Saturday, 16 April 2011

Brownsbank Cottage and the Biggar Poetry Garden

Brownsbank Cottage is the traditional farm labourer's cottage at Candy Mill in South Lanarkshire, Scotland where Christopher Murray Grieve ('Hugh MacDiarmid') lived from 1951 until his death in 1978. MacDiarmid's legacy remains spectacular, often controversial and challenging; some critics say his early lyrics are his finest work, while his epic poem ‘A Drunk Man Looks at the Thistle’ (1926) is one of the great poems of Modernist literature. Many including Allen Ginsberg made a pilgrimage to the cottage to visit the poet and his wife but it needs your help.

The cottage continues to be a centre of literary activity but need support from the international Scottish diaspora and poets.

A writing residency – the Brownsbank Fellowship – in association with the Scottish Arts Council and South Lanarkshire Council, has been held by poetsJames Robertson, Matthew Fitt, Gerry Cambridge, Aonghas MacNeacail, Linda Cracknell, Tom Bryan and Carl MacDougall.  The residency came to an end in December 2010 following local government support cuts.  However, in partnership with Creative Scotland (the successor organisation to the Scottish Arts Council), it is intended to offer the Cottage during the summer months as a funded writers retreat, with a view to it becoming part of the network of artist retreats/residencies envisaged under the Scottish Government's Creative Futures programme. 

If you can help make this happen or offer support in any way, get in touch with the poet Andrew McCallum who is Secretary of the Brownsbank Committee.


You can find out more about Hugh MacDiarmid and Brownsbank Cottage here

Visit the Biggar Poetry Garden virtually here or if you happen to be in Biggar, you'll find the Poetry Garden at the top end of Biggar High Street. The garden has an open submissions policy for poets and artists. Full contact details are on the website.

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