Also, for anyone in the Edinburgh/UK area, the EIBF is now open for booking — I’m delighted to say I’ll be in the crowd for Carlos Gamerro, Rob Macfarlane, and Alastair McIntosh. Tickets seem to be going quickly, so — as they say, avoid disappointment at all costs.
After a wonderful week spent in the Orkney Islands, as part of the St Magnus International Festival — my thanks again to the organizers, and to all the fellow poets who shared the week — I’m delighted to say that I’ll be joining two other fellow transatlantic island-hoppers next weekend to observe the 4th of July here in Edinburgh. Fiona Wilson, JL Williams and I will be reading next Friday night, July 6th, at the newly-opened Looking Glass Books in the Quartermile. This reading is taking part in recognition of Independent Booksellers Week; with good company, refreshments, and in all likelihood a variety of national flags on offer, it should be a lovely night. 6.30 for 7pm if you’re in the area.
While Orkney is still on the brain, for anyone interested in the history of the St Magnus Festival, Pamela Beasant’s 2002 compendium of the first 25 years is a fascinating read — for Orcadiana of all sorts, from music to literature to landscape. Well worth diving into — just don’t forget to come up for air.
The Chicago Tribune has a short piece on the poet Faraj Bayrakdar’s appearance at Hay this year, noting his imprisonment in Syria, and his observations on the present crisis. Well worth a read.
The Literateur has posted a review of Coronary; I just wish that half the things that it said were true.
The news has been circulating for a few days, but: Natasha Tretheway, a native of Gulfport and author of four wonderful books of poetry and nonfiction, has just been named United States Poet Laureate. What with Kristen Dupard’s recent championship at the Poetry Out Loud national competition, it’s been a good few weeks for poetry in Mississippi.
It’s with great pleasure that this announcement comes from the editors of Dark Mountain: that copies of the new anthology, due out in August just in time for the third Uncivilisation festival, are now available for pre-order. It’s a great honor to be included in the volume — one of the poems from my collection Ecotone is included — but an even greater honor to sit alongside such wonderful, and necessary, poets and writers as Gregory Norminton, Caspar Henderson, and Em Strang. At each of the previous Dark Mountain festivals, the volume has always proved to be a critical source for discussion and debate, not least for its capacity to offer a roadmap forward through our present age and circumstance. Every one of these books is handmade, as is their thought. In short: August cannot come soon enough.