Programme/Calendar

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SWC members are entitled to FREE admission for all events, masterclasses, and workshops.

Scroll past calendar to review a complete list of upcoming literary events.

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Tuesday, 4, July 2017: Club Room at 7:00 pm 

Venue:  CCA:  Centre for Contemporary Arts, Club Room

Water As Poetry Inspiration

Water as Poetry Inspiration, with Morelle Smith, Shaping the Water Path, and George Colkitto, The Year of the Loch. Both books published by diehard, 2017.

Nairn Morelle and george

Morelle Smith and George Colkitto both have new collections of poetry largely inspired by water. In this workshop, we will consider water as an element of poetry.

George Colkitto has based his whole book on one sheet of water, Castle Semple Loch at Lochwinnoch in Ayrshire, which he visited regularly for a year. He will look at the varying moods of water and the environmental impact of water, memories, moods, human behaviour and that of the water birds.  Using a single observation point enables him to emphasise both continuity and changes over time, while the water keeps flowing through all.

Morelle Smith uses the idea of Liminal, where land and water meet. Her poems travel with water, we see the effect of ocean and storm, flood and landscape. As she wanders through a world infused with her special poetic vision, the power of water is a constant. Water divides and unites, it is inescapable. Morelle Smith finds water and shores everywhere and assimilates them into her poetic vision.

The poets will talk about their collections and how various poems arose from the theme, and we will then read one poem from each collection in depth, for the presence of water and what it can represent.

There will be a handout referring to some famous poems in which water is central, from the Odyssey onwards. We will have prompts and suggestions for writing poetry from a starting point of water.

This a FREE Event for all

The SWC is a registered Charity, SCO40823.  We welcome donations to help us bring future events to you.

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Tuesday 18th July 2017: CCA Club Room @7pm

Venue:  CCA:  Centre for Contemporary Arts, Club Room

‘Dirty Poetry To Die For’ with Douglas Thompson

SONY DSC

Love is a strange word in the English language.  When we use the word ‘love’ we can mean sex, romantic love, or a whole range of other nuanced emotions.  The ancient Greeks had four words instead:  Agape, Storge, Philia, and Eros, meaning godlike, brotherly, familial or sensual.  What does it say about the English-speaking world that even at the deep level of language, from childhood onwards, we confuse lust with love, and use the word so lightly when describing our favourite food or music?

Song lyrics tackle the subject of erotic love but how many really rise to the level of great poetry about love?  It is the first and easiest subject for humans to write about but is also the hardest subject to write about well.

Douglas Thompson, former Chair of the Scottish Writers’ Centre and author of seven novels, including Ultrameta (2009), The Brahan Seer (2014), and two short story collections, has been concentrating on poetry more recently.  His first collection will be published early next year by Sheila Wakefield, Editor of Red Squirrel Press with two further collections to follow from Snuggly Books and Dog Horn Publishing.  In this talk Douglas will explore and analyse his influences by referencing some of the best loved poems from contemporary and historic poets, followed with readings from his own poetic attempts to define the elusive and enduring mystery of human love.

For more information:  https://douglasthompson.wordpress.com/

Tickets: £6/(£3) Concessions, Free for SWC Members

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Tuesday, August 1, 2017: Club Room at 7:00 pm

Venue: CCA:  Centre for Contemporary Arts, Club Room 

The Burrell Story: History as Poetry with Sally Evans

New book: A Burrell Tapestry and a Marion Burrell Sampler (diehard 2017)

sally p lib 2 (1)

Sally Evans poems on the story of William Burrell and his daughter took several years to complete, and that was only the research. Having visited the Burrell Collection often and researching the history of the Burrell family and their shipping line, she wrote the first section of the poems in much the way they now appear, and published them as a pamphlet in 2011. She realised there was next to no information to be found on the Burrells’ daughter Marion (1905-1992), and this part of the story remained a puzzle to her until 2014, when S.M.O Stephen, Marion’s god-daughter and Burrell family friend, published her biography Collector’s Daughter. This revealed the hitherto unpublicised dysfunctionality at the heart of the Burrell family life. This new information filled out the mystery Sally had identified, and the result is her book of poems reflecting both the main Burrell story and Marion’s extraordinary life.

