In a Sma Room

in a sma room

The premiere of In a Sma Room will be held at Perth Concert Hall on Saturday, May 12th, at 7pm. Tickets are £10 (£8 concessions) with proceeds going to CHAS at Kinross. Other tour dates include St Andrews (Byre Theatre) on May 31st, Arbroath (Hospitalfield Jazz Room) on June 1st, Newburgh (Steeple Arts) on June 14th and Edinburgh (42 Royal Park Terrace) on June 21st.

The show is a celebration of the bittersweet life of William Soutar told in drama and song. Scripted by Ajay Close, directed by Sandy Thomson of Poorboy, featuring Jennifer Bates, original music written and performed by Debra Salem, Paul Harrison, Kevin Mackenzie and Patsy Reid.

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Sculpture Stroll with David Annand

nae day sae dark

Sculpture by David Annand

Everyone knows the Ring sculpture on the High Street, Perth’s best-loved piece of public art. But have you ever wondered what it means?

The Ring was inspired by William Soutar’s famous poem Nae Day Sae Dark, but just how does the poem connect with the blindfolded man and his enigmatic companion, and why are they held in a steel hoop? On Saturday April 28th, the 114th anniversary of Soutar’s birth, there is an opportunity to ask the sculptor in person.

David Annand will be leading a stroll around Perth town centre from the Ring to his other Soutar-inspired sculpture, Golden-eye on the Dark and Singing Tide, on Tay Street. This will be followed by a short illustrated talk on his work in the Salutation Hotel on South Street.

Annand, who has a studio near Cupar in Fife, is much in demand, with public artworks all over the United Kingdom and Ireland. Many of his sculptures involve poets and poetry. Previous commissions have included heads of the late Scottish poets Norman MacCaig and Edwin Morgan at New Edinburgh Park; a bust of Rabbie Burns in Cupar; a bronze in County Derry to celebrate the 70th birthday of Irish poet Seamus Heaney; and a collaboration with Heaney on ‘Still’, a sculpture in the Marie Curie hospice in Belfast.

The sculpture stroll has been organised by the Friends of William Soutar Society. Ajay Close, formerly the Perth and Kinross William Soutar fellow, says the free event is being held by popular demand. “When I was writer-in-residence so many people asked me to explain the Ring. I could read them the poem, but beyond that I was stumped. Now we can find out exactly what was in the sculptor’s mind.”

Anyone interested in joining the stroll should turn up at the Ring at 3pm on Saturday April 28th.

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Terror Scribes Anthology

The story, “But She Looked Above and Nothing was There” by Wendy Jane Muzlanova, appears in the Terror Scribes anthology, being launched in April 2012. The anthology was edited by Adam Lowe and Chris Kelso and published by Dog Horn.

“Terror Scribes is a satisfyingly diverse anthology, furnished with nebulous, original tales guaranteed to set your teeth on edge and give you bouts of gooseflesh. From the home-grown talent of Sue Phillips to prolific US gore-hound Deb Hoag, from the satirists to the psychopaths to the traditionalists, from demonic possession of celebrities to masturbating werewolves, from hair-raising fairytales to disturbing accounts of everyday terror, you will shiver and gasp and question. We are not oblivious to the fear Terror Scribes will evoke. Quite the contrary, we’re advocates of it . . .”

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Dog Cast 9 now live – featuring, “Mrs. Plankton and Friends” by Wendy Muzlanova

Oh joy of JOYS! Number 9 is off the rack; sweating, pulsing, vibrating . . . yes, it is HERE! Featuring Chris KelsoWendy Jane Muzlanova, Jed Belly, Mark Todd and Dave Migman . . . SO GET LISTENING!

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Split Screen

split screen

Andy Jackson launched ‘Split Screen’ at StAnza at the weekend, an anthology of poems inspired by popular culture of the sixties and seventies. It was a great launch and I can thoroughly recommend the book (available from Amazon etc. or via the publisher Red Squirrel Press)

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Vox Populi On Heartlandfm

heartland fm

Giles Conisbee writes to invite contributions from his fellow writers:

I’m keen to record Soutar House writers reading their own original material, for broadcast on Heartlandfm. (Heartlandfm has just taken over the licence for Perth Fm, as well as broadcasting into Ninewells and Bridge of Earn (via Bridge FM), and of course broadcasting throughout Highland Perthshire. You can also listen live online, but no ‘listen again’ facility just yet. Podcasts of your work is something I will raise with head of the Station next time I meet…

So, as a first step, could you email/reply to register your interest in being involved and recorded for prosperity!

Ideally, I’m looking to capture short stories or extracts of about 25 minutes that I can top and tail by way of introduction and programme sign off as well as providing the opporunity to include book and event plugs.

I’d ideally like to record onsite at the AK Bell Library on a couple of designated nights….

Please email Giles if you’re interested.

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Kenneth Wins Book Trust Award

kenneth stephen

Congratulations to Kenneth Stephen who has won a Scottish Book Trust New Writer Award for 2010-11. Here’s a link to a Herald article profiling Kenneth and his co-winners.

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William Soutar Prize 2012

william soutar

The 2012 Soutar Prize was launched on 17th March at the North Inch Community Campus. This year’s competition is short-story based, max. 2,000 words, in English or Scots, and will be judged by Billy Kay. Prizes include an Arvon Writing Course (equivalent to £600); runners-up book tokens of £100, and a £50 book token for the best local writer. Closing date for entries is Monday, 12th June, and the winner will be announced at a Writers’ Day on Saturday, 25th august.

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Perth Street by Street

perth street by street Soutar writer Paul Philippou and photographer Roben Antoniewicz have combined to launch a new book which takes the reader on a historical and geographical tour of Perth streets. 350 miles of pavement pounding, extensive local library research and composed shutter-clicking have resulted in a handsomely produced and bound volume which is a superb local reference. ISBN 978-0-9563374-2-9, 306pp, Tippermuir Books. Available from local stockists or directly from Paul.

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“spunk and junk and plenty of funk…”

As it says on the Dog Horn Publishing site, “LISTEN UP! Welcome to the new broadcasting arm of Dog Horn Publishing: Dogcast Central. The new channel for dogged readers of dog-eared books, full of spunk and junk and plenty of funk.”

If you’d like to hear me reading my stuff, click through! Broadcast so far are, “Above the Turkish Barber’s Shop” + “The Crystal Bowl” + “Dodgy Pen Pals Dot Com…”

If you’d like to submit, details are given at the end of every show….

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