Diary

Forthcoming events, 2017

Friday 3 March, 11.30–12.30
Council Chamber, The Town Hall, Queens Gardens, St Andrews
Making a Living as a Poet
Join Ken Cockburn, Harry Giles and Sarah Hesketh to talk about how they manage to make poetry pay. Topics covered in previous events in the series include pitching to venues and publishers, working freelance, broadening appeal beyond a ‘poetry audience’ and using social media effectively.
£4.00 (£3.00)

Friday 28 April – Monday 1 May, daily at 14.00 (ends c.15.30)
Disregarded Harmonies: poems on the Royal Mile
Part of TradFest Edinburgh 2017
Leaving from Scottish Storytelling Centre, 43–45 High Street, Edinburgh EH1 1SR
Tickets £8.00 (£6.00), available online, on 0131 556 9579 or in person at the Scottish Storytelling Centre, 10.00–18.00, Mon–Sat.

Events in 2016

Saturday 20 February, 11.00–12.30
Scottish Poetry Library, 5 Crichton’s Close, Canongate, Edinburgh EH8 8DH.
Nothing But the Poem: Buson and haiku
£5 (£4 concession)

Thursday 31 March, 19.30
Taigh Chearsabhagh, Lochmaddy, North Uist.
Last Thursdays Poetry Evening – poetry reading

Friday 1 April, 10.30–12.30
Taigh Chearsabhagh, Lochmaddy, North Uist.
Writing workshop. To book a place e-mail pauline@pauline-prior-pitt.com

Friday 29 April, 14.30–15.45 & Saturday 30 April, 11.00–12.15
Walking tour, starts at the Scottish Storytelling Centre, The Netherbow, 43-45 High Street, Edinburgh EH1 1SR.
Huddles & Heavens: poems on the Canongate
Tickets £8 (£6) from the Scottish Storytelling Centre, 0131-556 9579

Friday 13 May, 19.00
The Highlanders Museum, Fort George, Ardersier, Inverness IV12 7TD.
A museum tour with live music from Accordion Too, and poems read by Ken Cockburn, looking at the world cultures experienced by the Highland regiments.
Tickets £10 from 0131 310 8765

Saturday 25 June, 10.30–16.00
Scottish Poetry Library, 5 Crichton’s Close, Canongate, Edinburgh EH8 8DH.
Renga on the Terrace
£10 (£8 concession)
Go to www.scottishpoetrylibrary.eventbrite.co.uk to book tickets

Friday 5 – Monday 29 August, 11.00–12.30
(daily except Tuesdays 9, 16 & 23)
Come Down the Mile
EPT Fergusson sunshine

Walking tours leaving from outside the Scottish Poetry Library, 5 Crichton’s Close, Canongate, Edinburgh EH8 8DH.

£10 (£5 concession), tickets available here

Walk the historic and dramatic Royal Mile with poet Ken Cockburn, weaving through narrow closes, open squares and secret gardens to discover how this city has been inspiring writers for 500 years. Edinburgh is a UNESCO City of Literature and has the only purpose-built poetry library in the world. Poetry has been its heartbeat for centuries – the medieval makars of the Scottish court, Robert Fergusson whose work inspired Burns, Robert Louis Stevenson who had a love-hate relationship with his home city, and the many poets who live and write in the city today.

Atoms of DelightSaturday 3 September,
10.30–12.00
Lauriston Castle, 2a Cramond Road South, Davidson’s Mains, Edinburgh EH4 5QD
Hitting the hosomichi:
Japanese Poetry in Scotland

The haiku and tanka of Japanese poets such as Basho, Buson and Issa are marked by brevity and concrete imagery drawn directly from the natural world, and Ken Cockburn looks at how their works have influenced a swathe of Scottish writers including Ian Hamilton Finlay, Alan Spence, Iain Crichton Smith and the current Edinburgh Makar, Christine De Luca.


Tickets £8 (includes a special tour of the Castle, coffee and cakes), available here.

Friday 30 September, 19.00–20.00
Forest Cafe, 141 Lauriston Place, Edinburgh EH3 9JN.
Found in Translation
An event for International Translation Day, organised by Far Off Places and Glasgow Review of Books: Kevin Mclean and Katie Ailes of the Loud Poets, performing Alexandra Smith’s translation of The War Hasn’t Started Yet; a new look at Google Translate, from Juana Adcock; a musical translation of poetry by Tim Cooper; German words interwoven with English from JL Williams; Christine Marendon translated by Ken Cockburn; and a mini translation workshop from Flavia D’Avila.

Saturday 15 & Sunday 16 October
Perthshire tours, follies & wild gardens

The Hermitage DunkeldA free weekend of talks, walks, writing and foraging in Perth and Dunkeld & Birnam, with Ken Cockburn & Alec Finlay, Rhynie Woman, Christopher Dingwall and others.

