Scotia Extremis - Poetry Book Launch with Andy Jackson and Brian Johnstone
Jul
4
6:30 pm18:30

Scotia Extremis - Poetry Book Launch with Andy Jackson and Brian Johnstone

Launch of a new poetry anthology, Scotia Extremis: Poems from the Extremes of Scotland's Psyche, which maps Scotland's personality through its cultural icons.

From Buckfast to John Knox, from Oor Wullie to the Callanish Stones, the event will bring together the extremes of Scotland's cultural personality with some of the best local and national writers, including John Glenday, Beth McDonough, W N Herbert, Lydia Robb and alumni of the MLitt in Writing Practice and Study.

Hosted by co-editors Andy Jackson and Brian Johnstone, this fast-paced and engaging poetry show will reveal Scotland as you've never seen it before.

Admission is free and all are welcome. More information can be found at the event page here.

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Scotland the Brave? with Gerry Hassan and Simon Barrow
Jun
27
6:30 pm18:30

Scotland the Brave? with Gerry Hassan and Simon Barrow

Blackwell's Edinburgh will host the launch of Scotland the Brave?: Twenty Years of Change and the Future of the Nation, an analysis of the ways in which Scotland has developed as a nation since the creation of a devolved Scottish Parliament 20 years ago, edited by Gerry Hassan and Simon Barrow.

With an impressive array of top contributors, Scotland the Brave? looks at what has happened to our nation over the past twenty years of a devolution settlement, and where Scotland could be headed in an age of Brexit, populism and climate crisis. Be part of the discussion in launching this important new book with editors Gerry Hassan (leading political commentator) and Simon Barrow (director of the think-tank Ekklesia). They are joined in conversation by top Scottish journalist and arts reviewer Joyce MacMillan, and feminist scholar, activist and historian Lesley Orr, both contributors to the book.

Admission is free and all are welcome. To reserve your free ticket, please visit the Blackwell’s Eventbrite page here.


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Amergin Solstice Poetry Gathering: Trì Chanain - from Scotland in three languages
Jun
23
7:30 pm19:30

Amergin Solstice Poetry Gathering: Trì Chanain - from Scotland in three languages

In a welcome return to Waterville, the eminent poet Aonghas MacNeacail, born in Skye and now living near Edinburgh, will read in Gaelic and English, with Gerda Stevenson, who writes poetry in English and Scots and is also a wonderful singer of her own and other songs in those languages. Returning also is the poet Gerry Loose, now living in the Scottish island of Bute, who lived in Kilmackerin near Waterville for a number of years. A newcomer to Waterville is the poet Lorna Waite. No stranger to Waterville is the extraordinary piper and singer Ailean Dòmhnullach/Allan MacDonald, who will certainly contribute to a rousing end to formal events.

Admission to this event is free and all are welcome. For more information, please visit the Amergin Poetry Festival page here.

Quines: Poems in tribute to women of Scotland by Gerda Stevenson

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Mollycoddling the Feckless with Alistair Findlay
Jun
20
7:00 pm19:00

Mollycoddling the Feckless with Alistair Findlay

Findlay’s inability to be mealy-mouthed is both admirable and shocking.’ Jen Hadfield

In 1970, Alistair Findlay was drawn to become part of a new breed of Scottish social workers. His new memoir Mollycoddling the Feckless: A Social Work Memoir is thoughtful, progressive, humane – and funny. He conveys how he and his fellow workers shared friendship and banter in what can be a hard and thankless job, and yet one that can also be hugely rewarding. Adding to the emerging voices telling their first-hand realities of working in our public services, Alistair reflects on the changing landscape of the profession after 30 years on the front line, in the first ever memoir of a career in Scottish social work.

Admission to this event is free and all are welcome. Please reserve your free ticket at the Waterstones event page here.

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People and Place: Take Three
Jun
15
11:30 am11:30

People and Place: Take Three

Leith, Strathspey and the Eastern Borders/Berwickshire – how does the culture of these places link with the past, present and future people who live there?

Enjoy a rich exploration led by Tim Bell, author of Choose Life Choose Leith: Trainspotting on Location, Chris Halliday, author of Strathspey Myths and Legends and Mike Fraser, author of a new study on John Mackay Wilson’s Tales of the Scottish Borders.

