirrorball event. 

A year of mentoring is a rare gift. I think my year on the Clydebuilt scheme enhanced my bravery: about when to be brutal and when to be playful; when to re-shape or abandon; to leave my ego outside the room and to trust the poem. Apply! 

                                              Mark Russell, Clydebuilt 5 (with Alexander Hutchison)

Clydebuilt gave me deadlines (which I need!) and a platform to try out new things in a friendly and supportive environment.

                                              Juana Adcock, Clydebuilt 9 (with Liz Lochhead)

Eligibility 

A panel will review the applications and decide whether any interviews are necessary. The chosen tutor/mentor will be involved in the final decision on the apprentices for their group.  

To be eligible to be an apprentice you cannot be involved in any other writing course or receiving any other structured writing support as of September 2021 and you should not yet have brought out a full-length poetry collection. Initially, most meetings will be online but, once restrictions are eased, participants may need to travel to Glasgow for meetings and events.

We warmly welcome applications from underrepresented and marginalised groups. We are actively working on widening participation and representation in the Clydebuilt poetry scheme and St Mungo’s Mirrorball now and in future years.

If you are interested in applying to be one of the four verse apprentices, please provide the following: 

  • Full contact details
  • A brief biography of your writing career to date
  • 5 poems as typical examples of your work
  • A statement of your short-term and long-term poetry goals
  • An outline of what you hope to achieve from the support over the next 12 months 
  • A clear indication of the time commitment you are able to give both in terms of writing and attendance (online or in-person) at the tutorial programme (September 2021 – September 2022)   

 The judging panel includes: 

                        Jim Carruth: Glasgow Makar and Chair of St Mungo’s Mirrorball

                        Vicki Husband: Poet and Shortlisted Saltire Poetry Book of the Year Award

                        Shehzar Doja: Poet and Gutter Poetry Editor / Editor in Chief of The

                                    Luxembourg Review

                        Samuel Tongue: Poet, Editor, and Project Coordinator, Scottish Poetry Library  They will review the applications and decide whether any interviews are necessary. The chosen tutor/mentor will make the final decision on the apprentices for their group.

E-mail your submission in one document to Clydebuilt Coordinator Samuel Tongue  stongue1@gmail.com by the Closing Date of Sunday 25th July 2021.

If you have any query regarding eligibility do not hesitate to e-mail Samuel Tongue.

Call out for Clydebuilt 14

St Mungo Mirrorball’s Verse Apprenticeship Scheme Clydebuilt 14

in partnership with the Edwin Morgan Trust

The Clydebuilt 14 Verse Apprenticeship Scheme Information Sheet

In partnership with the Edwin Morgan Trust, we are excited to launch our call for emerging poets to apply for Clydebuilt 14. Edwin Morgan wrote across forms, themes, and languages and supported other writers to find their voices; 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.

The scheme recruits no more than four poets who have yet to have a first full collection published (not counting pamphlet publication) and are not currently receiving any support with their development, e.g. not enrolled on an MLitt programme or fee-paying course. This mentoring will be given by an experienced poet-tutor over the course of 12 months, roughly from September 2021 to September 2022, and will consist of 5 group tutorials and 2 sets of one-to-one sessions which will be free to the participants. At these tutorials there will be a discussion of pre-submitted work with a mix of peer and tutor feedback. This will encourage participants to develop not only their own writing style but their ability to critique others. Over the year the participants will develop a portfolio of poems. Participants will give a reading of some of their resulting work along with their tutor at the end of the 12 months at a dedicated St Mungo’s Mirrorball event. 

A year of mentoring is a rare gift. I think my year on the Clydebuilt scheme enhanced my bravery: about when to be brutal and when to be playful; when to re-shape or abandon; to leave my ego outside the room and to trust the poem. Apply! 

                                              Mark Russell, Clydebuilt 5 (with Alexander Hutchison)

Clydebuilt gave me deadlines (which I need!) and a platform to try out new things in a friendly and supportive environment.

                                              Juana Adcock, Clydebuilt 9 (with Liz Lochhead)

Eligibility 

A panel will review the applications and decide whether any interviews are necessary. The chosen tutor/mentor will be involved in the final decision on the apprentices for their group.  

To be eligible to be an apprentice you cannot be involved in any other writing course or receiving any other structured writing support as of September 2021 and you should not yet have brought out a full-length poetry collection. Initially, most meetings will be online but, once restrictions are eased, participants may need to travel to Glasgow for meetings and events.

We warmly welcome applications from underrepresented and marginalised groups. We are actively working on widening participation and representation in the Clydebuilt poetry scheme and St Mungo’s Mirrorball now and in future years.

