Events for the Autumn 2014 Season of The Word Bank

All of the following events are FREE to attend.  Follow the relevant link to find out more, and where each event will take place.

6.30 PM, THURSDAY 13 NOVEMBERPoetry of Place and No Place

Come and hear the contrasting poetic perspectives of De Luca and Herd on the subject of place and no-place in poetry.

12.30PM, FRIDAY 14 NOVEMBER - The View from Dover

The View from Dover is the first of a series of talks and essays by David Herd that take their bearings from the site of The Citadel on Dover’s Western Heights.

2 PM, SUNDAY 16 NOVEMBER - The Evergreen Writers at Main Point Books

Readings and lively discussion with Peter Kravitz, Ian McDonagh, Todd McEwen, Mario Relich, Mike Saunders, Morelle Smith and Nancy Somerville.

7PM, TUESDAY 18TH NOVEMBER - Scotland: An Atlas of Productivity

An introduction by Graham Hogg of Lateral North.  An Atlas of Productivity is the first dedicated atlas of Scotland since the 19th century.  It maps not just Scotland’s landscapes and towns and cities, but seeks to map many of the aspects of national productivity, featuring everything from Scotland’s land ownership and its wind speeds to its transport links and its relationship to the emerging Arctic trading routes. 

 

Scotland: An Atlas of Productivity

An illustrated introduction by Graham Hogg of Lateral North

Scotland is awash with potential. What will that future look like and what role will Scots play with the emerging Nordic and Arctic regions?

An Atlas of Productivity is the first dedicated atlas of Scotland since the 19th century. It maps not just Scotland’s landscapes and towns and cities, but seeks to map many of the aspects of national productivity.

In over 35 maps we see everything from Scotland’s land ownership and its wind speeds to its transport links and its relationship to the emerging Arctic trading routes.

Completed in 2014, this new atlas revives the spirit of Patrick Geddes’s synoptic vision and his insistence on comprehensive and wide-ranging survey preceding planning and action.

The map was published by the Jimmy Reid Foundation as part of its Common Weal project, with the aim of getting Scots to look afresh at the potential of their nation based on its position and its natural resources.

QUAKER MEETING HOUSE, EDINBURGH

7PM, TUESDAY 18TH NOVEMBER, FREE ENTRY

Photography by John Reiach

Telling and re-telling Old Town stories is an important part of what The Word Bank is about.

Here, Bronwen Edwards, a former resident of Tollcross, shares her memories of a bookshop long gone from Candlemaker Row which turned out to be much more than a refuge from the Edinburgh weather.

Candlemaker Row, in the South East corner of the Grassmarket housed the First of May bookshop from 1980 until the mid Nineties. From the street the shop window invited both the casual visitor and the regular, determined radical book hunter into a cosy book-lined cavern.

I can’t remember whether you could get a mug of coffee as you browsed, and I’m pretty sure it was not lit by hurricane lamps, but it was that kind of a place.  Staff and customers were indistinguishable, though I suppose that in winter the customers were wearing more clothes.

Neither can I remember how I came to visit First of May that first time, but once inside, I knew I’d be back.  I was immediately drawn to the selection of children’s books with colourful illustrated pages emanating messages of mums who thought nothing of going out fishing to bring home the odd whale for tea. This was feminism’s lighter side, and a gentle introduction for one who’d missed all those consciousness raising groups her sister had spoken about. There was also a nice collection of Leeds Postcards, illuminating a range of radical views from the hilarious to the deadly serious. My purchase of the funnier ones enabled me to inform my sister that the radicalisation of her older sister had borne fruit.

Read more: The First of May Bookshop

On the last Sunday in November a special poetry event was held in West Port Garden. Part of the Word Bank Autumn Season, Common Ground, heralded a new beginning for this special little garden tucked quietly away near the busy Grassmarket.

20 or so people gathered together to share in an informal reading of poetry around the themes of community and gardens. The West Port garden is well on its way to becoming a community garden for the first time in 50 years. It will be run by Grassmarket Residents' Association.

Poems were read from books, sheets of paper and even scraps of card hanging from tree branches. Some were written by the readers present (Samantha Walton, Jane Goldman, Eddie Gibbons, Jennie Renton, Patrick Jamieson, Sean Bradley) and others were classics by poets such as Robert Burns, Gerard Manley Hopkins and William Soutar. The chilly afternoon was enjoyed all the more from the company of friends and neighbours and helped along the way by hot drinks and chocolate cake!