St Mungo's Mirrorball

The Glasgow network of poets and poetry lovers

Mirrorballs in May

Mirrorball will hold two events in May the first showcase, detailed below, is on Thursday 4th May at 7pm in the Clubroom of the CCA. Details of the Mirrorball event on 28th May, with the Clydebuilt 9 mentees and headliner poet Kerry Hardie, be posted soon.

Showcase 1 on May 4th will host Polly Atkins reading from her first collection of poetry, a posthumously published new collection of poems by Elizabeth Burns read by editors Gerrie Fellows and Jane Routh, Alan Riach reading from his recently published sixth book of poems, and Magi Gibson launching a new collection. It should be great night.

Polly Atkin grew up in Nottingham, then lived in East London for seven years before moving to Cumbria. Her debut poetry pamphlet bone song (Clitheroe: Aussteiger, 2008) was shortlisted for the Michael Marks Award, 2009. Her second poetry pamphlet Shadow Dispatches (Bridgend: Seren, 2013) won the Mslexia Pamphlet Prize, 2012, and was shortlisted for the Lakeland Book of the Year, 2014. An extract from her 2017 first collection, Basic Nest Architecture, was awarded New Writing North’s Andrew Waterhouse Prize
Elizabeth Burns, a gifted and visionary poet, published four collections of poems, most recently Held (Polygon 2010) before her death in 2015. Her many pamphlets include The Shortest Days which won the inaugural Michael Marks Award and Clay, shortlisted for both the Ted Hughes and Callum Macdonald Awards. Lightkeepers is a new collection, published by Wayleave Press, which brings together poems written during the last years of Elizabeth’s life. Gerrie Fellows who edited the book along with Jane Routh, will be reading from the collection.

Alan Riach is the Professor of Scottish Literature at Glasgow University, and Convener of the Saltire Society He is the author of numerous books and articles. He has recently published highly-acclaimed English-language versions of the great 18th-century Gaelic poems, Duncan Ban MacIntyre’s Praise of Ben Dorain and Alasdair Mac Mhaighstir Alasdair’s The Birlinn of Clan Ranald and edited The International Companion to Edwin Morgan (2015) His sixth book of poems The Winter Book: New Poems, has just been launched.

Magi Gibson’s newest collection, Washing Hugh MacDiarmid’s Socks will be published in April 2017 by Luath. Previous collections include Chapman’s best-selling Wild Women of a Certain Age. Her poems have appeared in Modern Scottish Women Poets (Canongate), Scottish Love Poems (Canongate), The Edinburgh Book of Twentieth Century Scottish Poetry, (EUP), New Writing Scotland (ASLS) and many anthologies and magazines as well as The Scotsman and The Herald.


First Mirrorball of 2017

Sarah Howe, Cheryl Follon and Samuel Tongue will be the poets reading at the next Mirrorball on Thursday 9th February, 7pm in the CCA clubroom (members free, non-members welcome £5/3).

Sarah Howe is a British poet, academic and editor. Born in Hong Kong to an English father and Chinese mother, she moved to England as a child. Her first book, Loop of Jade (Chatto & Windus, 2015), won the T.S. Eliot Prize and The Sunday Times / PFD Young Writer of the Year Award, and was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection. She has performed her work at festivals internationally and on BBC Radio 3 & 4. Having previously held fellowships at Cambridge University and Harvard’s Radcliffe Institute, she is currently a Leverhulme Fellow at University College London.
Cheryl Follon‘s most recent collection Santiago, published by Bloodaxe Books, is made up of 85 short prose poems that delight in the thing itself. These are simple and communicative poems, looking at the world from new angles and in a surprising way and one that hopefully delights. Previous to this, she has published two collections, also with Bloodaxe Books. She teaches in a further education college in Glasgow and a good deal of her free time is spent travelling.
Samuel Tongue is a widely published poet and poetry editor of the Glasgow Review of Books. He grew up rural South Wales. He ventured briefly into ministerial training for the Anglican Church, before deciding to focus his PhD on poetic retellings of ‘Jacob wrestling the angel’, analysing biblical stories within contemporary culture. His poetry has been widely published in journals including Envoi, Magma and Gutter, and the anthologies Be The First to Like This: New Scottish Poetry and Best British and Irish Poets 2016. He held the Callan Gordon Award as part of the Scottish New Writers Awards 2013, and teaches Bible, Literature, and Culture at the University of Glasgow

His first collection Hauling-Out has just been published by Eyewear.