The wrap-up comes from The People’s Parish, an appriach to local arts and heritage championed by TRACS.

Tickets are £12 and are available from the Scottish Storytelling Centre events page here.

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Leith Festival: Tim Bell's Trainspotting Tours
Jun
14
7:00 pm19:00

Leith Festival: Tim Bell's Trainspotting Tours

Part of Leith Festival 2019. For more information, please visit www.leithfestival.com

From the author of the acclaimed best book about Welsh’s Trainspotting, Tim Bell takes us on a deep dive into Trainspotting and back to the Leith of the 1980s and 1990s, warts, laughs and all. It’s the story that belongs to Leith and went world-wide. Nobody knows it like Tim Bell knows it. Go. See. Sing. Think. A signed copy of CHOOSE LIFE. CHOOSE LEITH: Trainspotting on Location will be available to buy.

Tour starts from the courtyard of the Leith Dockers Club. Tickets are £5/£4 conc and are first come first served. Strict maximum of 15 tickets per tour due to health and safety precautions.

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Leith Festival: Tim Bell's Trainspotting Tours
Jun
13
7:00 pm19:00

Leith Festival: Tim Bell's Trainspotting Tours

Part of Leith Festival 2019. For more information, please visit www.leithfestival.com

From the author of the acclaimed best book about Welsh’s Trainspotting, Tim Bell takes us on a deep dive into Trainspotting and back to the Leith of the 1980s and 1990s, warts, laughs and all. It’s the story that belongs to Leith and went world-wide. Nobody knows it like Tim Bell knows it. Go. See. Sing. Think. A signed copy of CHOOSE LIFE. CHOOSE LEITH: Trainspotting on Location will be available to buy.

Tour starts from the courtyard of the Leith Dockers Club. Tickets are £5/£4 conc and are first come first served. Strict maximum of 15 tickets per tour due to health and safety precautions.

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Leith Festival: CultFusion #6
Jun
12
7:00 pm19:00

Leith Festival: CultFusion #6

Scotland’s most misleadingly named poetry night returns to Leith Festival once again. This year we welcome Gerda Stevenson, renowned Scottish actress, writer, director, singer and songwriter, recently acclaimed for her collection Quines: Poems in tribute to women of Scotland; Marjorie Lotfi Gill, a seasoned poet who last year published a short collection entitled Refuge, including compelling poems about her childhood experience of the Iranian Revolution; the admired young Canadian Patrick James Errington, author of Glean, and the dauntless hanger-on Rex Sweeney. There’s music too, and a warm, appreciative audience that’s well worth being part of.

Tickets are £3 and are available from the Leith Festival website here.

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Café Scientifique: The interplay of science and arts in our perceptions of the world
Jun
3
7:00 pm19:00

Café Scientifique: The interplay of science and arts in our perceptions of the world

Part of the University of Glasgow’s ongoing Café Scientifique meetings on the first Monday of every month.

In CP Snow's 1959 Rede Lecture his thesis was that "the intellectual life of the whole of western society" was split into two cultures – the sciences and the humanities – and that this was a major hindrance to solving the world's problems.

The last 50 years have seen an accelerating growth in cross-cultural science/art collaborations, cross -fertllisations, and Festivals etc such as Jodrell Bank's Blue Dot Fest, Wigtown's Big Bang Weekend, and sci-art collaborations like that between black hole physicists and the makers of the movie Interstellar. It has also seen new funding to promote "Public Engagement in Science".  This resembles a return to the Enlightenment where great thinkers were commonly polymathic. 

 This Cafe Sci event is intended to promote discussion of the aims, processes and value of such sci-art collaboration, using as a catalyst the experience of the co-author presenters in writing Oor Big Braw Cosmos, Astronomer Royal for Scotland John C. Brown and Scots poet Rab Wilson.

Admission is free and all are welcome. For more information, please visit https://www.gla.ac.uk/events/cafescientifique/

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In Conversation: Joanna Geyer-Kordesch
May
31
2:30 pm14:30

In Conversation: Joanna Geyer-Kordesch

A Year of Conversation 2019 is a collaborative project across Scotland designed to celebrate, initiate and explore conversation as a means of engaging with each other and the wider world.

