Evergreen Writers at Main Point

Perfect for a November Sunday afternoon: a convivial gathering of contributors to a new Evergreen anthology with poetry and prose readings.
‘The Evergreen: A New Season in the North’, inspired by the anthologies of Allan Ramsay and Patrick Geddes, is a new anthology of writing and visual art that encourages readers to look afresh at their own environment and their place in it.
Readings and lively discussion with:
  • Peter Kravitz
  • Ian McDonagh
  • Todd McEwen
  • Mario Relich
  • Mike Saunders
  • Morelle Smith
  • Nancy Somerville.

2 PM, SUNDAY 16 NOVEMBER, MAIN POINT BOOKS, 77 BREAD STREET, EDINBURGH

FREE ENTRY

There is limited space available so please phone 0131 228 4837 if you wish to book a place.

Inspired by his recent commission for The Evergreen, John Reiach, photographer and Old Town resident takes a fresh look at the topography of the place he lives in.

As I stroll round the Old Town, gazing up at the fine surviving mediaeval buildings, and glimpsing the neo-classical grandeur of the New Town below, I am struck by how little good 20th and 21st century architecture is to be seen. 

Even the Victorians – not renowned for their visual elegance – seem to acquit themselves better. Their two finest buildings survive: from the 1860’s the original Royal Scottish Museum on Chambers Street – if that counts as Old Town – and from the 1890’s the romantic mediaeval pastiche – complete with non-functional, playful arts-and-crafts embellishments such as the cat perched on the roof – that is Ramsay Garden, inspired by Patrick Geddes.

So what of the last 100 years? Much infill demolition and rebuild as necessary sanitary improvements were made during the 1920’s and 30’s to picturesque but dilapidated tenements in the Grassmarket and along the Royal Mile, ‘fitting in’, aesthetically cautious, worthy but dull.

Post-WW2, more imaginative housing designed by the conservationist – a contradiction, one would have thought, but no! – Robert Hurd at Chessel’s Court on the Canongate, and, across the road, a few yards further down the Mile, bold use of concrete, using traditional motifs, a kind of vernacular modernism from Basil Spence, in the early and mid-’60’s respectively. Respectful of the neighbours and yet assertively of their time, reflecting the optimistic post-war years.

Read more: Postcard from Edinburgh Old Town

THE FIRST ‘EVERGREEN’ FOR 120 YEARS TO BE PUBLISHED ON OCTOBER 1st 2014

It was in 1896 that the last Evergreen was published in Edinburgh’s Old Town by Patrick Geddes and colleagues. The Word Bank, with the support of Creative Scotland and the Leverhulme Trust, is launching a new Evergreen as their first publishing venture in October 2014.

The Word Bank recognises the part literature and literary tradition have to play in shaping our communities, both local and national – art creates our sense of the city, and what it means to live in it.

New poetry, fiction, visual art, and essays on social and cultural issues will be presented in four issues of The Evergreen: A New Season in the North over the next two years. Following in the tradition of Allan Ramsay and Patrick Geddes, the aim once again is to ‘revive local colour’ in Scotland’s capital city and explore how literature and the arts supports community in any locality.  

Contributors to Issue 1  

Leila Aboulela, Dominic Cooper, Christine De Luca, Kate Downie, Elizabeth Elliott, Robin Gillanders, Alan Gillis, Peter Kravitz, David Herd, Stuart Kelly, Marcas Mac an Tuairneir, Richie McCaffrey, Ian McDonough, Andrew McDougall, Todd McEwen, John McGlade, Benjamin Morris, Robert Morris, Owen O’Neill, James Robertson, Mario Relich, John Reiach, Richard Rodger, Mike Saunders, Morelle Smith, Nancy Somerville, Jock Stein, David Tomassini, Samantha Walton.

This is an exciting and timely publication. Already it will be clear that, as Elizabeth Elliot suggests in an essay on Evergreen's predecessors, like previous incarnations, this is something of a mixed bag. The prodigality of Scottish creativity is easily harnessed, but not usually with such care. The look of The Evergreen is part of its charm, and its themes, although various, are somehow presented not in its texts and images, but in the artful manipulations of its designers.

The Bottle Imp, ASLS

Read the full Review

The first issue is available for £15.00 post free (within UK) direct from The Word Bank.  

The Word Bank, a publishing collective run by Edinburgh Old Town Development Trust, works with residents, artists, institutions and businesses to present fresh perspectives on familiar stories, to stimulate new aspirations and ideas and, above all, inspire action to make better places.

8 Jacksons Entry, Edinburgh EH8 8PG

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creative scotland

 

 

 

 

 

 

SUPPORTED BY CREATIVE SCOTLAND

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 the four issues of The Evergreen over two years.

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 – in any locality.

The Word Bank, a publishing collective run by Edinburgh Old Town Development Trust, works with residents, artists, institutions and businesses to present fresh perspectives on familiar stories, to stimulate new aspirations and ideas and, above all, inspire action to make better places.

The Evergreen is supported by the University of Aberdeen and other Scottish Universities and institutions. The latest phase of a Leverhulme funded research project, The Evergreen recognises the part literature and literary tradition have to play in shaping our communities, both local and national – art creates our sense of the city, and what it means to live in it.

Through open submission and commissions, new work of the highest quality was sought locally, nationally and internationally.

Contributors to Issue 1 are:

 Leila Aboulela, Dominic Cooper, Christine De Luca, Kate Downie, Elizabeth Elliott, Robin Gillanders, Alan Gillis, Peter Kravitz, David Herd, Stuart Kelly, Marcas Mac an Tuairneir, Richie McCaffrey, Ian McDonough, Andrew McDougall, Todd McEwen, John McGlade, Benjamin Morris, Robert Morris, Owen O’Neill, James Robertson, Mario Relich, John Reiach, Richard Rodger, Mike Saunders, Morelle Smith, Nancy Somerville, Jock Stein, David Tomassini, Samantha Walton.  

The first issue is available for £15.00 post free (within UK) direct from The Word Bank.  

The Word Bank, a publishing collective run by Edinburgh Old Town Development Trust, works with residents, artists, institutions and businesses to present fresh perspectives on familiar stories, to stimulate new aspirations and ideas and, above all, inspire action to make better places.