December Showcase

William Letford will be reading at St Mungo’s Showcase 7, alongside Mark Russell, Kathrine Sowerby and Andrew Sclater on Thursday 8th December at 7pm in the CCA Clubroom.

William Letford’s debut collection Bevel was published by Carcanet in 2012. In 2014 a chapbook of his poetry Potom Koža Toho Druhého was translated in Slovakian and published by Vertigo. His second collection Dirt was published by Carcanet in August 2016.

Mark Russell has published two chapbooks with Red Ceilings Press, ا (the book of seals) (2016), and Saturday Morning Pictures (2015). His pamphlet Pursued by Well-being was published by tall-lighthouse (2013). Two more publications are due out later in 2016, ℵ (the book of moose) with Kattywompus Press, and his first full collection Spearmint & Rescue with Pindrop Press.

Kathrine Sowerby is a writer living in Glasgow. Her poetry chapbooks include Unnecessarily Emphatic (red ceilings press), Margaret and Sunflower (dancing girl press) and Tired Blue Mountain (red ceilings press). Her book of stories The Spit, the Sound and the Nest will be published in 2017 by Vagabond Voices.

Andrew Sclater, a former recipient of Scottish Book Trust and New Writing North awards for new writers, divides his time between Galloway and Edinburgh. Raised in England, his family origins are in Orkney and Wigtownshire. He has had poems in Ambit, Best Scottish Poems, Magma, Poetry Review, Shearsman, The Dark Horse and other places. He is a co-founder and former editor of Butcher’s Dog magazine. His debut pamphlet is published by HappenStance in November.

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.

George Mackay Brown celebration


On National Poetry Day this year the St Mungo’s Mirrorball event will be a celebration of the life and work of George Mackay Brown (1921-96) Thursday 6th October, 7pm, CCA.

In order to mark the 20th anniversary of the death of the great Orcadian poet, George Mackay Brown, St Mungo’s Mirrorball will host an evening of readings of his poems by Mirrorball members. Gerry Cambridge will lead the celebration with an appreciation of GMB’s life and work based, in part, on his correspondence and meetings with GMB over several years.

Save the dates for future Mirrorball events: 27th October, 17th November, 8th December & 9th February 2017.

Mirrorball May finale


The final Mirrorball before the summer will feature four fine poets:  Liz Berry, James McGonigal, Theresa Muñoz and Stephen Watt. The event is on Thursday 19th May at 7pm in the CCA clubroom. Members free or £5/£3 on the door.

Liz Berry was born in the Black Country and now lives in Birmingham. Her debut collection Black Country (Chatto, 2014) was a PBS Recommendation, received a Somerset Maugham Award and won the Forward Prize for Best First Collection 2014. Black Country was chosen as a poetry book of the year by The Guardian, The Telegraph, The Mail, The Morning Star and The Big Issue.

James McGonigal is a poet, editor and translator, born in Dumfries but resident in Glasgow for many years. His Beyond the Last Dragon: A Life of Edwin Morgan (Sandstone Press, 2010, 2012) was the Saltire Scottish Research Book of the Year, and he recently co-edited a Carcanet selection of Morgan’s correspondence 1950-2010, called The Midnight Letterbox. His Cloud Pibroch (Mariscat Press, 2010) won the Michael Marks Poetry Pamphlet Award. The Camphill Wren is his first full collection, from Red Squirrel Press.

