St Mungo's Mirrorball

The Glasgow network of poets and poetry lovers

Secret Stanzas

Mirrorball Showcase   Thursday 12th December   7pm CCA Clubroom Glasgow

Kei Miller will be headlining an event with support from Gerry Cambridge, Juana Adcock and Colin Campbell Robinson. This event will supported by the Scottish Poetry Library. Members free, Guests £7 (£4 conc.) There will also be a Secret Stanza event to raise money for Mirrrorball funds – see last blog post for details.

Kei Miller is a poet, novelist, essayist, short story writer and broadcaster. His many books include the novel Augustown (W&N, 2016) and poetry collection The Cartographer Tries to Map a Way to Zion (Carcanet, 2014) which won the Forward Prize (Best Poetry Collection of 2014). In 2010, the Institute of Jamaica awarded him the Silver Musgrave medal for his contributions to Literature. He has a PhD in English Literature from the University of Glasgow and is currently a Professor of English and Creative Writing at the University of Exeter.

Gerry Cambridge is a poet, critic, essayist and editor with substantial interests in print design and typography as well as a background in natural-history photography. His publications include: Notes for Lighting a Fire (HappenStance Press, 2012), shortlisted for the Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust’s book of the year award 2013; Aves (Essence Press, 2007), prose poems about wild birds; Madame Fi Fi’s Farewell and Other Poems (Luath Press, 2003); and ‘Nothing But Heather!’: Scottish nature in poems, photographs and prose (Luath Press, 1999). Seamus Heaney wrote, of his long poem ‘Blue Sky, Green Grass’ (winner of the Calum Macdonald memorial award in 2004): ‘it’s a wonderful paean, and allows in so much that the usual poem keeps out — sheer, archaic joy: hymns to light, praise of the creatures, tales of the usual, names of the people and the places’. The TLS, reviewing Notes for Lighting a Fire, wrote: ‘[Cambridge’s] poetry has something of Robert Frost’s tone and seriousness, but rings with a deeply personal Scottish resonance all its own.’

Since 1994 Gerry has published and edited The Dark Horse, a twice-yearly transatlantic poetry magazine with an international reputation. He conducts poetry workshops with people of all ages throughout Scotland. His writing is informed by a lifetime interest in British nature, a subject he specialised in as one of the youngest ever regular freelancers (between 1983 and 1988) for the magazine Reader’s Digest, which then sold 1.5 million copies a month.

Juana Adcock is a poet, translator and performer who was born in Mexico and writes in both English and Spanish. In 2016 she was named one of the ‘Ten New Voices from Europe’ by Literature Across Frontiers, and she has performed at numerous festivals internationally. Her English language debut, Split came out in 2019. She lives in Glasgow.

Colin Campbell Robinson is an Australian artist who has settled on the Isle of Bute. Colin has had numerous pieces of writing and photography published in a wide variety of journals around the world. Most recently his work has appeared in Shearsman, BlazeVox 15 & 17, Glasgow Review of Books, Adjacent Pineapple, Ink Sweat and Tears, Molly Bloom and Empty Mirror. His book Blue Solitude was published by Knives Forks and Spoons Press in April 2018 and a second book, Footnotes from History, will be published soon. As well as his writing and photography Colin participates in a small, family based arts cooperative producing art installations, films and artist books. Their web site can be found at http://www.move-in-pictures.com/move-in-pictures-home . Colin also spent thirty years as a social research consultant producing many social justice statements for non-government organisations both in Britain and Australia. In Australia he was a major commentator on homelessness, mental health and poverty and his reports had a significant impact on public policy, whilst in Britain his work led to the establishment of the only residential service catering for homeless EU citizens in London.

December Lineup

Mirrorball Showcase   Thursday 12th December   7pm

Kei Miller will be headlining an event with support from Gerry Cambridge, Juana Adcock and Colin Campbell Robinson. This event will supported by the Scottish Poetry Library; more details to follow.

