Random Acts of Kindness and Senseless Acts of Beauty

Reading Billy Letford’s blog entry about roof poetry made me think of the well-known phrase about practicing random kindnesses and senseless acts of beauty. I Googled it and found out from Wikipedia that, “The phrase… may have been coined by peace activist Anne Herbert. Herbert says she wrote it on...

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A Wi-fi Connection of One's Own

It amazes me that despite living in this flat for over ten years I have just had my first drink in the pub downstairs. It was always too full of karaoke and noisy TV football for me. But it has reopened in an altogether more pleasant incarnation – with armchairs and an air of calm. As I sank into...

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West Dean gardens

Writers, Retreat!

What does one do on a writing retreat? Quite a lot, as Kirsty Logan recently discovered.

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Let's Talk About Sex

A couple of months ago Adrian Searle, the editor of Gutter magazine, asked me to take part in an event called McSex , which Gutter is presenting as part of the Edinburgh International Book Festival’s ‘Unbound’ strand. I and several other writers will read something sensual, lustful or downright...

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My First Ever Book Signing

I spent last night curled up in the big chair in the window, reading The Year of Open Doors . I wanted to take all of it in in one gulp, all these different Scotlands around my head. The Year of Open Doors is a short story collection, put together by the author Rodge Glass and published by Cargo, a...

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Poetry Readings at Kelburn Garden Party

Through my involvement in Forest Publishing and the Golden Hour, I get asked to do a lot of readings, some quite random. I've performed in a tent in the Meadows, a squatted pub in London, a whisky distillery in Dufftown, and, on one painful morning, in Drumnadrochit High School to a bunch of eleven...

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Poetry on the Roof

An artist called Liz Skulina got in touch with me in March. She was responding to certain poems by creating a series of chairs. The sculptures were to be part of the ‘Art in Unexpected Places’ exhibition at Stanza and she was interested in using one of my poems. I didn’t make it to Stanza but Liz...

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