Theresa Muñoz was born in Vancouver, Canada to Filipino parents and now makes her home in Edinburgh. She has won a British Columbia Arts Council Award and has been a prizewinner in the McClellan and Troubadour poetry competitions. She wrote her PhD thesis on the work of Tom Leonard at the University of Glasgow. She is the online editor for the Scottish Review of Books and a regular contributor to the Herald’s book pages. Her poetry pamphlet Close was published by HappenStance Press in 2012. Her poem ‘Be the First to Like This’ gave a collection of young Scottish poets (published by Vagabond Poets) its title. In April 2016, Vagabond Poets published her debut collection Settle.

Stephen Watt is a poet and performer from Dumbarton whose debut collection of poetry “Spit” was published in 2012 by Bonacia Ltd. Stephen has won slams across the UK including Poetry Rivals and the StAnza Digital Poetry Slam, as well as performing in festivals in Dumfries, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Galway. A new pamphlet collection “Optograms” was published by Wild Word Press in February 2016, and collaborative projects with Different Circle Records and the 10 Writers Telling Lies are earmarked for later this year.

Words without borders

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Words without Borders: Three Poets, many voices.

The next Mirrorball event will be held on Thursday 12th May at 7pm in the CCA, clubroom

New York based poet Mark Weiss has published ten collections of poetry, including the recent As Luck Would Have It (Shearsman), as well as translations of Mexican and Cuban poets and has edited bilingual anthologies of the poetry of Baja California and of Cuban poetry since 1944.

Gerrie Fellows was the Scottish poet at this year’s International Poetry Festival of Granada, Nicaragua. This evening she reads from some of the poets featured during the festival and presents the work of three young Nicaraguan writers, newly translated into English by Juana Adcock. Gerrie’s most recent collection of poetry is The Body in Space (Shearsman).

Gerry Loose, award-winning writer and land artist, is the creator of poems on the page and off the page, in gardens, built environments and ungardened spaces. His recent books include An Oakwoods Almanac (Shearsman) and fault line (Vagabond Voices), a sequence which reinvents nature poetry for the twenty-first century.

Clydebuilt showcase

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St Mungos Mirrorball – Clydebuilt 8 showcase will be on Thursday 5th May at 7pm in the Club room at the CCA.

This year’s Clybebuilt mentor Gerry Cambridge showcases the work created by the group in the last year
Gerry Cambridge is a poet, essayist and editor, with a substantial interest 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), Since 1995 Gerry has published and edited The Dark Horse.

Henry Bell is a writer, editor, and events organiser based in Glasgow. He the managing editor of Gutter, Scotland’s magazine of new writing, and has edited a number of books including A Bird is Not a Stone, an anthology of contemporary Palestinian poetry in the languages of Scotland.

Duncan Stewart Muir undertook his MLitt in Creative Writing at The University of Glasgow, graduating with distinction in 2010. Duncan’s poetry has been published in Poetry Review, PN Review, New Writing Scotland, Blast Furnace and In Protest: 150 Poems for Human Rights. He lives in Glasgow where he is at work on his first novel, Our Affliction, set in the Far Eastern borderlands between China and Russia.

Nalini Paul’s first poetry pamphlet, Skirlags, was shortlisted for the Callum Macdonald Award in 2010. She was George Mackay Brown Writing Fellow in Orkney, and has collaborated on projects and commissions for stage and film. Her current poetry book, The Raven’s Song, is inspired by raven-and-crow myths from Orkney, Shetland and Canada.

Gregor Addison teaches English at West College Scotland and lives in Scotstoun, Glasgow. His poetry has previously been published in Carcanet’s Oxford Poets 2013: An Anthology (EDITED BY Iain Galbraith and Robyn Marsack), as well as in Gairm, The Edinburgh Review, Chapman, New Writing Scotland, Gath, Causeway/Cabhsair, The Dark Horse and Gutter.

