‘Every minute of every day, twenty four people leave everything behind to escape war, persecution, terror. It’s at times like these that poets speak to us and ask us to reflect.’ Gordon Munro chooses poetry for Refugee Week
Two years ago the poet Tony Walsh wrote and performed We Are Manchester for the twentieth anniversary of the Manchester Arena. Poetry commissioned for a different occasion now takes on searing new significance.
Maybe poetry can help us clarify our thinking about some of the important issues facing Scotland, indeed the world, today? With the help of poet Christine De Luca, Sceptical Scot sets out to explore wider horizons.
The poet describes herself as ‘a resident native who senses Glasgow’s contradictions’. Kate Tough both startles and stirs, and shines a new light with a contrarian view of the famously friendly city.
On Valentine’s Day – or any other day – Sceptical Scot is pleased to publish this tribute to Robert Burns and his lasting truth by new writer Pat Sutherland.
“With Trump in the White House and Britain heading blindly for Brexit, we must not be silent about horrors we witness, but let’s not stop enjoying and sharing simple pleasures’.” Fay Young reclaims the right to joy as a weapon against totalitarianism.
Billed as a year of imagination and possibility to mark the 500th anniversary of Thomas More’s Utopia, 2016 didn’t quite work out that way. 2017, the centenary of the Russian Revolution, offers another opportunity to consider the meaning and value of the idea of utopia.
At the ragged end of a sorry year Fay Young goes in search of poems for Christmas and finds five offering humour, humanity and even a hint of hope that the world is not definitively going to hell on a handcart: praise to “a writer’s ability to touch people’s hearts with a phrase that doesn’t stop wars but makes people smile.”
“There’s romance in railway stations and an emotional tug in the sound of familiar place names. A reminder, I think, of the physical links and feelings joining people in distant places: singular but shared.”