We are delighted the highly acclaimed poet Magi Gibson will be reading from her new collection, Washing Hugh MacDiarmid's Socks. This very special event will be supported by four remarkable emerging and local poets, Pen Reid, Jo Gibson, Ruth Gilchrist and Melissa Carmack Goodbourn.
Washing Hugh MacDiarmid's Socks
A woman sunbathing on a demolition site in Bridgeton. Two women in a punch up in Glasgow’s West End. A young mother breastfeeding in an art gallery. A working man stepping off a tenement roof on a snowy morning. City streets. Country lanes. A letter to Sappho. A ticking off for Nietzsche. Not to mention Hugh MacDiarmid’s dirty socks. Or that poem with the intriguing title, 'V****A'.
About Magi Gibson
Magi Gibson grew up in a small town near Glasgow. As the coal pits closed down her horizons expanded, and she eventually realised it was okay for the local slater’s daughter to write as well as read poetry. She was a joint winner of the Scotland on Sunday/Women 2000 Poetry Prize. Her first collection was nominated for a Saltire Best First Book Award. Her poems have been widely published including in Modern Scottish Women Poets (Canongate), Scottish Love Poems (Canongate), The Edinburgh Book of Twentieth Century Scottish Poetry, (Edinburgh University Press), New Writing Scotland, and other anthologies. She has held several Scottish Arts Council Fellowships and one Royal Literary Fund Fellowship. She held a writing residency at the Gallery of Modern Art in Glasgow, working on the much-praised Rebelland exhibition, and was Reader in Residence with Glasgow Women’s Library. She was the first Makar of the City of Stirling in 500 years. Several poetry collections, children’s novels, and a couple of plays later, she still dreams of new horizons. And no way would she ever wash Hugh MacDiarmid’s Socks.
Pen’s poems give off this big feeling of love, which you only actually get by accident, bumping or slipping over it. In this sense, Pen’s work is prayerful—’ Stay with your father’s degeneration/and know love lives not in the physical’—and for me, that’s a great place to be writing poetry from.
Pen’s work is breathtakingly beautiful, intimate and delicate. She writes: ‘I am primarily a visual artist and have been writing poetry for only two years. It has been a challenge to find a way through the degeneration of my husband from progressive Multiple Sclerosis. Poetry has provided me with a voice to express the unspeakable.’
Gibson’s poems are written with clarity and embrace personal emotions. Many of them are keen, close-up examinations of everyday life and inter-personal relationships. The poet deftly evokes a wide-ranging repertoire of sentiments experienced by those in and out of love relationships, often ending with a mildly surprising twist.
Ruth Gilchrist won the Tyne and Esk Writer of the Year Award in 2015 with her poem, The Rift, which is set in a Kenyan tea plantation.
Ruth, who was brought up in Kenya as part of a missionary family at the time of the country's transition to independence, knew from an early age that she loved poetry.
In 2013, married with a family and living in Bilsdean, near Dunbar, Ruth joined the Dunbar group of Tyne and Esk Writers.
She added: “I only really woke up to poetry writing after I joined.
“Tea unites everyone in the Commonwealth.”
In The Rift, Ruth uses the physical description of a tea estate and the relationships of its residents, as a metaphor for the complex relationships between a colony and its colonial power.
However, Ruth also mingles the preparation of tea as a drink throughout her verses which are set against the backdrop of the loud song of the cicadas, an insect that amplifies its song according to humidity.
“In all my poems I want to make a connection with the reader and strike an emotional chord”.
Melissa is an active member of CoastWord's Writing Mums. Her work is tender, full of vivid descriptions evoking her America and her home here in Dunbar with well crafted and honest poetry that takes you out and within.