Poetry of Place and No-Place

With Christine De Luca and David Herd

'The Evergreen: A New Season in the North' is a new anthology of writing and visual art that encourages readers to look afresh at their own environment and their place in it.

The first issue includes work by Christine De Luca and David Herd and this event is part of the celebration of its publication. Inspired by the anthologies of Allan Ramsay and Patrick Geddes, The Evergreen shares the belief that an appreciation of place is essential to sustainable and convivial living.

Come and hear the contrasting poetic perspectives of De Luca and Herd on the subject. The poetry reading will be followed by Q and A and discussion.

Edinburgh's Makar, Christine De Luca, writes in both English and Shetlandic.  She has written over a dozen books, mainly poetry, but also a novel and children's stories.  Her latest collection, Dat Trickster Sun (Mariscat 2014) has been shortlisted for the Michael Marks Award.

David Herd is Professor of Modern Literature at the University of Kent. His collections of poetry include All Just (Carcanet) and Outwith (Bookthug). Other publications include Enthusiast! Essays on Modern American Literature (Manchester 2007) and John Ashbery and American Poetry (Manchester 2001)

6.30 PM, THURSDAY 13 NOVEMBER, PROJECT ROOM 1.06, SCHOOL OF LITERATURE, LANGUAGES AND CULTURE, 50 GEORGE SQ, EDINBURGH

This is a joint event with the Palimpsest project, which is current mapping literary Edinburgh with generous support from the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

An Overview of the Palimpsest Project at Edinburgh University

Read more: Poetry of Place and No-Place

The View from Dover


A lunchtime talk on place, movement and belonging in contemporary British culture by David Herd, Professor of Modern Literature, University of Kent.


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.

Originally constructed at the time of the Napoleonic Wars, as part of a network of fortifications, The Citadel knew various functions before its present use as an immigration removal centre.

Starting at the building itself, with its iconic location, this talk asks what it means to view contemporary culture from such a contested site.

Focusing questions of movement and belonging, Dover’s Citadel offers one of the most striking views in modern Britain. What becomes visible, the talk will ask, from a site held legally and linguistically just outside?


David Herd is Professor of Modern Literature at the University of Kent. His collections of poetry include All Just (Carcanet) and Outwith (Bookthug). Other publications include Enthusiast! Essays on Modern American Literature (Manchester 2007) and John Ashbery and American Poetry (Manchester 2001)
12.30PM, FRIDAY 14 NOVEMBER
WORD POWER BOOKS, 43-45 WEST NICOLSON ST, EDINBURGH


FREE ENTRY

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