As you may or may not know Friday marked the first official day of Edinburgh 2016. It also marked, much earlier than usual, my first performance of this year’s fringe. The event titled woman with fierce words was held at the Scottish Poetry Library and was organised by my friend and fellow poet Lesley Traynor who had been challenged by Capture Scotland to create a piece of art based on the opening day of the fringe and you can see the results of this in the picture below
Picture 1 Fierce Words From Fierce Women
The fact that it was to be an all woman affair meant
that this was to me at least going to be a truly unmissable occasion. You see I have long been of the view that we need more performances and readings of this nature as men tend to be dominant at far too many spoken word events and as a result of this women’s voices are often unintentionally marginalised.
As for the format of the day each poet would get up and perform our poem and then at the end of our piece we would shout out the word which inspired it and hold up a piece of paper with the word written on it for everyone else to see before writing our word and our names on a larger piece of paper which would become the centrepiece for Lesley’s artwork.
If you look at the sheet you will see that this afternoon produced a very positive piece of art with many of the words chosen representing the real qualities of womanhood and the values we hold close to our hearts, giving a powerful representation of what it means to be women in the Scotland/ Britain of the early 21st century. Indeed to paraphrase a certain well known magazine’s marketing slogan we were and are feisty fearless females and believe me you won’t get many more feisty females than those of us who spoke our truth in the courtyard of the Scottish poetry library.
Picture 2 Some Fierce Women Michelle Hogg, Carla Woodburn, and somwhere in the background Rose Ritchie
Picture 3 Nancy Lippold Ingram reads her poem on spirit.
Picture 4 Katharine McFarlane brings a little joy to the afternoon with Elizabeth Rimmer looking on.
Picture 5 Emma Mooney speaks her truth to poetry.
Picture 6 Catriona Knapman reads her poem on truth. I love her expression in this shot as it shows her really engaging with her audience.
Picture 7 Dinnae maker a fuss as Elizabeth Rimmer this year’s makar poet of Federation of Writers Scotland shares her thoughts on demented poetesses.
Picture 8 Shows one of the rising stars of the spoken word scene Carla Woodburn being fierce on the issue of Equality. Carla is a powerful passionate poet and I enjoy her poetry and her company.
Picture 9 Leads me to ask the question are two poets better than one? This could to some extent depend on who they are but when the two poets are Blue Chair bairn Molly McLachlan and Falkirk bairn Janet Crawford I think the answer has to be yes.
Picture 10 Has Janet Crawford in the starring role as she shares her poem inspired by her fierce word feisty and they don’t come much feistier than oor ain Falkirk bairn.
Picture 11_Shows a poet on a journey to success as Molly McLachlan who only started her performing work last September at the Blue Chair Cafe takes her place at the Courtyard to share her thoughts on Sisterhood.
Picture 12 Is me demonstrating the power of transformation by posing with my poem which I had read earlier in the day entitled The Lemon Dress. In this poem I relate how it felt to a pre teen trans girl in the early 1970’s. Believe me this was a challenge and a half but it made the woman I am which in case you didn’t know is fiesty, fierce and fabulous.
Poems completed it was time for a group photograph to commemorate the day and celebrate the women we are.
Picture 13 shows we were a very diverse collection representing a wide range of ages, backgrounds, and geographic locations, though why I look like I’m auditioning for strictly come dancing I really don’t know. I think I’ll put it down to having a moment.
Picture taken and feeling on top of the world it was only natural that we ended up on the rooftop balcony of the Scottish Poetry Library. Now before anyone thinks we weren’t so much fierce as mad, I should point out that this was all above board and at invitation of the new director of the library who was kind enough to lay a post event reception for us which was very much appreciated by all of us. The next few pictures show us enjoying quality women time at the reception and later on at Starbucks to which we adjourned to continue our social time bonding session.
Picture 14 Is one for the Blue Chair hall of fame as the poetry mumma (me) shares some quality time with my blue chair bairn Molly McLachlan.
Picture 15 Shows a rose striking pose and that pose is a fierce one from our very own Rose Ritchie.Rose is an inspirational women who does so much for the Edinburgh poetry scene.
Picture 16 features me and my new found bestie Katharine McFarlane smiling for the camera in between planning for future events It was during our chat that Katharine invited me to her show with the dual purposes of enjoying myself and reviewing it for tartan tights.Needless to say I jumped at the chance and though I as a church going girl don’t normally do shows on Sunday’s there are exceptions to every rule and this will be one of them.
Picture 17 was taken in Starbucks where we continued our social time at the end of our official reception. In this shot we have from left to right Rose Ritchie, Michelle Hogg, and the fiercest woman of us all Lesley Traynor without whose vision this event would never have been possible.
Picture 18 captures Carla in performance mode as she rocks it to anyone who’ll listen.
Picture 19 Our final picture of what was an amazing day is of our Molly looking mysterious.I think this is great action shot because it captures a moment in a way that only a spontaneous picture can provide.
As I look back on this magnificent event I have to say to a very special thanks to Lesley Traynor for organising what was a truly memorable day. It was a day in which poems were shared as was cake and companionship.It was a day to celebrate women and all that we are, a day where friendships were made which can only grow stronger with the passing of time. It was in my opinion the perfect way to start the 2016 Edinburgh fringe and a day I was privileged to be part of. Most of all this was a day which proved beyond doubt that when women get together we will tell the world our truths and be fiesty fierce and fabulous in the name of sisterhood.
Love And Best Wishes