We will also be having a Secret Stanza – details below

    *  Mirrorball Secret Stanzas  *

(all proceeds to Mirrorball general fund)

Mirrorball members encouraged to bring along one or more of the following,

anonymously wrapped: a pamphlet by themselves or a book by themselves or

a second hand poetry book (good quality and good condition). These will be put in a big sack and members will encouraged to buy a lucky dip

£2 for pamphlets

£5 for books

and everyone will go away happy with some new poems at Christmas.

 

 

Wednesday Mirrorball

 

The next Mirrorball will showcase poets: Miriam Gamble , Hugh Macmillan, Lisa Fannen and Derek Parkes. Please note it will be on Wednesday 27th November, at 7pm in the CCA Clubroom.

Originally from Belfast, Miriam Gamble lectures in Creative Writing at the University of Edinburgh. Her collections are The Squirrels Are Dead (2010), Pirate Music (2014) and What Planet (2019), all published by Bloodaxe. She has been a mentor on the Clydebuilt and Ledbury Emerging Critics programmes and a judge on the Saltire Poetry Book of the Year Award and the Seamus Heaney First Collection Prize.

Hugh Macmillan is a poet from Penpont in South West Scotland. His work has been published widely in Scotland and beyond, and he has won various prizes, most recently the Callum Macdonald Memorial Award in 2017 for Sheep Penned, published by Roncadora; he won the same award in 2009 for Postcards from the Hedge. He has been a winner in the Smith/Doorstop Prize and the Cardiff International Poetry Competition, and has also been shortlisted for the Michael Marks Poetry Award and the Basil Bunting Award. He has had seven full poetry collections published, as well as numerous pamphlets. Not Actually Being in Dumfries: New and Selected poems was published by Luath Press in 2015.

Lisa Fannen writes, and shares words both solo and in collaboration with musicians. She launched a debut poetry collection, Faultline in November 2018 published by Active Distribution/Sto Citas, which includes snapshots, lyrics, journal notes and meditations. Her writing is political and personal (and an examination of where these territories meet), observational and contemplative. The poems travel through explorations of social inequality, police violations, street homelessness in the US, environmental disaster, as well as intimate experiences of queer sexuality, rites of passage and bereavement.

Derek Parkes

Born in London, Derek moved to Glasgow in 2003.  He is a reformed short story writer who discovered a penchant for poetry after joining Donny O’Rourke’s writing class.  He reads regularly at various poetry events in Glasgow and recently edited an anthology of the pupils of Donny O’Rourke, and performed a one-man show celebrating the life of Spike Milligan.  He is a former director and chair of The Scottish Writers’ Centre.  When he’s not working or writing poetry he is a keen birdwatcher. His first pamphlet is published by Red Squirrel Press.

 The next Mirrorball after this will be on Thursday 12th December – save the date.

November Poets

St. Mungo’s Mirrorball is back on Thursday 14th November at 7pm with poets Frank Ormsby, Vicki Husband and Stephen Watt.  Frank Ormsby was revealed as the eighth Professor of Poetry for Ireland last month. Irish president Michael D Higgins made the announcement at a reception at Queen’s University Belfast, describing Mr Ormsby as “one of a golden generation of poets”.

“His poetry frequently engages in themes of origin, exile and elegy, often in a domestic setting,” he added. A central figure in Ulster poetry since the 1960s, Mr Ormsby took over from the current holder of Ireland’s Professor of Poetry, Eilean Ni Chuilleanain, in October.

The Clubroom, CCA, Glasgow. Members free; guests £7 (£4 conc.)

 

Frank Ormsby
Frank Ormsby was born in 1947, in Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, and was educated at Queen’s University in Belfast. He is Head of English at the Royal Belfast Academical Institution. His books of poetry include the collections Ripe for Company (1971); A Store of Candles (1977); A Northern Spring (1986); and The Ghost Train (1995).He has also edited a number of anthologies, including Thine in Storm and Calm: An Amanda McKittrick Ros Reader (1988), The Collected Poems of John Hewitt (1991) and Northern Windows: An Anthology of Ulster Autobiography (1987).