Joanna Geyer-Kordesch, author of the upcoming Why Gardens Matter will be talking about our varied and vital experience of gardens. Why does someone spend months or years on a particular theme? Why is it important to them, and to us.

Find out in this unique series of live Friday afternoon discussions with writers who have been gripped by a subject that will not let them go.

Tickets are £5 and are available from the TRACS website here.

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Lowlands Scots Poetry: Featuring Rab Wilson, Katy Ewing & Stuart Paterson
May
26
3:00 pm15:00

Lowlands Scots Poetry: Featuring Rab Wilson, Katy Ewing & Stuart Paterson

Home to Robert Burns, Southern Scotland has of course contributed a huge amount to the literary world, In this event, award winning writers deliver enriching and thought provoking pieces.

This is a performance of Scots language and a celebration of lowland Scots poetry featuring some of the area’s finest poets. Rab, Katy and Stuart will be performing their repertoire and audience members will be given an insight into their inspirations.

Tickets are £7/6 for Under 16, and are available from www.ticketsource.co.uk, in person from The Midsteeple Box Office or by calling 01387 253 383.

Oor Big Braw Cosmos by John C. Brown and Rab Wilson

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Rebel? Prophet? Relic? Perspectives on George Orwell in 2019
May
24
to 25 May

Rebel? Prophet? Relic? Perspectives on George Orwell in 2019

  • Pearson Building (North East Entrance) (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

This two-day multidisciplinary conference will consider Orwell’s place in contemporary academia, politics, and popular culture. Is he the “wintry conscience” of each generation, or the product of a society whose approach to gender, race, and sexuality is unacceptably narrow? Does his criticism remain politically potent, or has his absorption into everyday discourse dulled his social efficacy? Does a focus on his politics obscure his art? What do we talk about when we talk about George Orwell?

The conference seeks to bring together academics, activists, and journalists, as well as the organizations, like UCL’s Orwell Archive, the Orwell Foundation, and the Orwell Society, that have a stake in the writer’s literature and legacy.

The programme will include keynote addresses from Dr. John Rodden, and Professor Jean Seaton, Director of the Orwell Foundation, as well as a presentation from staff at the Orwell Archive. The conference will take place at University College London (UCL), and is open to the public.

**While attendance at both days of the conference is encouraged, it is not required. A speaker list will be available after March 2019.**

Norman Bissell, author of Barnhill, will be speaking on a panel and chairing an event across both days.

Admission is free and all are welcome. Please reserve your ticket via Eventbrite here.

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Health in the Workplace
May
20
2:00 pm14:00

Health in the Workplace

Our health is influenced by many things including our genetic make-up, health services, the environment, social and economic factors, and lifestyle. The workplace can have an influence on such factors, both positively and negatively.

As part of the National Library of Scotland’s Heath at Work Week, former Chief Medical Officer and now Chair of the Library Board Professor Sir Kenneth Calman is in conversation with the National Librarian of Scotland, Dr John Scally to discuss how we can improve health at work.

Admission is free and all are welcome. Please reserve your ticket via Eventbrite.

It Started in a Cupboard: Adventures in Life, Learning and Happiness by Sir Kenneth Calman

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Boswell Book Festival 2019: Bashabi Fraser, Magnus Linklater & Alan Taylor without Ahmet Altan
May
12
3:15 pm15:15

Boswell Book Festival 2019: Bashabi Fraser, Magnus Linklater & Alan Taylor without Ahmet Altan

To mark the publication of Ahmet Altan’s remarkable prison memoir I Will Never See the World Again, Bashabi Fraser, joins Magnus Linklater and Alan Taylor to discuss the fate of writers and journalists in authoritarian states and the great pieces of literature that imprisonment has inspired, as part of Boswell Book Festival 2019.

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Tackling Scotland's Racism Problem
May
10
9:30 am09:30

Tackling Scotland's Racism Problem

This conference is being jointly supported by the School of Social and Political Science at the University of Glasgow, the University of Edinburgh and the Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights.

