CultFusion #5 @ Persevere Bar & Restaurant, Edinburgh [13 June]

CultFusion #5

19:00 - 21:15

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Persevere Bar & Restaurant
398 Easter Road, EH6 8HT Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Scotland's most misleadingly named poetry night returns to Leith Festival for a fourth idiosyncratic year. A quartet of poets — Diana Hendry, Miriam Gamble, Ken Cockburn and Rex Sweeny — will be reading their work to a hushed and adoring throng (it says here) with contributions from musicians including a guitar duo, a fiddler and a heroic tenor. One of last year's guest poets described it as "wonderful…one of the warmest atmospheres I've ever experienced at a poetry night." Come and be part of it! Admission £3.

Some details of the four main performers:

First and foremost a poet, DIANA HENDRY is also well known for her many children's books, winning a Whitbread Award (the equivalent of a Costa Prize) in 1991 a...nd being shortlisted for a Costa in 2012 and a Scottish Children's Book Award in 2013; she's noted for her short stories too. By our count she has published six collections of poems, most recently The Seed-Box Lantern: New & Selected Poems (2013). Her poetry, Janice Galloway has said, "has a wonderful sense of the author's voice, dark and bitterly sweet at the same time, like high-grade chocolate." Sylvia Hill wrote that "Hendry's poems are a vibrant collection, as vivid and various as a room full of Picassos" while Amos Oz referred to "a warmth and sense of deep affection in every line". A former school and university teacher and print and radio journalist, she now writes for the Spectator and tutors for the Arvon Foundation. She and her partner Hamish Whyte were awarded a Robert Louis Stevenson Fellowship in 2007, and a poem by her was chosen for the Scottish Poetry Library's list of best Scottish poems in 2006, 2009, 2013 and 2014.

MIRIAM GAMBLE has had two admired collections of her poetry published by Bloodaxe, The Squirrels Are Dead and Pirate Music, and has won a Somerset Maugham award, an Eric Gregory award, the Vincent Buckley Prize and the Ireland Chair of Poetry Bursary Award. She grew up in Belfast but has lived in Scotland since 2010 and now teaches creative writing at Edinburgh University, following experience as a bookseller, barmaid, pony trekking guide and BBC Scotland subtitler. Brendan Cleary has described her ‘engagingly personal poems that exhibit a crisp power of recall, a tender cherishing of memory and an appealing, off-beat sense of humour’ while noting that she ‘also deals with both mythical and historical events, applying to these narratives a quiet, unfolding wonder and a first-rate intelligence.’ Michael Longley put it more succinctly: “She looks like the real thing all right.’

Floating The Woods, KEN COCKBURN's third full collection of poetry, was published this March by Luath Press. His first, Souvenirs And Homelands, was praised for its "rare grace and compassion" and shortlisted for a Saltire Award in 1998, and was followed in 2007 by On The Flyleaf, hailed as "a delight" by Stewart Conn, who praised Ken's "meticulous joy with words". As author, translator and editor Ken has more than thirty publications to his credit, ranging from a volume of "football haiku" (three words each) to a history of the investment management firm Baillie Gifford. In 1999-2002 he and Alec Finlay established and ran pocketbooks, an award-winning series of books of poetry and visual art, and he received the Arts Foundation Fellowship for Literary Translation in 2008 and a Creative Scotland Vital Spark Award in 2010. Ken used to be assistant director of the Scottish Poetry Library and can now be found ushering verse-crazed tourists through the Old Town as the man behind Edinburgh Poetry Tours.

REX SWEENY has come into the possession of certain compromising letters and photographs and as a result we allow him to read his "poetry" at CultFusion every year albeit much against our better judgment.

IMPORTANT NOTE #1: this event is being advertised as "6.30pm for 7.00pm", and as we have no idea how many people will want to come it would make sense to arrive early and settle down in comfort with a drink while there's still a seat available.

IMPORTANT NOTE #2: to see the all-singing, all-dancing version of the foregoing, complete with photos, links to websites, unnecessary frivolous remarks, etc., please log into Facebook and click on "Discussion" above or on "See all posts" below.
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