Longley headlines

The next Mirrorball showcase, in partnership with the Scottish Poetry Library, features Michael Longley reading alongside Rishi Dastidar, James McGonigal and Ciara MacLaverty. The event is on February 1st at 7pm in the cinema of the CCA, free to members, guests £7/£4 (*NOTE* change of room to cinema).

Michael Longley was born in Belfast in 1939 and educated at the Royal Belfast Academical Institution and Trinity College Dublin where he read Classics. He has published ten collections of poetry including Gorse Fires (1991) which won the Whitbread Poetry Award, and The Weather in Japan(2000) which won the Hawthornden Prize, the T. S. Eliot Prize and the Irish Times Poetry Prize. His Collected Poems was published in 2006. In 2001 he received the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry, and in 2003 the Wilfred Owen Award. He was awarded a CBE in 2010. He was Ireland Professor of Poetry, 2007–2010. He and his wife, the critic Edna Longley, live and work in Belfast.

Rishi Dastidar is a fellow of The Complete Works, a consulting editor at The Rialto magazine, a member of the Malika’s Poetry Kitchen collective, and also serves as a chair of the writer development organization Spread The Word. His debut collection Ticker-tape is published by Nine Arches Press, and a poem from it was included in The Forward Book of Poetry 2018.

James McGonigal is a poet, editor and critic, Emeritus Professor of English in Education at the University of Glasgow, Chair of the Edwin Morgan Trust, and Morgan’s biographer. James McGonigal taught English for fourteen years in secondary schools before working in colleges, and until retirement as Professor of English in Education at the University of Glasgow. He has published poetry and prose for adults and children (in both English and Scots language), and co-edited several anthologies of contemporary writing in the New Writing Scotland series in the 1990s. His poetry has won literary prizes in Scotland and Ireland, including the Michael Marks Poetry Award for Cloud Pibroch (Mariscat Press, 2010). Red Squirrel Press published The Camphill Wren in 2016. A friend of Edwin Morgan, McGonigal is currently Chair of the Edwin Morgan Trust. Sandstone Press published his biography of Morgan, Beyond the Last Dragon, in 2010. He has also co-edited Morgan’s letters: The Midnight Letterbox: selected correspondence 1950-2010 was published by Carcanet Press in 2015. His most recent collection Turning Over in a Strange Bed (Mariscat Press) came out December 2017. 

Ciara MacLaverty is proud to be 49, European and living in Glasgow. Her poems have appeared in The Herald, The Scotsman and Gutter.  Her first pamphlet, Seats For Landing came out in 2005 and, from it, the poem, Peeled was chosen for Scottish Poem of the Year. Paul Durcan wrote of ‘First Kiss’ –  it’s a poem that should be in every anthology of Love Poetry. Ciara was a Clydebuilt Mentee in 2016 and went on to win a New Writers’ Award from the Scottish Book Trust in 2017, culminating in the release of Past Love in The Museum of Transport from Tapsalteerie Press. The poems explore how past contentment is woven through us, becoming part of who we are, deepening with age and still enhancing life years on. Of the collection, mentor, Liz Lochhead says – The poems are light-but-deep, often funny, always generous, accessible, inclusive, deeply humane, celebrating small things that can say some very big things indeed.