Published early in 2018, No Problem Here: Understanding Racism in Scotland addressed the complacent assumption that racism is not a problem in Scotland–or at least that it is a lesser problem than in England. Ranging from Scotland’s role in the British Empire to the extent of Islamophobia in contemporary Glasgow, the book attempted to chart the scale and multi-dimensional nature of the issue.

However, it is not enough to prove that a problem exists: the challenge is to also suggest potential solutions. With this is mind, some of the editors and contributors have organised a one-day conference - Tackling Scotland’s Racism Problem - at which these solutions can be discussed.

Drawing on contributions from practitioners, academics and activists, the conference will address issues including what policies have and have not worked in the past, if existing legislation is currently being underused, and how racism impacts on education in terms of both course content and the careers of students, teachers and lecturers.

Speakers will include:

  • Aamer Anwar, Rector at University of Glasgow

  • Neil Davidson, School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Glasgow

  • Professor Rowena Arshad, Head of School of Education, University of Edinburgh

  • Omar Khan, Director, Runnymede Trust

  • Dr Stephen Mullen, Department of History, University of Glasgow

  • Khadija Mohammed, Scottish Association of Minority Ethnic Educators (SAMEE) / Department of Education, University of West of Scotland

  • Professor Nasar Meer, School of Social and Political Science, University of Edinburgh

  • Carol Young, Senior Policy Officer, Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights (CRER)

The day will close with an opportunity for attendees to engage with a panel of politicians from across the political parties currently represented at Holyrood on what they are doing to address the problem of racism.

Tea and coffee will be available from 09.30am and the event will begin at 10.00am. There will be a room available for prayer over the lunch break.

Entrance is free, however attendees need to register in advance. Please register your ticket at the Eventbrite page here.

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Scotia Extremis with Andy Jackson and Brian Johnstone
May
3
6:30 pm18:30

Scotia Extremis with Andy Jackson and Brian Johnstone

Blackwell’s South Bridge host the launch of SCOTIA EXTREMIS, as part of the Tradfest 2019 programme.

Editors Andy Jackson and Brian Johnstone bring together a wide range of Scotland’s best-known contemporary poetic voices to celebrate the country’s culture and personality through spoken work, from Laphroaig versus Buckfast, to Oor Wullie against Black Bob, to Jimmy Shand meeting Jack Bruce, and Cullen Skink taking on Irn-Bru. Featuring such poets as Jackie Kay, Angus Peter Campbell, Stewart Conn, Liz Niven, Donald S Murray and more than 100 more, these vivid poems bring to life the people, places and motifs that form the complex and contradictory soul of Scotland.

Admission is free and all are welcome. Please book your free ticket via Eventbrite.

ANDY JACKSON was born in Salford, England in 1965, but has lived in Scotland since 1993. His two poetry collections The Assassination Museum (2010) and A Beginner’s Guide to Cheating (2015) were both published by Red Squirrel Press, and he has curated and edited several poetry anthologies including Split Screen (2012) and Double Bill (2014) for Red Squirrel Press, and Whaleback City: The Poetry of Dundee and its Hinterland (with W N Herbert) for Dundee University Press (2013). In 2015 he again collaborated with W N Herbert on the New Boots & Pantisocracies poetry blog project, chronicling the UK in the months following the 2015 General Election. He was Makar to the Federation of Writers Scotland in 2017.

BRIAN JOHNSTONE was born in Edinburgh in 1950, but has lived in rural Fife since the 1970s. A poet, writer and performer, his work has appeared through Scotland, elsewhere in the UK, in North America, Australasia and across Europe. He has published six collections, most recently Juke Box Jeopardy (Red Squirrel, 2018) and Dry Stone Work (Arc, 2014). His poems have been translated into over a dozen languages. In 2015 his work was selected to appear on the Poetry Archive website. His memoir Double Exposure was published by Saraband in 2017. A founder and former Director of StAnza: Scotland’s International Poetry Festival, he was a literary events organiser for over 20 years, co-founding Edinburgh’s Shore Poets and curation Cave Readings for the Pittenweem Arts Festival in the 1990s.

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