St Mungo's Mirrorball

The Glasgow network of poets and poetry lovers

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May Mirrorball

The next Mirrorball will showcase five poets: Oli Hazzard, Sophie Collins, Patrick James Errington, Elizabeth Rimmer and Jane Hartshorn, on Thursday 31st May, in the CCA Clubroom at 7pm; members free, guests £7/£4.

Oli Hazzard’s’s first collection of poems, Between Two Windows (Carcanet, 2012), won the English Association’s Michael Murphy Memorial Prize and an Eric Gregory Award from the Society of Authors, and was a book of the year in the Guardian, the Financial Times and the Times Literary Supplement. His second collection, Blotter (Carcanet), and a study of John Ashbery’s poetry, The Minor Eras: John Ashbery and Post-War English Poetry (Oxford University Press), will be published in 2018.

Sophie Collins grew up in Bergen, North Holland, and now lives in Edinburgh. She is co-editor of tender, an online arts quarterly, and editor of Currently & Emotion (Test Centre, 2016), an anthology of contemporary poetry translations. small white monkeys, a text on self-expression, self-help and shame, was published by Book Works in 2017 as part of a commissioned residency at Glasgow Women’s Library. Her first poetry collection, Who Is Mary Sue?, was published by Faber & Faber in February 2018. She is currently Assistant Professor of Poetry at Durham University.

Poems by Patrick James Errington have won numerous prizes, including the Wigtown Poetry Prize, The London Magazine Poetry Competition, The Flambard Prize, and the National Poetry Competition, and appear regularly in journals and anthologies like Best New Poets, The Cincinnati Review, Oxford Poetry, Boston Review, The Iowa Review, and Copper Nickel. In 2017, his French translation of PJ Harvey’s poetry collection, The Hollow of the Hand, was released by Éditions l’Âge d’Homme, and just this year his own chapbook, Glean, was released by ignitionpress. Born and raised in Alberta, Canada, Patrick is a graduate of Columbia University’s MFA programme and is now a doctoral candidate at the University of St Andrews.

Elizabeth Rimmer has published three collections of poetry with Red Squirrel Press, Wherever We Live Now, (2011), The Territory of Rain, (2015), and Haggards in 2018.She has always taken an interest in herbs and how we use them as symbols for the values we cherish, and produced a modern translation of the Old English Charm of Nine Herbs in 2017. She has edited two poetry collections for Red Squirrel Press, and the most recent anthology of the Federation of Writers (Scotland) Landfall. She is a council member of the Scottish Centre for Geopoetics.  Her website is

Jane Hartshorn has an MA in Creative Writing (Poetry) from the University of Kent. In 2017, her first pamphlet tract was published by Litmus Publishing. She has had poems published in MAP MagazineRaumGnommero, Glasgow University’s From Glasgow to Saturn, and Poetry Scotland’s The Open Mouse.


Clydebuilt 10 Showcase


The next Mirrorball will be the Clydebuilt 10 Showcase on Thursday 3rd May at 7pm in the CCA clubroom, featuring mentor Gerry Loose and mentees: Lindsey Shields Waters, Ross Wilson, Molly Vogel and Craig Coyle.


Gerry Loose

The poetry of Gerry Loose is found inscribed in Parks, Botanic Gardens and natural landscapes as well as hospitals, galleries and on the page. Recent publications include Printed on Water, New and Selected Poems (Shearsman); that person himself (Shearsman); fault line (Vagabond Voices); An Oakwoods Almanac (Shearsman).  Forthcoming from Vagabond Voices: night exposures.

Lindsey Shields Waters works as a solicitor at the University of Strathclyde and lives in Glasgow with her family. On completing an MLitt at Glasgow University in 2016, she put aside a half written espionage novel to concentrate on poetry instead and has not looked back. She was a Clydebuilt poetry mentee for 2016/17 and her poems have been published in Lighthouse Literary Journal (Issues 12, 14 and 17); Magma Poetry (Issue 69); RAUM Poetry (Issue 4); the W.S. Graham Centenary Anthology: The Caught Habits of Language and Glasgow Review of Books. She has lived and worked in Washington DC, Bavaria and Leiden and is currently working on her first pamphlet collection.

Ross Wilson
was raised in Kelty, a former mining village in West Fife. His first pamphlet collection, The Heavy Bag, was published by Calder Wood Press in 2011. In 2013 he was credited as a writer on The Happy Lands, an acclaimed award winning feature film in which he had an acting role. His first full collection of poetry will be published by Smokestack Books in December, 2018. He works full time as an Auxiliary Nurse in Glasgow.


