Hey everyone, Yesterday was the 12th of July a day which has significant connotations in the cultural calender of the West of Scotland & for all the wrong reasons. For me however the date was important for a totally different reason it was the anniversary of my late parents. With my birthday yesterday I was shall we say their early 4th anniversary present.
So the choice of the 12th July or the nearest Thursday to that date for the Federation of Writers Scotland Anti-Sectarian spoken word event was an excellent one. This is especially true for a child of compromise like myself, born as I was to a Catholic father & Protestant mother. Maybe my background goes a long way to explaining the fact that I am a Church of Scotland attending Celtic supporting Republican member of the Scottish National Party. I suppose you could say the event was tailor made for me. This is especially true as my parents made sure I was brought up to respect all traditions.
The event which was the 6th & was held from 2 till 7 PM at the Gallery of Modern Art as is the case for all our all day events & was well attended when you consider its during the holiday season. As well as the Glasgow based writers we also had poets from Dumbartonshire Edinburgh & East Lothian in attendance at the gathering. It was also pleasing to a very high number of women participants amongst the performers.
There were a number of quality readings of poems & stories on the theme. I particularly enjoyed the work of Sheila Templeton, Angela Blacklock-Brown, Finola Scott & the excellent Fiona Lindsay. My own set was well received particularly the my last poem Yesterday’s Battles which deals with the potential consequences of unresolved conflict. I always enjoy the all day events & this was no exception. I like to be busy & make no mistake it was a busy day for me
as well as performing I also compared a section of the event & was on welcome duties for the first part of the day.
If this event was about anything it was about inclusion. It was saying that both orange & green are colours in the same rainbow & neither orange or green should be excluded from it in our quest to build a new & better nation. So all things considered it was another successful day for the Federation of Writers Scotland.
Believe me this only the start. There is the promise of a lot more to come both at the Edinburgh fringe & beyond as we plan ahead for the future. We have two performances at the fringe which I am sure will be great success stories, & then come the autumn we have an all day learning & development day in mid September. This will be followed in late. September / Early October we have Glasgow Poetry Week. This will comprise so many events there will be a danger I will be meeting myself coming home. One of the highlights of the week will be the national poetry day celebration which will be the next time we gather at GoMA for an all day event. So busy times lie ahead I’m sure you’ll agree.
You know there is a Chinese proverb which says may you live in interesting times. My reply to this is a simple one we are poets & storytellers we always live in interesting times. Well it is a poet’s duty to tell it like it is,& never surrender to those who wear the outdated colours of prejudice.
Love & Best Wishes