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The Golden Hour Continues to Hit That Road

October 16, 2012

The Golden Hour has packed houses throughout the world — from the Edinburgh International Book Festival all the way to Melbourne with stops in Berlin, Paris, Beirut and Montreal. We’ve selected a zesty melange of talent  – those who will make you pause, ponder, dance and stomp. All specially infused – a feast for all your senses.

During the day we welcome you into our lovingly painted venue-on-wheels — join us for bespoke mini-gigs with renowned poets and songwriters, fragrance workshops, and secret surprises. By night, we go late and lively for an unforgettable cabaret style cavalcade of new writing, blistering, blissful music, and infused dance performances all in a beautiful space.

The first half of the tour is under the belt and into our hearts, but we still have a huge number of wonderful and talented artists yet to perform, and you can read all about em here. Every single show is FREE, and our quest proceeds thusly:

20 Oct – Leeds – van show only, 31 Commercial Street – noonish

- Anneliese Mackintosh, Robin Grey.

21 Oct – Brighton – van show only – noonish

- Deborah Pearson, SJ Fowler, Garance LouisRobin Grey.

22 Oct – Brighton – Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar - 7-11pm

Deborah PearsonSJ FowlerGarance LouisRobin Grey.

23 Oct – Oxford – van show only – 51 Cornmarket Street – noonish

Deborah PearsonSJ FowlerGarance LouisRobin Grey.

25 Oct – Bristol – Cafe Kino - 7-11pm

Deborah PearsonSJ Fowler, The Half SistersRobin Grey, Expensive.

26 Oct – Cardiff – van show only – noonish

Deborah PearsonSJ FowlerThe Half SistersRobin Grey.

27 Oct – London – TBC

Deborah PearsonSJ FowlerThe Half SistersRobin Grey.

Hot New Golden Hour Videos! Food For Your Eyes

October 11, 2012

Over a year ago The Golden Hour played a rollicking gig at the Spiegeltent at the Edinburgh Book Festival. The show featured author of Bevel and performer of uncommon fineness William Letford, Hugo Award winner Kelly Link and the writer of Submarine Joe Dunthorne, plus high-octane sets from Billy Liar, Mikel Krummins and Mammal, and Earl Grey… all of whom ‘brought it.’ What is it? Great times!

Here, for those who missed it and those who miss it, is footage from that insanely fun evening. Yes, Virginia, everybody was dancing.

Billy Liar – words and music, combined!:

William Letford – I like to say the poems one after the other:

Mikel and Mammal – the kitchen ceiling had collapsed:

Kelly Link – the more I tell it the less it bothers me:

Joe Dunthorne – choose your own adventure:

Golden Hour On The Road Again!

October 6, 2012

The Golden Hour has packed houses throughout the world — from the Edinburgh International Book Festival all the way to Melbourne with stops in Berlin, Paris, Beirut and Montreal. We’ve selected a zesty melange of talent  – those who will make you pause, ponder, dance and stomp. All specially infused – a feast for all your senses.

During the day we welcome you into our lovingly painted venue-on-wheels — join us for bespoke mini-gigs with renowned poets and songwriters, fragrance workshops, and secret surprises. By night, we go late and lively for an unforgettable cabaret style cavalcade of new writing, blistering, blissful music, and infused dance performances all in a beautiful space.

We’re going to be on our merry way for two weeks from 9-14 and 20-27 all across the island, we have a huge number of wonderful and talented artists joining us along the way, and all relevant info is available here. Every single show is FREE, and our quest proceeds thusly:

9 Oct – Glasgow – Mono - 7.30-11pm

- Emily Ballou, Kirsty Logan, Lake Montgomery, Jack of Diamonds of Black Diamond Express, Bobok.

10 Oct – Stirling – The Junk Rooms – 7-11pm

- Wayne Price, Kirsten Innes, Lake Montgomery, Andy Mckay, Miaoux Miaoux.

11 Oct – Edinburgh – InSpace – 7-11pm

- Wayne Price, Jenni Fagan, Tim Turnbull, Jack of Diamonds, Miaoux Miaoux, The Watch Thieves.

12 Oct – Newcastle – van show only, noonish, check site for details

- Degna Stone, William Letford, Billy Liar, Hailey Beavis.

13 Oct – Sheffield – Haggler’s Corner – 7pm-1am

- Anneliese Mackintosh, William Letford, Ryan Van Winkle, Billy Liar, Hailey Beavis, SPECIAL SURPRISE GUESTS :o

14 Oct – Manchester – King’s Arms – 7-11pm

Anneliese MackintoshWilliam LetfordRyan Van WinkleBilly LiarHailey Beavis, The Payroll Union.

Here’s a tasty teaser of what we’ve got in store:

See you there!

Ryan on National Poetry Day

October 3, 2012

Happy (almost) National Poetry Day everybody! I wrote a blog post on my favourite poem about a star which you can read on the NPD site.

I’ll be spending NPD in Edinburgh with kids at Niddrie Primary School as part of the Craigmiller Book Festival and, in the evening, will be enjoying Inky Fingers’ Open Mic at Portobello Library featuring Robin Cairns and Fiona Lindsay.

