No formula for winning the Autumn Voices poetry prize. Just write from the heart, read it aloud to check the sense and sound – and make sure you are over 70.
On yet another day when headlines of old and new media hammer home the madness and mayhem of 2018 politics, here’s a chance to let different words swirl and swell with Rachel McCrum’s Glassblower Dances, Poem of the Moment
Travelling light, I’m sitting on the train when I remember that last minute packing left no time for this month’s Sceptical Scot poetry blogpost. A routine check of essential documents finds an answer. Irish passport to the rescue. [This post was first written, on the train to London, in June 2018 when Boris Johnson was […]
“British racism has evolved. We no longer see gangs of racist folks roaming the streets. They now wear suits and ties
Some form political parties…” Benjamin Zephaniah’s poetic analysis of institutionalised racism has particular resonance in the aftermath of the Windrush scandal.
Is winter never going to end? Seeking hope in poetry, Fay Young finds a kind of answer in Christina Rossetti’s poem Another Spring, whose sad-sweet longing seems to capture the mood of the moment.
‘How often are citizens actively included in the decision-making? For Haringey, read those parts of Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee and every other vibrant city that attracts the developers’ eye’. Fay Young on the key urban question: how can people reclaim the city landscape?
The power of words was the theme for this year’s Holocaust Memorial Day. Gordon Munro reports on how Jewish poets/authors and others wrote about and recorded the (hidden) atrocities occurring in 1942 onwards and asks today’s governments to match fine words with the right deeds to prevent any repetition.
‘Revisiting the collection now, it carries a comforting message in a winter of rampaging flu, overcrowded hospitals, and political uncertainty about how to heal the health service. Love, life, birth and death – the great levellers. We are all ‘common, one of the flock’. (Happy new year!).’
This year’s Sceptical Scot poem for Christmas – so soon since the last one – is a poignantly, tenderly beautiful poem by Christine de Luca.
‘We need to recognise the bawdy sense of mischief that was common currency in the tradition before it was swept aside by the religious revival in the 19th century. In contrast to the shortbread tin image of Highland culture, this sheds vital light on the past and the present – as Mac Mhaighstir Alasdair would have it, breasts, pricks, warts and all’.