For a programme outline see Oct event poster (web).

orchard-irish-peachFriday 25 November, 19.30
St James Church, John’s Place, Leith Links, Edinburgh EH6 7EL.
The Tasting Room
An evening of apples, and apples inspired songs, stories and poems, including a sequence I wrote recently for Crailing Community Orchard in the Borders. Part of Adventfest 2016.
£5.00 (£2.50 concession)

Events in 2015

Thursday 12 March, 10.30–11.30
Hendersons, Hanover Street, Edinburgh
Poetry and Coffee
A morning poetry reading (free)

Tuesday 31 March, 20.00
The Gilchrist Postgraduate Club, Gilbert Scott Building, University Avenue, Glasgow G12 8QQ.
THE VERSE HEARSE BOOK LAUNCH SPECIAL: The Road North by Alec Finlay and Ken Cockburn
Ken Cockburn & Alec Finlay, with Gerry Loose

Saturday 4 April, 19.00
The Community Forge, Fountainbridge, Edinburgh (near Castle Mill Works, Gilmore Park)
ECLIPSE: Enlightenment
Coinciding with the lunar eclipse on 4 April and the recent solar eclipse, David Faithfull’s ‘Moon draws Sun/Earth draws Moon’ has been projected onto the side of Castle Mill Works in Fountainbridge. As part of the DARK MATTERS Project, Ken Cockburn and David Faithfull discuss the installation and its connections with Enlightenment Edinburgh. Cockburn will be focusing on Edinburgh’s own intellectual and publishing heritage, particularly the printing of the Encyclopaedia Britannica in Fountainbridge from 1777 to 1826.

Tuesday 5 May, 18.30
Blackwell Bookshop, 53-62 South Bridge, Edinburgh EH1 1YS.
Scotia Nova: Poems for the Early Days of a Better Nation
Scotia Nova, edited by Alasdair Finlay and Tessa Ransford, is an anthology of poems speaking to the questions, uncertainties and hopes of Scotland as a nation on the brink of change. Now the referendum has passed, and the general election grows closer, a new edition of the book is being released. Come along to join the editors and contributing poets for an evening of poetry dedicated to Scotland’s future, and possibly a song or two.

Saturday 16 May, 13.00–14.30 & 17.00–21.30
St John’s West End, Edinburgh
An Evocation: the early 20th century in words and music
Music by Britten, Debussy, Saint-Säens, Elgar, Rachmaninov, Ravel and others. Poems by Apollinaire, Rosenberg, Cummings, Ransford and others; read in three slots, at around 18.00, 18.45 and 20.00.
In support of Christian Aid’s Nepal Earthquake Appeal

until Sunday 28 June
Mo-Th 10.00–20.00; Fr & Sa 10.00–17.00; Su 12.00–17.00.
Hillhead Library, 348 Byres Road, Glasgow, G12 8AP.
About Face
An exhibition of 10 large format Polaroid portraits by Maud Sulter, originally commissioned by the Scottish Poetry Library in 2002. This exhibition sees this work of historical significance resurface for the first time since being shown in venues in 2003/2004.

Sunday 19 July, 15.00
Planten un Blomen, St Petersburger Straße 22, 20355 Hamburg, Germany.
‘Von Edo nach Edinburgh – Eine Reise mit Basho’ / (‘From Edo to Edinburgh – a journey with Basho’)
Readings from The Road North
Chaired by Christine Marendon

5 September–31 October
Traquair House, Innerleithen, Peeblesshire EH44 6PW
Curved Stream
An exhibition of contemporary art by Gordon Brennan, Ken Cockburn, Mark Haddon, Jane Hyslop, Paul Keir, Andrew Mackenzie, Deirdre Macleod and Mary Morrison.
The opening is on Saturday 5 September from 14.00 to 16.00. I’ll be leading a poetry walk in the grounds of the house starting at 15.00 for about half an hour; and I’ll be leading a slightly longer poetry walk on Saturday 10 October at 2.30pm. For updates see the Curved Stream Facebook page.

Wednesday 23 September, 17.30–20.30
Mac-Arts, Bridge Street, Galashiels, TD1 1SP
The Power of Creative Collaboration
Join poet Ken Cockburn and dancer and choreographer Claire Pencak as they talk about the role that collaboration plays in their work and offer tips for managing it effectively.
Presented as part of NAWE’s Turning a New Page programme in association with CABN (Creative Arts Business Network).

Thursday 8 October, 11.00–12.15 & 15.00–16.15
Two Poetry Walks for National Poetry Day
Both walks begin at the Scottish Storytelling Centre, The Netherbow, 43-45 High Street, Edinburgh EH1 1SR, and end outside the Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh EH99 1SP.
For further details see Edinburgh Poetry Tours and Facebook – there’s a page for the 11.00 tour, and one for the 15.00 tour.

Tuesday 24 November, 10.30–11.30
A Canongate Poetry Walk
Starting at the Scottish Storytelling Centre, The Netherbow, 43-45 High Street, Edinburgh EH1 1SR, and ending at the Scottish Poetry Library, Edinburgh EH8 8. For further details see Edinburgh Poetry Tours and Facebook.

