Poetry in the mountains

The Arran Mountain Festival is taking place in May and there are still spaces on all coached mountain running sessions. There are also some spaces left on poetry mountain walk, which you can read more about it below. Over the next couple of weeks, the organisers will be posting on their Facebook page about any …

Poems for May

My Birthday Present Seventy-nine, seventy-nine, I say it over, and every time it sounds peculiar. Is it a prime? It’s a queer number, seventy-nine. I will enter my eightieth year tomorrow evening somewhere near six o’clock, around dinnertime, my mother told me. That’s a queer hour to be born, or to enter an eightieth year. …

McLellan Poetry Fringe Festival

The McLellan Poetry Fringe Festival is coming up this month and will take place from Thursday 28th April to Sunday 1st May 2022 Here are some notes from the Festival organisers on the weekend events. For an overview of the weekend programme and for more details on how to book tickets see below: The first …

Poem for April

Childhood I see all, am all, all. I leap along the line of the horizon hill, I am a cloud in the high sky, I trace the veins of intricate fern, In the dark ivy wall the wren’s world Soft to bird breast eggs of round nest is mine, Mine in the rowan-tree the blackbird’s …

Jigsaw – a review

A review of David Underdown’s new poetry collection, Jigsaw, by Cicely Gill. To get a sense of David Underdown’s poems, imagine you are listening to a good friend describing something they love or telling an amusing story. His poems are not just close observation, each builds to an aliveness which is passed to you the …

Poem for March

Of Mere Being The palm at the end of the mind, Beyond the last thought, rises In the bronze decor, A gold-feathered bird Sings in the palm, without human meaning, Without human feeling, a foreign song. You know then that it is not the reason That makes us happy or unhappy. The bird sings. Its …

Poem for February

Talking Art In painting it’s catching the “spirit” and “essence.” In poems that’s “nature” and “feelings.” An elegant dragon, with its life’s breath gone? Better a rat, with some scurry left in him. Yuan Mei (1716 – 1798) Translated by J.P Seaton, Shambhala Anthology of Chinese Poetry, 2014. A short poem that invites re-reading. The …

Arran Junior Poetry competition

A message from the McLellan Arts Festival team: Calling all junior poets and spoken word artists! We are delighted to launch the McLellan Poetry Fringe Junior Poetry Competition. All entrants will be invited to read on Saturday 30th April as part of the Poetry Fringe Festival 2022 when winners and commended entries will also be …

Our World, Our Future

A blog by Jim Carruth, Glasgow Makar, on poetry in primary schools. Writing for the Scottish Poetry Library on 20th January 2022. Featured image shows Jim Carruth credit Scottish Poetry Library. One of the benefits of there now being a network of city makars in Scotland has been the opportunity to share experiences and approaches. …