Molly Vogel is a poet from Los Angeles, California. She moved to Glasgow in 2011 to pursue a Masters degree at the University, and has since received a doctorate. Her poetry has featured in several magazines, as well as in Carcanet’s anthology ‘New Poetries VI’. She is the co-editor of RAUM, a Glasgow-based international poetry magazine. She received a New Writers Award from the Scottish Book Trust in 2016.

Craig Coyle
lives in Bonkle and works as a psychiatric nurse. He writes poems, and has published in various magazines, including Stand, Verse, Gutter. He continues to seek a publisher. Anyone? Czeslaw Milosz is his hero.

SAVE the DATE for the next Mirrorball on Thursday 31st May, with Oli Hazzard, Sophie Collins, Patrick James Errington, Elizabeth Rimmer and Jane Hartshorn.

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.

Dunn in December

The next Mirrorball Showcase will feature readings by Douglas Dunn, David Kinloch, J L Williams and Matthew Griffiths. It will be held on December 7th, 7pm in the Clubroom of the CCA. Members free, guests £7/4.

Douglas Dunn was born in Inchinnan, Renfrewshire, in 1942 and lived there until he married at the age of twenty-two. After working as a librarian in Scotland and Akron, Ohio, he studied English at Hull University, graduating in 1969. He then worked for eighteen months in the university library after which, in 1971, he became a freelance writer. In 1991 he was appointed Professor in the School of English at the University of St Andrews. As well as ten collections of poetry, including Elegies (1985), The Year’s Afternoon, The Donkey’s Ears (both 2000), and New Selected Poems 1964-2000 (2003), Douglas Dunn has written several radio and television plays, including Ploughman’s Share and Scotsman by Moonlight. He has also edited various anthologies, including Twentieth-Century Scottish Poetry (2006). Douglas Dunn has won a Somerset Maugham Award, the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize, and has twice been awarded prizes by the Scottish Arts Council. In 1981 he was awarded the Hawthornden Prize for St Kilda’s Parliament. In January 1986 he was overall winner of the 1985 Whitbread Book of the Year Award for his collection Elegies.

The Noise of a Fly is the first collection from Douglas Dunn in sixteen years, and the first since he was awarded the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry in 2013. It is a book brimming with warmth, mischief and a self-deprecating humour, as well as with a charming, ‘Larkinesque’ crankiness: a quarrel with ageing, an impatience with youth, the grievousness of losing friends and colleagues. But for all its intimate, hearthside rumination, this is a volume of poems that looks outward in equal measure: at Scottish independence, British politics and an international refugee crisis, and reflects unflinchingly on what it is to consider oneself a contributor to society. Penned with a dexterous wit and a steady nerve, The Noise of a Fly is a mesmeric imagining of our later years by one of this country’s most senior and celebrated writers.

‘It is hard to think of many poets who can equal his combination of imaginative ambition, formal resource and range of tone . . . Written on these terms, poetry is a matter of permanent urgency.’ Sean O’Brien

‘The most respected Scottish poet of his generation.’ Nicholas Wroe

David Kinloch was born and brought up in Glasgow. A graduate of the Universities of Glasgow and Oxford, he was a teacher of French for many years and is currently Professor of Poetry and Creative Writing at the University of Strathclyde. His publications include Un Tour d’Ecosse, In My Father’s House and Finger of a Frenchman, all from Carcanet. He launches his next book, In Search of Dustie-Fute (Carcanet) in August 2017.In 2004 he was a winner of the Robert Louis Stevenson Memorial Award. In 2006 he held a Scottish Writers’ Bursary from the Scottish Arts Council and in 2013 was awarded a Fellowship by the Arts and Humanities Research Coucil for his poetry.

Books by JL Williams include Condition of Fire (Shearsman, 2011), Locust and Marlin (Shearsman, 2014), Our Real Red Selves (Vagabond Poets, 2015) and House of the Tragic Poet (If A Leaf Falls Press, 2016). A new collection exploring the fine line between abundance and apocalypse, After Economy, was published by Shearsman Books in May 2017. She is interested in expanding dialogues through poetry across languages, perspectives and cultures and in cross-form work, visual art, dance, opera and theatre.

Published widely in journals, her poetry has been translated into Romanian, Hungarian, Dutch, Spanish, Turkish, Polish, German, French and Greek and she has read at international poetry festivals in Scotland, Romania, Turkey, Cyprus and Canada. Williams wrote the libretto for a new opera, Snow, which premiered in London in Spring 2017, was Writer-in-Residence for the British Art Show 8 in Edinburgh with the artist Catherine Street and plays in the poetry and music band Opul.

