Viewmaster at the Edinburgh Fringe

July 7, 2014

Excellent news! The pictures, words and music extravaganza ViewMaster will be showing in the magnificent Summerhall SIXTEEN TIMES per day, from 2-3.45pm and 6-7.45pm, every day from Friday 1 August – Sunday 24 August. Do come along.

Ryan Van Winkle (poet) Dan Gorman (sound artist) lead you on a playful, sometimes surreal, journey to a distant land in under 15 minutes. In a set designed by artist Faith Eliott, Dan & Ryan bring you on a unique visual-sonic-poetic journey to one of four destinations: Mecca, the River Nile, Holland or the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. ViewMaster is more than just a performance; it is an immersive experience for an audience of one which starts in a child-like den and whisks you away to another world.

ViewMaster is a personal & poetic slideshow for your eyes and ears only. An imaginative leap to another country and a step back to the wonder of childhood.


Celebrating 30 Years of the Scottish Poetry Library

July 6, 2014

Delighted to be contributing to a Celebration of 30 Years of the Scottish Poetry Library at this year’s Edinburgh International Book Festival. Join us at the RBS Garden Theatre at 8.30pm on Sunday 17 August, it’ll be lovely.

Since 1984 the Scottish Poetry Library has celebrated poetry in all its forms. The last 30 years have seen a wonderful array of prize-winners, the birth of the Makar and poet laureate. To mark the 30th anniversay, Join founder Tessa Ransford along with poet Jen Hadfield and other friends, who read a selection of their own poems and favourites from the last three decades. Chaired by Robyn Marsack.

Theatre as Democracy

David Greig discusses his role curating the National Theatre of Scotland’s Great Yes, No, Don’t Know Five Minute Theatre Show which takes place from 5pm on Monday 23rd until 5pm on Tuesday 24th June at Five Minute Theatre and in venues across Scotland. “Theatre demands you have dialogue… that you have the other point of view contained in the work.” Among the many topics he discusses is how the growth of theatre grew in tandem with performance in Ancient Greek – and how the value in seeing the other person’s point of view that is intrinsic to democracy is shared by theatre. Presented by Ryan Van Winkle and produced by Colin Fraser of Culture Laser Productions. With financial assistance from Creative Scotland.

Michael Schmidt and Peter Rose on the SPL Podcast

July 5, 2014

We talk with two poet editors on this episode: Michael Schmidt, founder, editor and director of Carcanet Books and editor of the PN Review, and Peter Rose, editor of the Australian Book Review. Both read us a selection of their poems and discuss their approach to editing and to writing. Presented by Ryan Van Winkle and produced by Colin Fraser of Culture Laser Productions.

Elemental at the Melbourne Planetarium

July 4, 2014

Delighted to have work featured in the Melbourne Planetarium‘s performance of Elemental. If you’re in the Melbourne area on Thursday 10 July, do check it out. It’ll be wonderful.

Since the dawn of time, poets have gazed up at the stars and pondered who we are and what it all means. Elemental is a unique performance that explores the universe through the eyes of artists. Taking place inside a planetarium, this show combines live music, poetry, surround sound and video, and the voice of UK scientist John Gribbin to explore the universe and ascribe meaning to our celestial experience.

Elemental is an immersive experience for the mind and body. Lie back in the comfort of a lounger as you lift off into space for your very own guided tour of the galaxy. This visual voyage through the heavens explores four different theories about how the universe began, taking you on a poetic journey through the Big Bang, the theory of everything, M theory and dark matter, accompanied by a soundtrack of live musicians and poetry readings.

Experimental musicians, poets and video artists make a spellbinding and unique exploration of quantum physics and cosmology, with a poetic twist.

In 2009 this show was a sell out at MIAF and is now with added exciting new works.

In Bendigo, there will be two shows on Friday July 18 at 6pm and 8pm at The Discovery Science and Technology Centre, Bendigo with the awesome Klare Lanson and Neil Boyack.

Tickets can be purchased through The Wheeler Centre for Books, Writing and Ideas website:

Presented by the Wheeler Centre and Scienceworks. With support from Arts Victoria.