If you are interested in applying to be one of the four verse apprentices, please provide the following: 

  • Full contact details
  • A brief biography of your writing career to date
  • 5 poems as typical examples of your work
  • A statement of your short-term and long-term poetry goals
  • An outline of what you hope to achieve from the support over the next 12 months 
  • A clear indication of the time commitment you are able to give both in terms of writing and attendance (online or in-person) at the tutorial programme (September 2021 – September 2022)   

E-mail your submission in one document to Clydebuilt Coordinator Samuel Tongue  stongue1@gmail.com by the Closing Date of Sunday 25th July 2021

If you have any query regarding eligibility do not hesitate to e-mail Samuel Tongue.

June showcase

Mirrorball June Showcase – Thursday 3rd June, 7pm on Zoom

Vahni Capildeo, Elizabet Rimmer, William Bonar and Ellen McAteer

Vahni Capildeo is Writer in Residence at the University of York and a Contributing Editor for PN Review. Their sixteen books and pamphlets include Measures of Expatriation (Carcanet, 2016) awarded the Forward Prize for Best Collection in 2016, and Like a Tree, Walking (Carcanet, forthcoming November 2021). Carcanet catalogue 2020-21 notes – ‘this book draws on Capildeo’s interest in ecopoetics and silence. Many pieces originate in specific places, from nocturnes and lullabies in hilly Port of Spain to ‘stillness exercises’ recording microenvironments – emotional and aural – around English trees.’

Elizabeth Rimmer (@haggardherbs) is a poet, poetry editor for Red Squirrel Press and occasional translator. She has published three collections of poetry with Red Squirrel Press, Wherever We Live Now, in 2011, The Territory of Rain, in September 2015, and, Haggards(2018) She has also published a translation of the Anglo-Saxon Charm of Nine Herbs and is about to publish her next collection, The Well of the Moon, dealing with questions about place, language, memory and community, in May 2021. Her website is www.burnedthumb.com

William Bonar is a founder member of St Mungo’s Mirrorball. He graduated from the MLitt in Creative Writing at Glasgow University in 2008; he was a participant on the 3rd Clydebuilt Mentoring Scheme (mentored by Liz Lochhead) and a sonnet sequence by him is featured inNorth Light: The Anthology of Clydebuilt 3 (Dreadful Night Press, 2012). Bonar was short-listed for a New Writers Award (2014). He has published two pamphlet collections: Frostburn Steel(Dreadful Night Press, 2004) and Offering (Red Squirrel Press, 2015). The latter won the James Kirkup Memorial Prize. His poems have twice been selected for the annual 20 Best Scottish Poems Anthology on the Scottish Poetry Library website (2012, 2015). His first full collection, The Stuff of the Earth will be published by Red Squirrel Press in May 2021.

Ellen McAteer is General Manager of Poetry London magazine, and the founder of tell it slant poetry bookshop. She has won Waterstones’ Refugee Week Poetry Competition, and been shortlisted for the Bridport and Baker Prizes. Honesty Mirror, published by Red Squirrel Press, won the last New Writer magazine prize. Ellen received an Arts Council grant to develop her creative practice under the mentorship of Rachel Long. She was a mentee of Alexander Hutchison under the St Mungo’s Mirrorball Clydebuilt Verse Apprenticeship Scheme, and a member of Donny O’Rourke‘s poetry group. She was also a director of the Scottish Writers’ Centre, and the Poetry Trust, and a visiting lecturer at the Glasgow School of Art.

At present only members can attend online events, to join Mirrorball please email jimcarruth63@gmail.com or vickihusband@hotmail.com

Jim Carruth, Fred D’Aguiar and Kayo Chingonyi

Jim Carruth Introduces…Fred D’Aguiar & Kayo Chingonyi

Sunday 16th May, 10.30am–11.30am

This is a ticketed online event in partnership with Mirrorball and Aye Write and has a cost of £5

Glasgow Makar Jim Carruth once again welcomes two poets who have not appeared at Aye Write before:

Fred D’Aguiar was born in London in 1960 to Guyanese parents and grew up in Guyana, returning to England when he was a teenager. He trained as a psychiatric nurse before reading African and Caribbean Studies at the University in Canterbury. His previous collectionBill of Rights was shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize. Fred D’Aguiar is also the author of four novels, the first of which, The Longest Memory, won the Whitbread First Novel Award. He’ll be talking about Letters to America.

Kayo Chingonyi was born in Zambia in 1987 and moved to the UK at the age of six. His first full-length collection, Kumukanda, won the Dylan Thomas Prize and a Somerset Maugham Award and was shortlisted for the Costa Poetry Prize. He is Poetry Editor for The White Review and an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Durham University. He will be bringing us his latest collection A Blood Condition.


*This event will be available to watch for three weeks after the broadcast date to accommodate different time zones.