Sunday, 31 August 2008

Introducing the September 2008 Readers - 2. Charlotte Runcie

Charlotte Runcie has been writing poems for almost three years now, after having won the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award in 2006. She went on to win first prize in the Oxford University Christopher Tower Poetry Awards, and has since had her work published in several magazines across Scotland and England. She co-founded and now edits an online poetry magazine, Pomegranate, for young writers, and her first poetry chapbook will be published by tall-lighthouse in 2009. She is 19 years old and lives in Edinburgh.


We gather acorns from the grass,
each seed as round as hours, discuss the time
and how it moves; we head for trees

and lope along the ridged nut rivulets of bark
which creak and twist, mechanical; and hardwood cogs
are whirring backwards, shedding laughter lines.

We cling to all these days like frost,
our tails curled around the time
and necks of trees, coiled and weightless –

you say you sense the winter, smell the cold.
This stream will split by evening; minnows
breathe again. This air would break our lungs

so I sleep along the length of you, dreaming sundials,
our bodies hushed. We weave a downy helix. Then,
at dawn – November chimes with harder light – you stir

once, again, again. We slot
into the seasons every year,
unconscious, soft as clockwork.

(first published in Read This magazine)

Other readers for September 2008:
Michael Schmidt
Helena Nelson
Dorothy Baird

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Introducing the September 2008 Readers - 1. Dorothy Baird

Dorothy Baird was born in Edinburgh but, after travelling and living abroad and in England for many years, came home to the city 19 years ago when the first of her three children was born. Her work has been widely published in magazines and anthologies and her first collection, Leaving the Nest, was published by Two Ravens Press last year. 4 of her poems were published in Two Ravens Press’s recent anthology, Cleave , which was Borders book of the month in June. She leads writing groups for adults and children, was Craigmillar's Writer in Residency this year and is also a Human Givens therapist.

Badger Watch

It wasn't so much the badgers
I'll remember, though their shadowy
forms caught my breath
as they rustled in the earth mounds

and nosed in twigs and bluebells - no,
it was rather the waiting,
the five of us, faithful
to the silence we'd agreed on,

crouched downwind, while night
eased itself among the trees
and sheep coughed in distant fields,
when we learned the language

of each other's face; how
in the sweeping dark
we dwindle to a beating heart,
and how in the long emptiness,

the sliver of hope still rises.

[published originally in Acumen and then in Leaving the Nest (Two Ravens Press)]

Other readers in September:

Michael Schmidt
Helena Nelson
Charlotte Runcie

Friday, 22 August 2008

September Poetry

Summer is over, as the rain-soaked streets of Edinburgh have testified for the past month but, on the bright side, it means that Poetry at the Great Grog will shortly begin a new session.

I’ll post a full programme for the next year soon. There are still a few (very few) spaces to fill, but I hope to sort that out this weekend.

The next reading is on Sunday September 14th from 8pm, and it’s a terrific line-up. The Great Grog is at 43 Rose Street, Edinburgh. Click on the names to find out more.

Michael Schmidt
Helena Nelson
Dorothy Baird
Charlotte Runcie