Saturday 28 November, 14.30–16.00
National Library of Scotland, George IV Bridge, Edinburgh EH1 1EW.
Some bat-squeak echo of other time: A tour guided by fiction
A journey through the Library, which weaves together fiction, description and music. Within our collections are descriptions of fictional buildings which have only ever existed in the imagination. Explorations of the actual building, informed by staff and visually impaired participants, have resulted in this unexpected way to experience the Library. Created by Ken Cockburn and in collaboration with Artlink Edinburgh and Lothians.

Monday 7 December, 19.00
St Andrew’s and St George’s West Church, 13-17 George St, Edinburgh EH2 2PA.
A Memorial Event for Tessa Ransford
A wonderful celebration of Tessa Ransford, poet, editor, champion of Scottish poetry and poetry pamphlet publishing but, supremely, the moving force in the creation of the Scottish Poetry Library, and its first director.

Events in 2014

Wednesday 5 March, 18:30–20.00
Goethe-Institut Glasgow, 3 Park Circus, Glasgow G3 6AX
Poetry in Translation
Reading & Discussion with Jan Wagner & Anne Stokes, translator of Sarah Kirsch

Thursday 13 March, 10.30–11.30
Hendersons, Hanover Street, Edinburgh
Poetry and Coffee
A morning poetry reading, with Donald Smith & Anita John (free)

Tuesday 25 March, 19.00
Literaturhaus Schleswig-Holstein, Schwanenweg 13, D-24105 Kiel
‘Lyrik im Gespräch’ – with Michael Augustin

Thursday 10 April, 10.30–14.30
Chelsea Physic Garden, London
‘Celebrating Bees: Poems of the Five Senses’
A day to celebrate bees through poetry and art with Ken Cockburn; complements a special exhibition of bee boles by artist Alec Finlay. For ages 7+

Monday 9 June, 14.00–17.30
The John Gray Centre, Haddington, East Lothian
A reading of poems written during and about World War One. Part of Make a Noise in Libraries fortnight, a national initiative promoted by the RNIB which aims to bring together libraries and blind and partially sighted people to improve access to books and information.

Wednesday 11 June
, 18.30 – 20.30pm
Scottish National Portrait Gallery, 1 Queen Street, Edinburgh
An introduction to Artlink’s Opening Lines project which combines description, history and storytelling in response to locations across Edinburgh creating events for audiences with sight loss as well as sighted audiences. With Juliana Capes.

Saturday 19 July, 18.00–19.00
Level 5 Function Room, Royal Festival Hall, South Bank Centre, London
Launch of the new issue of Modern Poetry in Translation, which includes my translations of poems by the German poet Christine Marendon. Christine will be travelling to London to read at the event.

Various dates, June – August
Various National Trust properties in south-east England
there were our own there were the others
To mark the anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War, I will be leading silent walks through landscapes in the care of the National Trust across England and Wales, in remembrance of those affected by conflict. Guided by Hamish Henderson’s poem ‘End of a Campaign’, which bears witness to ‘our own’ and ‘the others’, at each walk a pair of representative poems will be read, and some poppy seeds scattered.
A project by Alec Finlay, in collaboration with
 Ken Cockburn, Heather H. Yeung, and Luke Allan

Saturday 20 September, 10.30–11.30
Jerwood Centre, Dove Cottage, Grasmere
Readings from The Road North with Alec Finlay, in the context of the exhibition Wordsworth and Basho: Walking Poets

Saturday 20 September, 14.00–16.00
The Foyle Room, opposite Dove Cottage, Grasmere
Poetry Workshop: Renga

Thursday 16 October
Scottish Poetry Library, Edinburgh, 18.30
‘Late Ripeness’: Poems About Memory and Ageing
A Living Voices event and part of Luminate: Scotland’s creative ageing festival. Tickets £5.00 (£4.00)

Sunday 26 October, 19.45
Shore Poets, Henderson’s at St John’s, St John’s Church, corner of Lothian Road and Princes Street, Edinburgh
A reading, with Brian Johnstone, and others. Tickets £5.00 (£3.00)

Thursday 6 November, 19.30
The Bluecoat, Liverpool
there were our own there were the others
A poetry reading with Alec Finlay, Libby Houston, Edmund Hardy and Ken Cockburn to conclude a large-scale project with the National Trust to mark the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War. Free

Saturday 8 November, 14.00
Sarah Myerscough Gallery, 15-16 Brook’s Mews, London W1K 4DS
A reading to close the exhibition of paintings by Andrew Mackenzie, ‘Veined with Shadow-branches

Sunday 30 November, 15.00–16.30
The Saltire Concert
St. Michael’s Parish Church, Inveresk, Musselburgh
Music and poetry for St Andrew’s Day, hosted by Jo Cauldfield.
Free but ticketed event, tickets available from The Brunton on 0131 665 2240.

Thursday 11 December, 17.45–18.45
Scottish National Portrait Gallery, 5 Queen Street, Edinburgh
Remembering the Great War in words and music
Featuring renowned bass Brian Bannatyne-Scott performing music by Schumann, Finzi and Mahler as well as the words of Violet Jacob, Mary Sackville West and Wilfred Owen, read by Lorna Irvine and Ken Cockburn.
No booking required: free, unticketed.

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