Sally will consider how research affects poetry; how poetry can be based on fact, and how accuracy and research can strengthen poetic responses to a story; how writing in different personas can show perspectives of a complex story and a real story can be brought to life by poetic imagination, working with accuracy and probability in a similar way to historical fiction.

Sally is the Editor: Poetry Scotland Broadsheet, Scots Language Centre website, Keep Poems Alive blogzine, The Poetry Scotland Daily, she also hosts Callander Poetry Weekend.  For more information: www.desktopsally.com.

Currently available on Kindle:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Tormaukin-Sally-Evans-ebook/dp/B01N702IA3/ref=pd_ecc_rvi_1

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Andersons-Piano-Sally-Evans-ebook/dp/B01MG887N3/ref=pd_ecc_rvi_1

Tickets: £6/(£3) Concessions, Free for SWC Members

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Tuesday, 15 August 2017: Club Room at 7:00 pm

Venue:  CCA:  Centre for Contemporary Arts, Club Room

Writing Workshop I:  

Pushing Poetry Beyond Revision with Ruby McCann


Ruby 20152-bw

It is often true that as soon as a poem leaves our hands, we immediately begin to read it differently as if this simple act were a way of stepping out of the self.  This notion, coupled with participant-led discussions and the gentle push of the workshop facilitator’s guiding hand, is what makes the workshop environment invaluable. If after revision the poem still falls short of where you intuitively know it is leading, though you can’t seem to jump the gap between here and there, this is the workshop for you.  It’s time to uncover the possibilities while simultaneously acquiring a few strategies to mix things up, change directions and points-of-view, as the poem that’s been at least partly there all this time comes into focus.  This workshop offers a supportive environment where everyone learns from each other and the processes that shape writing poetry.  The emphasis is on the creation of new work for both new and old poems.  Participants should expect readings, discussions, and writing exercises.  Please bring a notebook or laptop as well as a poem to the session.

Workshop Facilitator, Ruby McCann is a writer and educator.  She has managed writing projects in the United States and Scotland.  In theatre, she has taken plays ‘from the page to the stage,’ teaching playwriting and drama for Washington, DC area theatres, Arena Stage, Woolly Mammoth Theatre and Young Playwrights Theatre.  Ruby was recognised for Educational Excellence by the Senate Education Committee and the SNAP Foundation (Seeing Necessary Alternatives through Photography).  She is the 2004 recipient of the Mary Boyle McCrory Award for Creative Writing.  As a Literature Consultant for the Cultural Alliance of Northern Virginia, she developed, administered, and judged Arlington County’s Moving Word and Pic-A-Poet Series.  After returning to Scotland, Ruby was the Scottish Book Trust’s first Writer-in-Residence at HMP Glenochil and Reader-in-Residence at A.K. Bell Library.  Ruby is the current Chair of the Scottish Writers’ Centre.

Reservations for Members and the public will be on a first come first served basis, please book your spot at info@scottishwriterscentre.org.uk

Tickets: £10.  FREE for SWC Members

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Tuesday, 29 August 2017: Club Room at 7:00 pm

Venue:  CCA:  Centre for Contemporary Arts, Club Room

Writing Workshop II:

Reimagining and Rediscovering the Writing Process with Ruby McCann

Old vintage typewriter

Even seasoned writers sometimes have difficulties getting started on their writing.  Focusing on your ideas, not knowing where to begin, having too little to say, having too much to say and not knowing exactly where you stand on an issue.  Whatever your ‘writer’s block’ may be, there are development strategies that can help you get started.

This workshop will help writers find the stories they were meant to write, and develop the craft needed to tell them.  Participants will come to understand the importance of substance and structure to a story, how these elements work together to create a cohesive, integrated whole to look at the world with a more careful eye.  Key elements include point of view, setting, style, character, plot, and theme. Participants will be encouraged to write at least one draft of a story and become familiar with the basic elements of the writing process.  Ruby McCann will share insights on how to bring your writing to life on the page and how to make sure your readers truly feel as though they are experiencing your story through their perspective.  Come to this workshop prepared to write!

