Monday, 28 September 2015

Abridged seeks oblivion

Memories and the things we forget - Abridged next issue Lethe 0  43 is seeking submissions now.

Deadline is 1st October 2015 so that is not much time in any body's book.

You can find more here

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Manchester Poetry Competition 2015 closing date soon

The closing date for this enjoyable competition where you get the chance to put together a small portfolio of 3 to 5 poems of up to 120 lines is this Friday 25th September.

It has a splendiferous prize of £10K. And it can be won because p&g knows the work of talented writer Martin MacInnes who won its sister Short Story competition.

You can enter online but don't dawdle.

Details are here

Monday, 14 September 2015

Ann MacKinnon launch 15 September 2015 Edinburgh, Scotland @tap_poetry

Ann MacKinnon continues with the launch of her first collection at this reading in Edinburgh tomorrow. And tomorrow night she is joined by Stewart Sanderson. p&g has had a sneak preview of Ann's Nae Flooers at her reading at Callander Poetry Festival - it's fabulous, nuanced and strong in its language yet shot through with powerful and ambivalent emotion. We suggest you buy it immediately. But go along and hear Ann too because she is a fine reader.

Berries faw at ma feet.
skinklin like jewels.

I mind the frauchtiness
on ma tongue..

(extract Ablaw the Elder Ann MacKinnon)

The event is free and takes places at 7pm at the Golden Hare bookshop at 68 St. Stephen Street, EH3 5AQ. So you can also enjoy other books while you are waiting for things to get started.

More here and you can buy the book from Tapsalteerie along with a range of beautifully produced quality poetry pamphlets written in both Scots and English and a focus on new poets and innovative writing here

Friday, 4 September 2015

Set fair for Callander Poetry Weekend, Scotland

Sally Evan the poet and editor of Poetry Scotland is the force behind the Callander Poetry Weekend. Poets come from all over to take part in this special event.

This year you can hear Elizabeth Rimmer, Sheila Templeton, Judith Taylor, Fred Beake, Colin Donati, Sheila Wakefield, Kevin Cadwallender, Ann MacKinnon, and that is pretty much just some of Day 1. Bridget Khursheed of p&g is reading at Callander this afternoon.

Alastair Cook is also talking about the making of filmpoems, Alan Gay leads a group from the Edinburgh Mandolin and Guitar Orchestra and Colin Will on sax backs Bryan Johnstone.

What is not to love. Events at King's Bookshop (open all year round) and the Kirk Hall and elsewhere all weekend. Find out more at

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Waverley Lines poetry competition #MyBordersRailway

Went along to a lovely reception for the prize winners in the Scottish Borders Council Eildon Tree magazine Waverley Lines competition last night. This competition built on workshops at the Borders Book Festival and had writers of all ages taking part. A great success.

Sara Best as the conductor
 - schoolchildren worked with her to create his head complete with hipster beard

The anthology is going to be distributed to the first passengers on the re-opened railway this weekend. My poem is in it too. I came second in the Open Poetry competition. One of my best results in a competition so I was pretty happy with that. And my cheque for £75!

Online search Borders Railway

That small symbol on the map is back, you know the one,
the arrows on the lines
signifying railway in Stow, Gala and Tweedbank.
Google it – it sits right there like a power light
bright on our map; now imagine
other old targets, the turntables by Station Brae
all empty, grown through with ragwort and rust;
that long commute there and back to Edinburgh -
impossible choice between home and work
when the line closed; keeping us tight here
in our cauldron of sheep, mills and folk.

And then forgotten routes from Level Crossing Road
or The Sidings or by Station Street, across our Borders land,
firing up like a canny Sevens play,
ideas travelling forward and home.
Until our train of thought is back:
track and bridges, engineers, lamps and gravel,
jobs and trucks and the test trains
slicing through the thousand journeys needed
to make this railway real; cutting out the lonely time
when the only buffering was as a result of low-quality
broadband. Yes, our network holds us tight always and again:
our hills resonate with buzzing transported voices,
connections no longer missed spark like welding torches.
We’re on the map, our wheels turning on the train.

Bridget Khursheed 2015

You can read the fine winning poem and more here and more on the railway here