Well, T.S. Eliot might beg to differ but, to me, “August is the cruellest month.” At least if you live in Edinburgh and haven’t fled to find peace in the Highlands or Greek islands or anywhere but here. For those of you, like me, who are still kicking around and are willing to risk getting the evil Fringe Fever here are some good free poetic and literary happenings to keep you busy. I’m involved in most these things in some way so do come along, say hello, and tell me what shows not to see. Also — below are details on new books from Forest Publications and Read This Press + Calls for Submissions.



* Thursday 30 July — 6.30pm, Free —- Edinburgh Central Library —- James Kelman reading from and talking about his book Kieron Smith, boy which has bagged a swathe of prizes.


FREE but ticketed and booking is essential. Email helen@bridgereadings.net or call 07784 31 9868 to secure a place. For more details see: www.bridgereadings.net

* Friday 7th August — 6pm, Free — Edinburgh Central Library —- Words and Music from Cool America with Don Paterson: American poetry chosen by poet Don Paterson and read by distinguished film actor Angus MacInnes backed by a full-on jazz band! Followed by the brilliant St. Jude’s Infirmary with their dark dreamy swirl of literate melodic beauty. And, I’m honoured to be reading a poem with the band so you must come. Also, free booze. Basically — Not to be missed!

  • Friday 14 August — 2pm, Free — Edinburgh Books — Jim Haynes: A Roving Life — Jim Haynes is a living legend. Flâneur, writer, publisher, former bookshop owner and host to thousands over the years he’s spent welcoming strangers to his Parisian atelier for Sunday dinner, his is a life more spectacular than most. We can’t wait to hear his tales, in conversation with Ryan Van Winkle.

Visit http://westportbookfestival.org/ for full details of this great program!


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Wednesday 26 August, 12 – 3pm, Free — St. Andrew’s Square: Poetry in St Andrew Square

A very special poetry event: Our Poetic Orators will wander the gardens offering up poems to picnickers and passers by. In the old oral tradition — our performers will entertain and inspire. Come to listen, come to enjoy. www.spl.org.uk

New Books From Forest Publications and Read This + Call for Submissions:

  • Three New Chapbooks from Forest Publications: Wow! Now available are chapbooks from Fiona Morrison, Dave Coates and Russell Jones. Only two pounds and available at The Forest Shop. Very limited print-runs so snap up your copies now and come in to browse our other books from Edinburgh writers such as David Gow, Jane Flett, Ericka Duffy and Sandra Alland. Collect them all!http://ryanvanwinkle.com/two-new-chapbooks-from-forest-publications/

  • Sharks Don’t Sleep is the title of the brand new chapbook from New Jersey-based spoken word poet Eric Hamilton, and it’s published by Read This Press.  Described as “a book that crackles with life,” and “a grimy, romantic and fucking funny look at the world,” Sharks Don’t Sleep is a beautiful 32-page chapbook, hand-made with high quality cardstock covers and embellished with a black ribbon bookmark and original artwork. Find out more here: http://www.readthispress.com

    Poets Needed — For hybrid photo / poetry project.

    SUBMISSION DEADLINE: 10TH OCT 2009

    CONTACT: poemillustrated@gmail.com See poster below for details:poetsneeded