Culture Laser Live in Berlin

July 3, 2014

We took Culture Laser on the road to Berlin, where we were the guests of the Altes Finanzamt and a live studio audience. Featuring Sholem Krishtalka, who discusses his fascinating A Berlin Diary which explores and documents his life in Berlin. Filmmaker Imogen Heath, co-founder of NowMomentNow, talks about her artistic practice and the film she showed to the audience in Berlin. And finally we feature Sticky Biscuits: Marc & Naomi play cute, nerdy & naughty tunes. And do donate to their Crowdfunding campaign. Plus from the Culture Laser Collective Band: The Hilarious Psycho-Acoustic Enterprise (Drock & Alex’s Hilarious Productions). Recorded by Dirk Markham, presented by Ryan Van Winkle and produced by Colin Fraser of Culture Laser Productions.

Ryan at the Kelburn Garden Party

July 2, 2014

It’s that time of year again. Time to go party at a castle. I’ll be reading some poems at Kelburn Garden Party, a great independent music and art festival out in the wild west coast of Scotland. The full programme is out, the lineup looks great, hope to see you there in shades and sandals.

What: Kelburn Garden Party

Where: Kelburn Castle [How to get there]

When: Friday 4 July – Sunday 6 July

How Much: Info here.

Viewmaster at the Southbank Centre

July 1, 2014

Our audio-visual spectacular Viewmaster will be running all day at the Southbank Centre on Thursday 17 July. Shows are selling out fast, not least because there is only one ticket each. Come along! It will be glorious.

An intimate poetry performance involving only you, a poet, a sound artist and a retro stereoscope.

Join poet Ryan Van Winkle and sound artist Dan Gorman in A Room for London, the boat moored on top of Queen Elizabeth Hall and one of the most exclusive places in London.

Ryan and Dan lead you on a playful, sometimes surreal, journey to a distant land and bring you back in under 15 minutes.

Ryan Van Winkle is Poet in Residence at Edinburgh City Libraries. His previous poetry / theatre experiment Red, Like Our Room Used to Feel was one of the top ten best-rated shows at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2012.

Dan Gorman is an electronic artist who has done field recording in Afghanistan, Syria and an abandoned military base in Teufelsberg, Germany. This Is Danseizure, his third record from Invisible Agent, is a journey through his life in electronica, skweee and electro.

Praise for previous show Red, Like Our Room Used to Feel

‘Intimate and haunting’ (Lyn Gardner, The Guardian)
‘Simple, yearning and effective’ (Andrzej Lukowski, Time Out)

Please arrive at least five minutes before your allocated time to be met at Queen Elizabeth Hall Ticket Office and guided to A Room for London.

12 noon – 3.40pm and 6pm – 9.40pm with individually timed entry every 20 minutes

A Room for London.

Book Launch of ‘This Room is Waiting’ at Word Power Books

June 25, 2014

It’s a real pleasure to be launching This Room is Waiting with my co-editor Lauren Pyott this Monday 30 June at Word Power Books in Edinburgh. We’ve got readings from Ghareeb Iskander, John Glenday and Krystelle Bamford, and films from Roxana Vilk. Hope to see you there.

At a time of deepening crisis for Iraq and its people, join us for an exciting evening of poetry in translation from some of Iraq and Scotland’s greatest poets. Following on from the Reel Iraq translation project in 2013, Reel Festivals brings you This Room is Waiting (Freight Books), “a ground breaking anthology” (TheTanjara) of poems harvested from the riches of translation.

To launch the book, Ghareeb Iskander, John Glenday and Krystelle Bamford will be reading poems from the anthology and sharing their experiences of friendship and collaboration through poetry.

About the anthology:

Four award-winning UK poets come together with four Iraqi poets to create a truly unforgettable anthology that sheds new light on real lives in contemporary post-war Iraq.

UK poets Jen Hadfield, winner of the TS Eliot Prize, Billy Letford, Krystelle Bamford and John Glenday collaborate with four contemporary Iraqi poets, including acclaimed Zahir Mousa, Sabreen Kadhim, Ghareeb Iskander and Kurdish Iraqi, Awezan Nouri. Working with literal translations of the Arabic and Kurdish poems, the English language poets have created new ‘versions’, startling works that channel the anger, fear, hurt, hope, joy and fragile optimism of the originals, reconnecting readers with the realities of real life in post-invasion Iraq, far beyond the banalities of cyclical western media stories.