Workshop Facilitator Ruby McCann is a writer and educator.  She has managed writing projects in the United States and Scotland.  In theatre, she has taken plays ‘from the page to the stage,’ teaching playwriting and drama for Washington, DC area theatres, Arena Stage, Woolly Mammoth Theatre and Young Playwrights Theatre.  Ruby was recognised for Educational Excellence by the Senate Education Committee and the SNAP Foundation (Seeing Necessary Alternatives through Photography).  She is the 2004 recipient of the Mary Boyle McCrory Award for Creative Writing.  As a Literature Consultant for the Cultural Alliance of Northern Virginia, she developed, administered, and judged Arlington County’s Moving Word and Pic-A-Poet Series.  After returning to Scotland, Ruby was the Scottish Book Trust’s first Writer-in-Residence at HMP Glenochil and Reader-in-Residence at A.K. Bell Library.  Ruby is the current Chair of the Scottish Writers’ Centre.

Reservations for Members and the public will be on a first come first served basis, please book your spot at info@scottishwriterscentre.org.uk

Tickets: £10.  FREE for SWC Members

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Tuesday 12th September 2017: CCA Club Room at 7:00 pm

Venue:  CCA:  Centre for Contemporary Arts, 350 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow, G2 3JD

‘In Process’ Masterclass with Tom Leonard

TOM LEONARD

Tom Leonard first became known for his four phonetic poetry sequences published 1969-79, featuring uncompromised and exacting representation of working class speech in Glasgow and the west of Scotland. Following from Hamilton Finlay in Scotland and Carlos Williams in America this was the first time such language and its registers was presented  by a poet for whom the spoken language was his own. The speakers were not “other”. He later referred to these sequences as being of “neither tribe nor nation but community and the music of its language pool.”

In the nearly fifty years since their writing he has published much poetry and prose, translated Chekhov and Brecht for the stage, written literary and political criticism, edited a reclaiming anthology of nineteenth century west of Scotland poetry, and published the standard biography of the west of Scotland poet James Thomson, author of “The City of Dreadful Night.” In the seventies he was involved in performative poetry using tape recorders, his own participation in and curating of the then Third Eye Centre’s Sound and Syntax festival of 1978 the subject of an interview recently taken for CCA archives. Performances from that festival can be seen in the CCA collection on Vimeo.

A few years ago Leonard used the occasion of a Scottish Writers Centre reading partly to explore philosophic themes in some of the work from which he read. This time he will again show some of his slide-poems, give a full reading, and explore some other aspects of the position of the language.

For more information:  http://www.tomleonard.co.uk/

Tickets: £6/(£3) Concessions, Free for SWC Members

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Tuesday 26th September 2017: CCA Club Room at 7:00 pm

CCA:  Centre for Contemporary Arts, 350 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow, G2 3JD

‘Autumn Voices’ with Larry Butler

Larry Butler

Autumn Voices will explore ways of being creative as we age – both creative writing and writing for well-being.  This will include short readings and an interactive workshop addressing questions such as “what will help your writing to flower as you get older?”

Through his small press PlaySpace Publications: https://playspacepublications.com/ , Larry will be editing and publishing a book called Autumn Voices in 2018 written by Robin Lloyd Jones, and based on interviews of 20 Scottish Writers over 70, including Jim Kelman, Diana Hendry, Alistair Gray, Sheila Templeton and many more.  To find out more:  http://autumnvoices.co.uk/

Larry Butler was born in the USA.  He has been living in Glasgow since 1981 and currently teaches  tai-chi in healthcare settings and leads expressive writing groups at the Maggie Cancer Care Centre; publications include Butterfly Bones (Two Ravens), and Han Shan Everywhere (Survivors’ Press). Larry edits pamphlets for PlaySpace Publications and recently became a grandpa and a knitter (plain & purl).

Tickets: £6/(£3) Concessions, Free for SWC Members

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