Mirrorball at Aye Write


St Mungo’s Mirrorball is supporting five events at this year’s Aye Write festival in Glasgow including showcases of leading UK poets. There are two free events and the other three are at subsidised prices so we hope everyone can get along and support for these events.

Thursday 17 March    6:00PM – 7:00PM

St Mungo’s Mirrorball – Poetry Open Mic

St Mungo’s Mirrorball, Glasgow’s Poetry Network and Jim Carruth, Poet Laureate for Glasgow, host their popular open mic session. An opportunity for budding and established poets to read their own work. So whether you have a number of poetry collections out or are reading in public for the first time this is for you! A wonderful opportunity to experience and enjoy Glasgow’s diverse poetic voices.
Free event

Thursday 17 March    7:30PM – 8:30PM
Jim Carruth Introduces Helen Mort & Rebecca Perry

Glasgow’s Poet Laureate, Jim Carruth, welcomes two distinctive new poetry voices to Aye Write! Helen Mort was born in Sheffield in 1985. She is a 5 times winner of the Foyle Young Poets award. In 2014, she completed her Doctorate and her BlogSpot `Poetry on the Brain` was one of the Picador `Best Poetry Blogs` choices. Her latest collection Division Street was shortlisted for the Costa Book Awards and the T.S. Eliot Prize.

Rebecca Perry was born in London. She graduated from Manchester’s Centre for New Writing in 2008. Her first book-length collection, Beauty/Beauty, a Poetry Book Society Recommendation, is shortlisted for the 2015 T.S. Eliot Prize. Presented in association with St Mungo’s Mirrorball .

Tickets: £6 plus transaction fee
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18th Mar 2016  •  6:00PM – 7:00PM
Sinéad Morrissey – Prize Winning Poetry

Aye Write! welcomes TS Eliot Prize winner, Sinéad Morrissey, to read at the festival. Sinéad’s fifth collection of poems, Parallax, won the prestigious award in 2014. After periods living in Japan and New Zealand she now lives in Belfast, where she has been writer-in-residence at Queen’s University, Belfast.

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18th Mar 2016  •  7:30PM – 8:30PM
Remembering Sandy Hutchison

An event of words and song celebrating the life of Alexander Hutchison, the award winning Scottish poet and translator, who died in November 2015 after a short illness. Join with his family, friends and fellow poets as we remember the life and lines of a son of Buckie who worked in Canada and USA, before settling in Glasgow. Simply one of the leading poets of his generation.
free event

20th Mar 2016  •  6:00PM – 7:00PM
Andrew McMillan & David Kinloch – Outspoken Poetry

Andrew McMillan’s Physical contains poems which are hymns to the male body – to male friendship and male love – muscular, sometimes shocking, but always deeply moving. Raw and urgent, this collection was shortlisted for a number of prestigious awards including the Guardian First Book Award and the Forward Prize for Best First Collection. Andrew will be reading with David Kinloch who teaches creative writing at the University of Strathclyde and is the author of five poetry collections. A recipient of the 2004 Robert Louis Stevenson Memorial Award, he is a founder editor of the influential poetry magazine Verse.

Tickets: £6 plus transaction fee
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other poetry events at Aye Write

12th Mar 2016  •  7:30PM – 8:30PM  •  Mitchell Library
Liz Lochhead, Jim Carruth & Gerrie Fellows- The Hunterian Poems

Edited by Alan Riach, Professor of Scottish Literature at Glasgow University, The Hunterian Poems collects works by Scotland’s national poets Liz Lochhead and Edwin Morgan and Glasgow’s poet laureate Jim Carruth along with many more of Scotland’s best poets writing in Gaelic, Scots and English, including Stewart Conn, Meg Bateman, Gerda Stevenson, Elizabeth Burns, David Kinloch and Aonghas MacNeacail. The paintings, beautifully reproduced in the text, include works by J.D. Fergusson, Cadell, Peploe and Joan Eardley.

Tickets: £6 plus transaction fee
Book Now
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