St Mungo's Mirrorball

The Glasgow network of poets and poetry lovers

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.

Clydebuilt 12 showcase

Our 12th Clydebuilt showcase will take place via Zoom on Thursday 29th April at 7pm with Clydebuilt 12 poets: Eloise Birtwhistle, Gillian Dawson, Tom Docherty, Morag Smith and mentor John Glenday.

At present Mirrorball online events are for members only (to join Mirrorball please email Mirrorball Chair Jim Carruth (jimcarruth 63@gmail.com) or membership secretary Vicki Husband (vickihusband@hotmail.com))

John Glenday’s fourth collection The Golden Mean won the 2015 Roehampton Poetry Prize and was shortlisted for the Saltire Scottish Poetry Book of the Year. His most recent publications are Mira, with Maria Isakova Bennett (Coast to Coast to Coast 2019), Selected Poems (Picador 2020), and a pamphlet The Firth (Mariscat Press 2020).

Morag Smith lives in Paisley. Her short fiction and poetry have been published in ezines, magazines and anthologies, including Ink, Sweat and TearsPushing Out the Boat (Apr 2021), Poetry Ireland ReviewCrannog and Gutter. She  is currently pulling together her first collection, as well as working on a pamphlet about the re-wilding and human history of the partly abandoned site of Dykebar Psychiatric Hospital near Paisley. Recently shortlisted and commended for the Scottish Book Trust New Writers Awards 2021, Morag is the winner of the 2021 Paisley Book Festival /Janet Coats Memorial Prize for poetry.

Tom Docherty has had his poems published in magazines including PN ReviewThe Dark Horse, and Magma. A selection of his work was published in Carcanet’s New Poetries VI in 2015. Tom’s first collection was shortlisted for the Edwin Morgan Poetry Award in 2018, and he was shortlisted for the Scottish Book Trust’s New Writers Awards in 2021. He lives in Paisley with his wife and two young daughters.

Gillian Dawson works in a university library. A member of the British Haiku Society, she began writing longer forms with the encouragement of Donny O’Rourke’s poetry group. Working alongside the other members of Clydebuilt 12 and under the mentorship of John Glenday, Gillian has had poems published in Blithe SpiritThe Centenary Collection for Edwin Morgan (Speculative Books, 2020), GutterNorthwords NowStAnza Poetry Map of ScotlandPoetry Scotland and was shortlisted for the Wigtown Poetry Prize 2020.

Eloise Birtwhistle has been published in New Writing ScotlandMslexiaGutterSPAM ZineThe Edwin Morgan Centenary CollectionWet GrainAlgiaFrom Glasgow to Saturn, and Reclaim: An Anthology of Women’s Poetry. She also delivers community arts workshops and has edited two anthologies through this work: Uncovered Voices (2017) and Writings from Inverclyde (2019). In 2019, Eloise received a Distinction in her Creative Writing MLitt from the University of Glasgow. She was a Finalist of the 2019 Mslexia and Poetry Book Society Women’s Poetry Prize, judged by Malika Booker.

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.