As a team of poets and writers ourselves, we can't resist sharing some of our thoughts on the goings-on in the world of poetry. Without further ado: Please meet some of our more put-together marginalia. 

Rock the Boat: Push the Boat Out’s Monthly Open Mic

THURSDAY APRIL 7TH, 7-9PM at Summerhall We know from how quickly registration for our festival open mic filled that you’ve been longing for the Return of the Open Mic Night. We’ve been waiting too! Safety and responsibility will always be our top priority, and we know that it’s possible to stay safe and responsible at live events. We did it in…

On Ecopoetics: “It survives / A way of happening, a mouth”

by Samuel Tongue In the life sciences, there is an experimental hypothesis that suggests the following: as an organism suffers the impact of external stressors – disease or drought, perhaps – it may produce an ‘enhanced reproductive effort’, or distress crop, in an attempt to maintain its population levels. For example, when an immune response is generated, male blue-footed boobies…

Sci-fi – Not so far out?

by Kevin Williamson The intersection of science fiction and poetry only made sense to me in recent years which seems weird as I started delving deep into both forms of literature in my late teens. As I switched back and fore between Asimov / Bradbury / Moorcock, and MacCaig / Plath / Eliot the idea there was a space where…

Voice and the Usual Suspects: On poetry and listening

by Esa Aldegheri “We know of course there’s really no such thing as the ‘voiceless’. There are only the deliberately silenced, or the preferably unheard.” So said Arundhati Roy during her Sydney Peace Prize Lecture in 2004. The literary world – from publishing to festivals, from writing retreats to literary prizes – is often thick with people I would call…

Poetry, healing & recovery – Do not say we have nothing

by Julia Sorensen It’s overly romantic to posit art as a cure-all for emotional turmoil—and by art I mean everything from visual art to theatre, poetry to music to dance, the sounds of intentionally weighted microphones swinging back and forth over an amplifier to dreamy, scrap metal giraffes. We’ve curated a panel called ‘Poems to Heal the Soul’, but the…

‘At Eighty’ by Edwin Morgan

Just in case you’re unsure what we’re on about with all our boat-themed babble, we wanted to share our namesake with you, courtesy of the Scottish Poetry Library. Without further ado, ‘At Eighty’: Push the boat out, compañeros,push the boat out, whatever the sea.Who says we cannot guide ourselvesthrough the boiling reefs, black as they are,the enemy of us all…

New Poetry Collection: Tom Pow’s Naranjas

We’re thrilled to join Galileo Publishers in announcing the publication of a new poetry collection from the renowned Scottish poet Tom Pow. It’s his first full collection since the thematic explorations of Dear Alice – Narratives of Madness (2009), A Wild Adventure – Thomas Watling, Dumfries Convict Forger (2014) and Concerning the Atlas of Scotland (2014). Like all his work,…

(Re-)Introducing: Solareye of Stanley Odd

Interview by Julia Sorensen We originally published this March 2021 interview in our April newsletter, but it’s far too good to leave buried in there. The podcast episode he recorded in conjunction with this interview is out now. What drives you as an artist? An irrepressible compulsion to make stuff, which is probably quite universal across people’s reasons for making…

World Poetry Day Highlights

It was World Poetry Day on March 21! To help us celebrate, we got some of our volunteers from the QMU Masters in Arts, Festival & Cultural Management to curate some world poetry to share with you! (You’ll be treated to poetry by one of our volunteers if you read all the way to the end! It’s worth it. Trust us)….


by Kevin Williamson I’ve no idea if Seamus Heaney published his perceptive essay on Robert Burns on the 25th January or thereabouts. Here in Scotland you’d struggle to place an article on Burns outside the allocated few days at the end of January. Such are the ways in which our media puts its toe in the poetry waters. The hale clamjamfry…

PTBO in the Scotsman

The cat’s out the bag guys… 👀👀👀

Haud the bus!

Turns out we were wrong… this is NOT Edinburgh’s first poetry festival. There was a one off operation c.1999 featuring none other than Eddie Morgan himself. Were you there? Tell us more!

Today is Norman MacCaig’s birthday

I’ve loved Norman MacCaig since I was at school. His mice, squeaking small hosannahs in the byre, his ‘room size monster with a matchbox brain’ and his tiny, jewel like frogs opening the door to a love of language that has opened every other door for me since. He showed how language could reveal and subvert and celebrate and be…


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