Williams gives regular poetry readings and workshops and is on the Live Literature funded list of Scottish Book Trust Authors. She curates poetry events and creates workshops and professional development activities for poets.

Born in Birmingham, living in London, Matthew Griffiths spent a spell in St Andrews and did a doctorate in Durham. His collection Natural Economy and pamphlet How to be Late are published by Red Squirrel, recent poems have appeared in The Dark Horse and The Tree Line, and his critical book The New Poetics of Climate Change came out from Bloomsbury Academic this summer. He’s also written Doctor Who short stories for Big Finish.

November Mirrorball

The next St. Mungo’s Mirrorball is on the 16th November at 7pm, in the CCA and will feature: Pascale Petit, Claire Askew and Hamish Whyte. Free for members, guests £7 (£4 conc.) With such a great line-up we’re expecting this event to be busy, the venue has a limited capacity so please arrive early to guarantee entry.

Pascale Petit’s seventh collection, Mama Amazonica (Bloodaxe, 2017), was a Poetry Book Society Choice and draws on her travels in the Amazon rainforest. Her sixth, Fauverie, was her fourth to be shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize and five poems from it won the Manchester Poetry Prize. In 2015 she received a Cholmondeley Award.

Claire Askew‘s poetry has appeared in a variety of publications, including The Guardian, The Edinburgh Review, PANK and the Scottish Poetry Library’s Best Scottish Poems anthology (2008, 2009, 2014, 2016). Her debut poetry collection, This changes things, was published by Bloodaxe and shortlisted for the Edwin Morgan Poetry Award, the Saltire First Book Award and the Seamus Heaney Centre Poetry Prize.

Hamish Whyte was born near Glasgow where he lived for many years before moving to Edinburgh in 2004. He has published several collections of poems, the latest being Hannah, Are You Listening? (HappenStance, 2014) and Things We Never Knew (Shoestring Press, 2016). He has also edited many anthologies of Scottish literature, including Mungo’s Tongues: Glasgow Poems 1630-1990, An Arran Anthology, Kin: Scottish Family Poems and, most recently, Scottish Cats (Birlinn, 2013). He runs Mariscat Press.

Unfortunately David Kinloch is no longer able to read at this event.

Next Mirrorball

Save the date for the next St. Mungo’s Mirrorball event on Thursday 16th November at 7pm in the CCA, Glasgow. We have a fantastic line-up planned with Pascale PetitDavid Kinloch, Claire Askew and Hamish Whyte. More details will follow soon…

Szirtes headlines 100th Mirrorball

George Szirtes will headline the 100th St. Mungo’s Mirrorball event with a poetry reading followed by an interview with Robyn Marsack. This will be supported by the launch of, and readings from, Honest Error – an anthology of poems inspired by Charles Rennie Mackintosh. And we’ll be celebrating our 100th meeting by reading a poem for Alexander Hutchison. The event is on Thursday 12th October at 7pm in the Clubroom,  CCA, Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow. Entry £7 / £4 conc. / free for members. There will be an opportunity for members to meet from 6.15pm to share their highlights from past events.

George Szirtes was born in Budapest in 1948, and came to England with his family after the 1956 Hungarian Uprising. He was educated in England, training as a painter, and has always written in English. In recent years he has worked as a translator of Hungarian literature, producing editions of such writers as Otto Orban, Zsuzsa Rakovszky and Agnes Nemes Nagy. He co-edited Bloodaxe’s Hungarian anthology The Colonnade of Teeth. His Bloodaxe poetry books are The Budapest File (2000); An English Apocalypse (2001); Reel (2004), winner of the T.S. Eliot Prize; New & Collected Poems (2008) and The Burning of the Books and other poems (2009), shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize 2009. Bad Machine (2013) was a Poetry Book Society Choice and shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize 2013. His latest collection, Mapping the Delta, Bloodaxe Books, 2016), is a Poetry Book Society Choice. Bloodaxe has also published John Sears’ critical study Reading George Szirtes (2008). Szirtes lives in Norfolk and is a freelance writer, having retired from teaching at the University of East Anglia.

Mirrorball member and Clydebuilt mentee Gillean McDougall devised the ‘Honest Error’ project while a student on the MLitt Creative Writing programme at The University of Glasgow. More than 30 writers contributed to a workshop and website, culminating in the first of five annual anthologies. For 2017, new writing was inspired by Glasgow architect and icon Charles Rennie Mackintosh. A selection of contributors will read from their work and the Honest Error anthology will be available to buy.