In 1992 Frank Ormsby received the Cultural Traditions Award, given in memory of John Hewitt, and in 2002 the Lawrence O’Shaughnessy Award for Poetry from the University of St Thomas at St Paul, Minnesota. Ormsby was editor of the Honest Ulsterman from 1969-89, and has edited the Poetry Ireland Review (Numbers 53-56). He also edited The Hip Flask: Short Poems from Ireland (2001), a collection of Irish lyric poems including work by W. B. Yeats, J. M. Synge and Seamus Heaney; and The Blackbird’s Nest (2006), an anthology of poems from Queen’s University, Belfast.  His latest collection is The Rain Barrel which was published by Bloodaxe this year

 

Vicki Husband

Vicki Husband has recently published Sykkel Saga with Mariscat Press, a pamphlet-long poem about a cycle trip through the Norwegian Arctic, incorporating Norwegian landscape, language and Norse myth. Vicki’s debut collection This Far Back Everything Shimmers (Vagabond Voices) was shortlisted for the Saltire Society’s Scottish Poetry Book of the Year Award 2016.

 

Stephen Watt is the current Makar for the Federation of Writers (Scotland) and Dumbarton Football Club’s Poet-in-Residence. He has four published collections, the most recent, Fairy Rock, is the world’s first crime book written entirely in verse. He has also curated the book ‘Ashes To Activists’ on behalf of the Joe Strummer Foundation.

 

National Poetry Day

National Poetry Day – Thursday 3rd October 2019

St Mungo’s Mirrorball Celebration of Chapbooks and Hamish Henderson

Moir Dyer Room,  Mitchell Library,  North Street 6.00pm-7.30pm

This year for National Poetry Day, St Mungo’s Mirrorball will be celebrating the writing and publishing of  poetry pamphlets and the life and work of the great folklorist and poet Hamish Henderson whose centenary it is.

We are delighted to announce that Sheila Wakefield, Poetry Editor and Proprietor of Red Squirrel Press will join us to say something about the business and process of poetry pamphlet publishing. Sheila will also read from some of Red Squirrel’s most recent pamphlets and have copies available for sale.

The main business of the evening is the celebration of chapbooks written by St Mungo’s Mirrorball members. There will be a table of pamphlets on display, and a selection of readings from these. There will be time at the end of the evening to swap, buy and order copies of pamphlets from each other.

There will also be a short reading from Hamish Henderson’s Elegies for the Dead in Cyrenaica. Henderson (1919-2002) was born in Blairgowrie, the illegitimate son of a domestic servant. He himself believed his father was an aristocrat and he was certainly looked after in terms of his education attending Dulwich College in London and Cambridge University. He became a young intelligence officer in the North African and Italian campaigns in the Second World War. His Elegies is his response to the carnage he witnessed in North Africa and honours the dead of both sides in a manner that refuses the usual jingoistic, heroic tropes. Henderson was an Internationalist and Socialist throughout his life and wrote both The Ballad of John McLean and Scotland’s great unofficial international anthem Come all ye at Hame wi Freedom.

National Poetry Day

The first St. Mungo’s Mirrorball of the new season will be held, as always, on National Poetry Day – Thursday 3rd October – in Waterstones, Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow; details to follow.

Further dates for the winter calendar are: 14th November, 27th November, 12th December and 6th February. All events will be in the CCA. Save the dates; details of readers to follow.

 

 

Membership 19/20

St. Mungo’s Mirrorball membership is now due for the season 2019/2020. The season traditionally starts with an event on National Poetry Day which this year will be Thursday October 4th – keep an eye on your inbox/the blog for further details. The season usually runs with 7 events from October through to May 2020.

