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Skating on Poetry Loch


One of the things I love about Shore Poets is that the format of our events often produces rich and varied evenings of music and poetry. October’s reading with James W Wood, Christine De Luca and the wonderful, quietly intense Gillian Allnutt was no exception (the only problem being that Allnutt’s quiet reading voice didn’t carry well in the Mai Thai acoustic).

The reading this Sunday just gone was another case in point, with Rachael Boast, Nancy Somerville and David Kinloch, plus music from Ben Young. I’d met Rachael Boast before, but didn’t know her work, so it was a pleasure to encounter such accomplished writing at Shore Poets in the newcomer slot.

David Kinloch‘s set consisted entirely of new poems, displaying all his typical richness and imaginative verve. He’s working on a sequence of poems about Scottish painters, from which he read, closing with a poem that entertainingly imagines a painterly wager as the source of the recent controversy over whether Raeburn really did paint The Rev. Robert Walker Skating on Duddingston Loch.

David is one of the driving forces behind the Glasgow Poetry Society, otherwise known as Vital Synz, which enjoyed a hugely successful launch early this month (I wasn’t able to be there, unfortunately). There’s an interesting programme of events coming up next year.

As well as organising the Vital Synz events, the society is running a new competition: the Edwin Morgan international poetry competition. Unlike most competitions, this one has a college of three judges–and an extremely varied one at that–in Colette Bryce, Donny O’Rourke and Richard Price. Given the diversity of poetics represented there, it looks like they’re aiming to make it a stylistically broad competition, appropriately enough for a competition celebrating the protean Mr Morgan.

One Comment leave one →
  1. jobee permalink
    23/04/2008 15:51

    Psychosis and Money

    What is it then that makes them pray
    That makes them creep and crawl all day
    That makes them read some silly script
    Their pride and confidence slyly stripped
    What is it then that transfers their minds
    To heavens and angels and spiritual kinds
    To attend cathedrals in little groups
    Then dress in robes as exemplar troops
    What is it then that makes them build
    On fertile land where food was tilled
    Huge cathedrals and churches too
    Just to sing and confess anew
    Does it help in any way
    To wile away the hours of day
    Dressed in black and on their knees
    Praying to anything and making pleas
    Is it selfishness that makes them think
    We all need them to cower and shrink
    On our behalf at their request
    So that our souls be sublimely blessed
    The whiff of selfishness stirs the air
    Me thinks it’s just themselves they care
    The work is easy and less to think
    From competition they wilt and shrink
    This god they advocate with fuss
    When ask for proof they look nonplussed
    O proof O proof what for you need
    The devils home you’ll go with speed
    My lucid mind begins to stir
    I’m in the hands of a blackmailer
    I only asked for what your sales
    Then they came back as hard as nails
    So business then shall prevail
    In Woolworth’s by an honest sale
    The church an inquisition I think
    Proof of content surely brinks

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