Kwame Dawes Lights Up The SPL Podcast

Ghanian-born, Jamaican-raised Kwame Dawes is a man of more letters than most of us can imagine. He is a poet of great strength, generosity and kindness, and takes the reader to places very few writers in English are capable of going. His work on the prevalence of HIV/AIDS in Jamaica (http://livehopelove.com/) won him an Emmy award for New Approaches to News and Documentary Programming, and drew much-needed attention to a situation that had yet to be fully articulated to a large audience.

Recently, he has edited an anthology of Jamaican poetry, Jubilation!, celebrating fifty years of Jamaican independence, he is Professor of English at the University of Nebraska, and finds time to be the editor of the literary magazine Prairie Schooner, an American journal renowned for award-winning writing and its support of emerging writers (please support it!). You can follow all his other endeavours on his website, KwameDawes.com.

In this podcast Kwame talks about his life in Jamaica, the country’s transition away from its socialist years and its slow struggle to cope with its sufferers of HIV/AIDS, the responsibility of poets in times of political and social difficulty, and his experiences as a self-assessed ‘bad journalist’.

He also reads three poems: “Impossible Flying” [5:30], “Boy Blue” [13:40] and “Joe” [29:30].

 

From “Impossible Flying”:

We move with the slow preservation of a people saving their strength for a harsher time.

Each tendon of your body throbbed with the lightness of a body prepared for flight and my betrayal was to become the burden, the anchor, you had for years longed to shake off. 

(On Jamaica’s transition in the early 1980s from socialism to a more pragmatic capitalism in line with the United States, and his recent book Impossible Flying): In many ways, I think, many in Jamaica wanted a break, wanted to fly, and there’s a curious way in which what we call madness is one of the most profoundly logical reactions to trauma, the escape, the way to cope.

I often think I have this odd, anatomical aberration of having a cess pool in my brain, and it just takes stuff in without any sort of filter, fortunately there’s a filter coming out – god knows it took a while but I finally got it in place, and I do change it every so often because it gets clogged!

It’s only when you come to the page that you realise what you were aware of. Writing brings stuff through to me. If we don’t, if the poet, who is the one to articulate through the mastery of craft and language what is felt, what is seen and the world sees, that Pope idea of what is so often felt but never so well expressed, I think the poet has a kind of responsibility to be the one who manages to articulate this world for society. The third impulse is the quest for beauty, in the things that seem ugly but have a beauty in it, I think there is something transformative about writing poetry because it turns it into beauty by the very act of making it into craft, something that is crafted. It’s like the blues – we think of the blues as sad music, but it can’t be, we dance to the blues, we laugh and we drink and we party to the blues, so what kind of sad music is that? Blues in its structure takes the chaos of life and turns it into this art, this song.

I don’t mind if people saying I write about tough things if there’s a beauty that emerges out of it.

The poetry is the relief, in the midst of the ugliness, the difficult things that I saw there [in Haiti].

From “Boy Blue”

When I sing, I know how to fly, and how to reach where the water eases the spinning in my stomach, and this blood is not my enemy when I sing.

I treat them [poetry and journalism] as very different, and I’m very disciplined about keeping the two separate. And journalism is frustrating, very frustrating. Even talking to this kid, he would say something, and I knew what he was saying behind what he was saying, it’s obvious. But for the article, if he doesn’t say it, it isn’t happening. It’s almost insensitive, because you have to get them to say it. And sometimes a person’s eyes are tearing up and they’re telling you, ‘this is how I felt about it’, and the human dynamic – you get it. But writing that their eyes teared up in an article: the editor’s going to say ‘well, it could have been dust in their eyes.’

But I’ve come to trust the value of the cold, hard journalist piece that allows a human dimension but demands a sort of critical justification. But my salvation in that context is that I’m a poet as well. I can go away and make the poem that is the human moment. The poem is not reporting, it has its own integrity and logic. It’s not a reporting mechanism.

I resist not being emotionally involved in a story. I’m not a good journalist. I’m faithful to the demands of journalism, but in terms of the ethics of those dynamics and those relationships, it’s a profound struggle.

Ryan Reprising His Role With The Ingham Johnstone Project

October 1, 2012

The Ingham Johnstone Project

After a massively fun and wonderfully successful show at the St Andrews StAnza Festival, I’m diving headfirst into the jazz pool with some amazingly talented musicians and writers in the Ingham Johnstone Project at the Wigtown Book Festival on 5 October! So honoured to be invited back, it’s going to be a great night of lovely sounds.

Jazz musician/composer Richard Ingham and poet Brian Johnstone have been working together since 2007 when they formed, with bass player Louise Major, the poetry & jazz group Trio Verso whose performances have included the Big Tent Festival, Edinburgh’s Traverse Theatre and the Ted Hughes Festival in Yorkshire. More recently Ingham & Johnstone embarked on an altogether larger collaboration: a setting for 20 piece jazz orchestra of Johnstone’s narrative poem Robinson, which tells a new story about the character from the poems of Weldon Kees. The Ingham Johnstone Project features a set from Trio Verso, improvising on Brian Johnstone’s poems, and a full performance of Robinson featuring soloists Colin Steele (trumpet) and John Kenny (trombone) with readers Chrys Salt & Ryan Van Winkle.

What: The Ingham Johnstone Project.

Where: Baillie Gifford Marquee, Wigtown.

When: Friday 5 October, 7.30pm.

How Much: £8.00.

Come along for fab times and fab tunes. Wigtown!

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