St Mungo's Mirrorball

The Glasgow network of poets and poetry lovers

Month: October, 2016

November showcase


Our next Mirrorball showcase should be another wonderful evening with a rare visit from New Zealand Poet Bill Manhire reading along side Liz Lochhead and Sheila Templeton, on Thursday 17th November at 7pm in the CCA Clubroom (non-members £5/£3 conc).
Bill Manhire was born in Invercargill in 1946. He was his country’s inaugural Poet Laureate and has won the New Zealand Book Award for Poetry four times. He holds a personal chair at the Victoria University of Wellington, where he directs the celebrated creative writing programme and the International Institute of Modern Letters. His volume of short fiction, South Pacific, was published by Carcanet in 1994.

Liz Lochhead was born in Motherwell in 1947. While studying Drawing and Painting at the Glasgow School of Art she began to write seriously, gradually losing her way with her initial dream of becoming a painter. Her first book of poetry, Memo for Spring, was published in 1972 and sold 5,000 copies. The Scottish-Canadian Writers Exchange Fellowship,1978–9, marked her transition to full-time writer.

Since her first full-length play Blood and Ice appeared in 1984 she has written numerous original plays and many adaptations from Molière, Chekhov, Euripides and Sophocles. Her best known original plays include: Mary Queen of Scots Got Her Head Chopped Off, Perfect Days and the Saltire Society Scottish Book of the Year Award-winning Medea (Nick Hern, 2000). Her poetry collections include: Dreaming Frankenstein (Polygon, 1984), True Confessions and New Clichés (Polygon, 1985), Bagpipe Muzak (Penguin, 1991), The Colour of Black & White (Polygon, 2003) and A Choosing (Polygon, 2011). In 2005 Liz became Poet Laureate of Glasgow, and in 2011 she was appointed Scotland’s Makar, succeeding Edwin Morgan. Liz Lochhead was awarded the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry (2015). Liz is proud to be Honorary President of the Scottish Poetry Library. Her stunning new collection “Fugitive Colours” marks the end of Liz Lochhead’s term as Makar (Poet Laureate, 2011–2016) and features never before published work alongside poems written during her time as Makar.

‘Liz Lochhead has made a unique contribution to Scottish poetry. Since the early 1970s she has influenced an entire generation of other writers, bringing a new kind of poetry performance to the stage, as well as a different set of rhythms to the page. From the start, she spoke in her own feisty, female voice, mixing old Scots with new Scots – as aware of Burns as of Morgan – and she did this with a galvanizing spirit and vitality that helped to change the landscape of British poetry’ – Carol Ann Duffy

Sheila Templeton was born in Aberdeen and mostly raised in Aberdeenshire, with a few years in East Africa. She currently lives in Glasgow. She writes in both Scots and English and has twice won the McCash Scots Language poetry competition, in 2007 and 2014, as well as other prizes in that competition. She also won the Robert McLellan poetry competition in 2007. Her work has been published in many anthologies, magazines and newspapers. From 2009 to 2010 she was the Makar for the Federation of Writers, Scotland.

She has three poetry collections published and two further collections are scheduled for publication in 2016, Owersettin, a translation collaboration in English, Gaelic and Scots with two other poets, by Tapsalteerie Press; and Gaitherin, a full collection by Red Squirrel Press.

October Mirrorball

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J O Morgan headlines the next Mirrorball showcase on 27th October at 7pm in the CCA, free to members (£5/3 on the door). Marion McCready, Vicki Husband and Em Strang will also be reading from their new/forthcoming collections.

Jo Morgan lives on a small farm in Scotland. His works are each singular book-length poems, more in the epic tradition than the lyric, though utilising elements of both.
These include a biographical sketch of a wild Hebridean childhood in which a boy chooses to take his education not from the schoolhouse but from his relationship with
the land; and a re-telling of The Battle of Maldon, which uses the old Anglo-Saxon poem of that name as a source of raw information rather than as a template.
Last year saw the publication of In Casting Off, ‎a “poem-novella” set in a remote fishing community. More recently still, this year saw the publication of Interference
Pattern: “a collage of voices”‎ where the many small narrative elements coincide and overlap. The book was chosen as The Observer’s Poetry Book of the Month for this
February and was described in their review as “bracingly original poetry that addresses everything from bullies to the big bang”.

Marion McCready lives in Argyll. She won a Scottish Book Trust New Writers Award (2013) and the Melita Hume Poetry Prize (2013). Her debut poetry collection, Tree
Language, was published by Eyewear Publishing (2014). Her next collection, Madame Ecosse, is due to be published Autumn 2016 also by Eyewear Publishing.

Vicki Husband’s first collection of poetry This Far Back Everything Shimmers was published by Vagabond Voices in 2016. Vicki’s poetry has appeared in literary magazines, included in an anthology of new Scottish poetry Be The First To Like This, and won prizes in The Mslexia Poetry Competition, the Edwin Morgan International Poetry Prize and The Pighog / Poetry School Pamphlet Prize. Recently Vicki collaborated with poets from Pakistan in a project run by Highlight Arts, creating versions of Urdu poems in English, culminating in readings at The Alchemy Festival 2015 in London, and a publication launched at The Lahore Literature Festival 2016.

Em Strang is a poet, Dark Mountain editor and prison tutor. Her writing preoccupations are with ‘nature’, spirituality and the relationship between the human and
nonhuman. Her illustrated pamphlet, Stone, was published in March 2016 by Atlantic Press with all proceeds going to Scottish charity, Trees For Life. Bird-Woman, her
first full collection, was published by Shearsman in early October 2016.