Edinburgh: poems & translations

It’s been a long time since I offered a poetry walk in the Old Town – almost two years. I gave some illustrated talks to U3A groups before the first lockdown, and since then have done a couple of online presentations.

In early 2020 I had a pamphlet of poems ready to publish with The Caseroom Press in early summer, with a view to promoting it during that year’s Edinburgh Fringe… but things didn’t go according to plan. For a while it seemed possible I could do something for the 2021 Fringe, but deadlines came and went.

It’s now ready, and I’m launching it in the days following National Poetry Day. First there’s a walk through the Old Town, from St Giles down the High Street and Canongate and into Holyrood Park, and then I’m also doing an online launch a few days later, for those unable (or unwilling) to venture into central Edinburgh and brave the autumn weather.

The walk is on Saturday 9 October at 11.00; the online launch on Tuesday 12 October at 19.00. For the latter I’ll be joined by Barrie Tullett, who designed and published the pamphlet for The Caseroom Press. You can book both the walk and the online launch via Eventbrite, and when booking you also have the option to buy a copy of the pamphlet.

Edinburgh: poems and translations includes original poems about Register House (and specifically the magnificent central dome designed by Robert Adam), the Scottish parliament building, and my then four-year old daughter running up and down Fleshmarket Close. There’s also a poem about Deacon Brodie who, despite being a legendary Edinburgh character, has been neglected by poets. The translations are of poems by Arthur Johnston, the 17th century Latin poet much admired by his near-namesake Samuel Johnson, by Victor Hugo, who conjures a romantically ruined Holyrood despite never visiting the city, and by Theodor Fontane, who did visit but whose ‘John Knox’s Death’ is full of anachronisms, all intentional no doubt

Edinburgh: Book Launch & Poetry Walk
Sat, 9 October 2021, 11:00 – 12:15 BST
Meet outside St Giles’ Cathedral, High Street, Edinburgh EH1 1RE

Edinburgh: online book launch
Tue, 12 Oct 2021 19:00-20.00
With Ken Cockburn & Barrie Tullett

Otherwise, if you’d like to buy a copy of the book get in touch! Until 12th October they cost £5.00 + P&P (thereafter £7.00 + P&P). As the photo above shows, the books are available in a variety of cover colours. If you have a preference, let me know.

Edinburgh: poems & translations
ISBN 978-1-905821-35-8
210 x 130mm, 16 pages, soft covers, saddle stitch binding

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