The amazing East Lothian Library Service set up a programme for me to visit a library each day from Monday 27 November to Saturday 2 December, to meet people for a chat over a cuppa and biscuits, and to read a few poems from ‘Salt & Soil’. The exception was Thursday, when a group of P5s from Campie School, Musselburgh came to the library for my presentation on the voyage with clipper ship City of Adelaide over the winter of 2013/14. It’s so lovely to share that experience, and the pupils were absolutely brilliant.
I was so thrilled to have my East Lothian Launch of ‘Salt & Soil’ on 26 October 2017 in Hecla Gallery, Cockenzie House & Gardens, Edinburgh Road, Cockenzie. Over the last several years I’ve held events there, and attended a few too. I love the environment, there is so much to see with frequently changing exhibitions and craft items in the shop, and the folk that run it are friendly, welcoming and very helpful. Yvonne Murphy is involved with the Scottish Diaspora Tapestry which inspired the poem ‘Diaspora’ in the booklet. I brought 3 panels of the Diaspora Tapestry back from Adelaide when I went back there in May 2014 for clipper ship City of Adelaide‘s 150th birthday party. (see Category ‘City of Adelaide’ on my website.)
L-R Trevor Powell, former Chief of Port Adelaide Caledonian Society, Rosemary McKay who organised the stitchers around Adelaide, me, Hon. Piper for City of Adelaide, Des Ross, Commander of Clan Ross in Australia.
The room was packed to capacity for the launch. Some friends were there, as well as with new faces. I was already on my second print run, having sold most, and outsourced the remainder of the first batch.
This beautiful handcrafted desk later became my signing table.
I took along my clarsach and played my composition ‘City of Adelaide : Farewell to Scotland’ to start off the evening. I ended with accompanying myself on ‘The Herrin Trail’.
Edinburgh and Glasgow launches will be announced in the near future.
We’re back! Each month at Hear Hare Here, we’ll be bringing you three of our favourite poetic voices in a cornucopia of verse, MCed by our very own bookseller and poetry lover Alice Tarbuck. Flee the darkening evenings and join us as we light up the night with words, with readings and performances from the glorious Freddie Alexander, the oh so lovely Janette Ayachi and a mystery guest to be announced! Pick up a glass of wine on arrival and, as no poetry night is complete without a raffle, take a chance of winning a blind date with a book…
Frederick “Freddie” Alexander is a writer and events organiser based in Edinburgh. Since 2013 he has been an organiser and host of the Inky Fingers Open Mic night, and has been an organiser of various other Edinburgh poetry nights. Freddie is a freelance writer for Broadway Baby, ScotsGay, and Flint & Pitch. He works for the National Library of Scotland.
Janette Ayachi is a Scottish-Algerian poet. She collaborates with artists, has been shortlisted for a few chewable accolades, and has performed her work on BBC radio, as well as at events across the UK. She is the author of poetry pamphlets Pauses at Zebra Crossings and A Choir of Ghosts, and a children’s chapter book The Mermaid, The Girl and The Gondola. She is currently working on a memoir titled Misdialing The Muses.
RITA BRADD is published since 2007 in a number of anthologies, and has read in many venues. In
2016 at StAnza – the Scottish International Poetry Festival held in St Andrew’s – her poem ‘City of
Adelaide Bleeds’ was a film installation.
‘Salt and Soil’ is Rita’s debut pamphlet, published in August 2017. Rita is completing her book on
her voyage to South Australia on a cargo ship with the oldest surviving clipper ship City of
About two years ago I began preparing a collection of poems for my first poetry pamphlet, having been invited by a publisher. Things fell through at final edit stage, so …
… the pamphlet has now been published by ‘CrawsNest Press’, my own little Press, which I am thrilled about. It’s been quite a learning curve to enter the world of publishing, but very exciting and satisfying. Grateful thanks to Marjorie Lotfi Gill and Rachel McCrum for testimonials.
‘Salt & Soil’ will be launched on 26 October 2017 in Hecla Gallery, Cockenzie House and Gardens, Prestonpans, East Lothian, 7 for 7.30 pm – 9pm.