‘What if it was our culture, our country that was invaded?’ is the question asked. This Room is Waiting fashions an extraordinary portrait of a country rebuilding after war.

Ryan is part of the Auld Enemies Tour

June 24, 2014

Very excited to be working with SJ Fowler once again as part of the Auld Enemies Scottish tour! We’ll be heading all over the country, from Dundee to Kirkwall, it’s going to be an amazing adventure.

July 9th – Dundee – 6pm
​Duncan of Jordanstone (studio & foyer space ) University Of Dundee, Perth Rd, Dundee DD1 4HT (with thanks to Peggy Hughes)

Billy Letford & nick-e melville / Ryan Van Winkle & SJ Fowler / Colin Herd & Ross Sutherland
plus AZ Jackson & Lindsay MacGregor / James Stewart & Dawn Wood / Richard Watt & more

July 10th – Glasgow – 8pm
McChulls, 40 High Street (with thanks to Henry Bell)

Ross Sutherland & Ryan Van Winkle / Billy Letford & Colin Herd / nick-e melville & SJ Fowler
plus ​Thomas Betteridge & Neil Davidson / Katy Hastie, Antony Autumn, Iyad Hayatleh & more

July 11th – Edinburgh – 7pm
Summerhall — Demonstration Room. 1 Summerhall EH9 1PL (with thanks to Jen White)

Colin Herd & Iain Morrison / Billy Letford & Ryan Van Winkle / SJ Fowler & Ross Sutherland
​nick-e melville & Jane Goldman / Dave Coates & Rachel McCrum / JL Williams & Elspeth Murray / Luke Allan & Graeme Smith / Karen Veitch & Mike Saunders / Ed Smith & Thomas MacColl / Rob McKenzie & more

July 12th – Aberdeen 7pm
Cellar 35, 35 Rosemount Viaduct (with thanks to Gerard Rochford & Richie Brown)​

Billy Letford & SJ Fowler / Ryan Van Winkle & Colin Herd / Ross Sutherland & nicke melville
Gerard Rochford & Richie Brown / Maureen Ross & Catriona Macleod / & more

July 14th – Lerwick, The Shetland Islands- 7pm
Mareel Arts Centre. ZE1 0WQ (with thanks to Donald Anderson)

Ross Sutherland & nick-e melville / Colin Herd & SJ Fowler / Ryan Van Winkle
Nat Hall & James Sinclair / Donald Murray /  Laurajayne Friedlander & more

July 17th – Kirkwall, The Orkney Islands – 7pm
​Kirkwall Library, 44 Junction Rd, Highlands and Islands, Kirkwall KW15 1AG (with thanks to Pam Beasant)

Ross Sutherland & SJ Fowler / Colin Herd & nick-e melville
Rosemary Merriman, Sylvia Hays, Rosie Alexander, Lydia Harris, Pam Beasant & more

July 26th – London – 7pm
The Rich Mix Arts Centre

Ross Sutherland / nick-e melville / Colin Herd / Ryan Van Winkle / SJ Fowler
Emily Berry & John Clegg / Tom Chivers & Roddy Lumsden
Nick Murray & Eley Williams / Vahni Capildeo & Jeremy Noel-Tod
​Kirsty Irving & Harry Man / Daisy Lafarge & more​​​​

Auld Enemies is a transnational poetry collaboration where six poets will work in rolling pairs to produce original work for readings across the length and breadth of Scotland. Auld Enemies is a groundbreaking exploration of contemporary Scottish poetics through the potential of collaboration.

Auld Enemies will commence with a six date tour of Scotland, taking in Dundee, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Lerwick in the Shetlands and finishing with Kirkwall in the Orkneys. It will conclude with an event in London, at the Rich Mix Arts Centre, on July 26th, which will feature many of the new works from the tour, new collaborations and a documentary screening about Auld Enemies. 

Auld Enemies is fundamentally about the creation of new collaborative works and the integration of differing poetic communities​, and has only been possible through the generosity of a series of organisational partners, first and foremost Creative Scotland, but also the Scottish Poetry Library, Literary Dundee, Summerhall, Shetland Arts, the Orkney Islands Council and Northlink Ferries.

Please find below the schedule and the poet’s involved, and if possible, do spread the word, and attend all and any of the events you can. ALL EVENTS ARE FREE