The annual membership fee is £20, however the ethos of the Mirrorball is that this should not exclude those who cannot afford to pay the fee, and so a reduced rate can be agreed.

ONLINE payment:

If you have access to online banking, please feel free to pay your St Mungo’s Mirrorball membership fee directly into our account:  ACCOUNT NAME ST MUNGOS MIRRORBALL, SORT CODE 832316, ACCOUNT NUMBER 00226623.

If you are paying by direct transfer could you please include your name as part of the payee.

If using this payment method, please send an email to the membership secretary, Vicki Husbandvickihusband@hotmail.com for confirmation. This email should contain the name of the account from which the payment has been made and the amount transferred. Also include the name(s) for the Mirrorball membership list, if different from the account name.

Cheque payment:

Cheques should be made out to ‘St Mungo’s Mirrorball’ and sent to Vicki Husband, membership secretary. Please email vickihusband@hotmail.com for the address to send it to.

Also if you’re a new member, let us know your email address, and with your permission, we’ll put you on the mailing list for a weekly mail-out of poetry events in Glasgow.

Apply for Clydebuilt 12

Clydebuilt is an innovative mentoring programme in which promising poets are paired with an experienced mentor for a period of 12 months. The programme has been running for 10 years; the earlier groups named themselves after a Clydebuilt vessel. Applications for Clydebuilt 12 are now open; see Clydebuilt page for more details.

 

May Mirrorball

The next Mirrorball will feature Niall Campbell, Roseanne Watt, Martin Cathcart Froden and Heather Valencia introducing and reading the poetry of Avrom Sutzkever. This event will be on Thursday May 2nd in the CCA clubroom at 7pm; St.Mungo’s Mirrorball AGM will be held prior to the event at 5.45pm.

Niall Campbell is a poet originally from South Uist, one of the Western Isles. Moontide, his first collection, was named inaugural winner of the Edwin Morgan Poetry Award and Saltire First Book of the Year. Moontide was also shortlisted for The Forward and The Aldeburgh Best First Collection Prizes. His second collection, Noctuary, is published by Bloodaxe Books in Spring 2019.

Roseanne Watt is a poet, filmmaker and musician from Shetland. Roseanne was the winner of the 2018 Edwin Morgan Poetry Award, and runner-up in the 2018 Aesthetica Creative Writing Award. Her first collection, Moder Dy, will be published by Polygon in May 2019.

Heather Valencia will deliver a short talk introduces the life and poetry of one of the greatest Yiddish writers of the twentieth century, Avrom Sutzkever(1913-2010), whose work spans his early childhood in Siberia, his youth in Vilna (Vilnius), Lithuania, the catastrophe of the Holocaust and his later life in Israel. The session includes readings of some poems from the recently published bilingual edition:  Avrom Sutzkever: Still my Word Sings. Poems. Yiddish and English. (Düsseldorf University Press, 2017).

 Heather Valencia was a lecturer in German language and literature at the University of Stirling. She began studying Yiddish in the 1980s, wrote her doctoral thesis on the poetry of Avrom Sutzkever, and has published widely on Sutzkever and other writers,  as well as translating modern Yiddish literature.  She has a regular Yiddish class in Edinburgh.

Martin Cathcart Froden is originally from Sweden and has lived in Canada, Israel, Argentina, and London. He is the winner of the 2015 Dundee International Book Prize with ‘Devil take the Hindmost’ as well as the 2013 BBC Radio 4 Opening Lines competition with ‘The Underwater Cathedral’. He was the 2017-18 National Trust for Scotland Poet-in-Residence, and the result is the collection ‘Light and Other Observations’. Martin has recently submitted his PhD in Creative Writing, Criminology and Architecture. He lives in Glasgow with his wife and three children.’

Next Mirrorball

Save the date for the next Mirrorball on Thursday May 2nd at 7pm in the CCA. Details of the line up to follow soon.