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National Poetry Day


On National Poetry Day – Thursday 28th September 2017 – St Mungo’s Mirrorball will host a Celebration of Russian Poets

The theme of National Poetry Day 2017 is ‘Freedom’. In response, Mirrorball is showcasing the lives and work of Russian poets. These include Yevgeny Yevtushenko, Anna Akhmatova, Irina Ratushinskaya, Marina Tsvetaeva, Osip Mandelstam and Boris Pasternak. The readers will be Valerie Thornton, Dai Vaughan, Alan McGlas, Stephanie Green, Robyn Marsack, James McGonigal and former Scottish Makar, Liz Lochhead.

Come along for what should be an entertaining early evening event.

6.00 – 7.00 pm Moir/Dyer Room, Mitchell Library, Glasgow – Entry Free Read the rest of this entry »

Autumn Mirrorball


Imperial Porcelain Factory plate, St Petersburg, 1921 (The British Museum)

We’re kicking off the Autumn season by celebrating National Poetry Day on Thursday 28th September 2017 (7.00pm) at the CCA. The theme of National Poetry day 2017 is ‘Freedom’. We thought it would be appropriate to combine this theme with the occasion of the one hundredth anniversary of the Russian Revolution by celebrating the lives and work of dissident Soviet poets. More details to follow.

The following event will be on October 12th with acclaimed poet George Szirtes headlining, supported by the launch of Honest Error, an anthology of poetry celebrating the work of iconic architect Charles Rennie MacIntosh.

Further Mirrorball dates for the autumn / winter programme: 16th November, 7th December 2017 and 1st February 2018.

Clydebuilt & Hardie

Kerry Hardie, the Clydebuilt 9 mentees, and their mentor Liz Lochhead will all be reading at the last Mirrorball of the season on Thursday May 25th at 7pm in the Clubroom of the CCAThis event is preceded by the St. Mungo’s Mirrorball AGM at 6pm for those that can make it.


Kerry Hardie has published seven collections of poetry, her most recent being The Zebra Stood in the Dark , Bloodaxe Books. She has published two novels, (Harper Collins; Little, Brown) and is finishing a third. Her verse play [written with Olivia O’Leary], To Find a Heathen Place and Sound a Bell was broadcast in 2015.
Liz Lochhead and the Clydebuilt 9 mentees: Juana Adcock, R. A. Davies, Finola Scott, KatieAiles, Ciara MacLaverty.

Ciara MacLaverty was born in Belfast, grew up on Islay and lives in Glasgow. She is a current recipient of a 2017 New Writer’s Award form the Scottish Book Trust. Her poems have appeared in The Scotsman, New Writing Scotland and Gutter. On twitter she describes herself as Writer, Mother, occassionally other.

R.A. Davis was born in Edinburgh in 1983 to a Welsh mother and English father. Robin spent his childhood in the suburbs of Canterbury in Kent. At fourteen, his family moved to the Isle of Anglesey, North Wales, where his bedroom window looked out on the Irish Sea and the mountains of Snowdonia. In 2002, summoned by Scotland’s indie music scene, Robin came to study an undergraduate degree at the University of Glasgow and has belonged to the city ever since. He gained his MLitt in Creative Writing at Glasgow University part-time while working six days a week in a greengrocers’. He now earns a living as a bookseller. He has written for the Glasgow Review of Books, and both his poetry and prose have been published in Gutter.

Katie Ailes is a poet and PhD candidate currently based in Edinburgh. Her research focuses on the performance of authentic selfhood in contemporary U.K. spoken word poetry. Katie placed second in the 2015 Scottish National Poetry Slam and has performed across the U.KShe organises, composes, and performs with the spoken word collective Loud Poets. She released her first pamphlet, Homing, in 2015, and was published in the House of Three anthology series in 2016.

Finola Scott has been writing since she retired. Her short stories and poems are widely published in anthologies and magazines including The Ofi Press, Raum, Dactyl ,The Lake, Poets’ Republic, The Eildon Tree. A performance poet she is also proud to be a slam-winning granny.

Juana Adcock is a poet and translator working in English and Spanish. Her poems and translations have appeared in publications including Magma Poetry, Gutter, Glasgow Review of Books, Asymptote and Words Without Borders. Her first book, Manca, explores the anatomy of violence in Mexico and was named by Reforma’s distinguished critic Sergio González Rodríguez as one of the best poetry books published in 2014. In 2016 she was named one of the ‘Ten New Voices from Europe’ by Literature Across Frontiers.