Sunday, September 24, 2006

Wigtown Book Festival


A friend gave me a lift down to this. We just had the afternoon. I caught two events, first was a session with Stephanie Calman. I've never heard of her before, but apparently she has a book out called Confessions of a Bad Mother, and was launching another about when we can define ourselves as being truly adult. She also edits a website based on the bad mother idea. I think I'm just passed all this sort of stuff, in fact I don't think I ever felt bonded to other women by virtue of being a mother/parent. I found the whole session a bit middle class and Islington.The audience was the usual reserved, Scottish type one, so I didn't learn very much about what they thought either.

The thing I went for was to see Jackie Kay the poet launch the 2nd Wigtown Poetry competition. She's going to judge the entries written in English. She did a brilliant reading, including a poem about Julia Darling, another poet I love. They were friends and the poem speaks about holding Julia's hand at her bedside in the last days of her life, and singing her the Mingalay Boat song, which include the words "hail ya ho boys, let her go boys...." It was a brilliant afternoon in the local distillery hall. She can move you from laughter to tears in seconds. I took this picture, the grey head is Jackie's Mum

10 Comments:

Blogger PI said...

Sometimes i think I live in a cultural desert. Great descriptions . I would have loved the second and probably felt sniffy about the first. I think I have read bits about her in the DT but will look out for the second lady.

11:55 pm  
Blogger apprentice said...

Thanks. Calman is god at what she does, but it's not for me.

Jackie Kay was Carol Ann Duffy's partner for years. The link has sound archives of her reading.

9:27 am  
Blogger PI said...

I used the sound link. It was great!

10:15 am  
Blogger Rob Mackenzie said...

Oh, good stuff. I saw Jackie Kay on Sunday evening in Edinburgh and have blogged about it today (she was terrific). I've also included sound links, but different ones.
She did that poem about Julia Darling in Edinburgh too. She has an ability to create humour and deep sadness simultaneously.

11:59 pm  
Blogger apprentice said...

How fuuny we both saw her at different locations. I'm glad my report echoed yours as it shows we both have good taste ;)

I really love Life Mask. I've also just read the Adoption Papers, which was lent to my by a friend.

11:07 am  
Blogger blkbutterfly said...

well, it's been so long since i've been by here, i didn't know where to comment. i thought this was as good a post as any.

as always, you're so very busy and doing a lot of wonderful things. i have a rather hard time focusing on written poetry for some reason, but if read in person, i do a lot better. i don't know why that it is.

anyway, i just wanted to stop by. i'll be back soon.

7:41 pm  
Blogger Guyana-Gyal said...

Here, anything to do with books, reading, writing, attracts all the stiff and stilted folks.

And in Jamaica, the opposite happens...there's a writer's festival called Calabash that takes place every January...it's a lively, colourful event I've heard.

2:53 am  
Blogger apprentice said...

Hi BLKB, take your time I know you've been busy.

GG nice of you to look in. Not as sunny here as it is on your page.

11:50 am  
Blogger Cailleach said...

Wow - two reports on JK! Rob has links to Bloodaxe where you can hear her read - not quite as good as the real thing, but it gives a great flavour of her personality. Oh now I see you've got them too - must try and keep up!

3:00 pm  
Blogger Clare said...

Jackie Kay is wonderful, isn't she? I saw her perform at Julia Darling's memorial tribute thingy, and it was all very moving.

I met Julia a few times and she was a lovely lovely woman (see here for more if you're interested).

11:38 am  

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