The Evergreen Patrick Geddes

The Return of The Evergreen:
Landmark literary publication reborn after 120 year hiatus

Patrick Geddes's celebration of local tradition, living nature and culture returns now published by Edinburgh Old Town Development Trust. One of Scotland's most important literary traditions has been revived in Edinburgh’s with the publication of a new Evergreen.

The last Evergreen was published by Patrick Geddes & Colleagues from Riddles Court in Edinburgh's Lawnmarket in 1895. In this exciting and timely new publication, the ‘local’ is revisited through current literature, art and ideas. New poetry, fiction, visual art, and essays on social and cultural issues will be presented in four issues over the next two years.

Its return has been made possible by The Word Bank, Edinburgh Old Town Development Trust’s publishing initiative, with the support of Creative Scotland and the Leverhulme Trust.

An update of previous Evergreens by Allan Ramsay and Patrick Geddes, The Evergreen, A New Season in the North aims once again to ‘revive local colour’ in Scotland’s capital city and explore how literature and the arts support community.

The first issue includes such notable contributors as artist Kate Downie, historians Richard Rodger and Robert Morris, and writers James Robertson and Stuart Kelly.

Poetry abounds with works by Alan Gillis, David Herd, Peter Kravitz and Edinburgh Makar, Christine De Luca.

Black and white photography by Robin Gillanders and John Reiach add a striking local flavour to this handsome publication.

The arts of the Celtic Revival were the main sources of inspiration for Patrick Geddes & Colleagues when they published their Evergreen in 1895 & 1896. Social improvement was a primarily motive in everything Patrick Geddes did and the same is true of this Word Bank publication which will combine with a community learning programme to commence early next year. The Trust wants to reconnect people to literature, arts and science as part of the drive to improve the quality of life for residents in Edinburgh's Old Town.  

Speaking at the publication's launch Editor Sean Bradley said; “It is the perfect time to revive The Evergreen. Alongside growing political centralisation, there has been a flourishing of community activism. Post-referendum Scotland is still debating what kind of country it wants to be. The Evergreen localises that question. What kind of places do we want to live in? And what are we prepared to do about it? Literature and the arts have a vital part to play in exploring these questions.”

This publication stems from a research project based at Aberdeen University led by Dr Elizabeth Elliott.  She said: “The New Evergreen gives me new insight into a persistent literary tradition that links making collections of texts with the making of better communities, turning the city into a place where people can live imaginatively, as well as practically. It calls attention to the ways in which culture shapes, and is shaped by, the life of the city. My project traces the history of this tradition, and its continuing potential as a wellspring of community life.”

The Evergreen – A New Season in the North
First Published by The Word Bank
ISBN :  978-0-9930544-0-2
RRP: £15.00

Where to buy The Evergreen

Support your local bookshop by placing an order with them or order direct from The Word Bank online by following this link: Buy The Evergreen

By mail write to: The Word Bank, 8 Jackson’s Entry, Edinburgh EH8 8PJ

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