Stoney declared “poetry capital”

Stonehaven Community Centre
Stonehaven Community Centre

Six of Scotland’s most talented poets will share the stage in Stonehaven for “the best wee poetry reading in the country” on Friday, September 25.

Organisers say they want to build a new audience for poetry, and emphasise: “It doesn’t matter who you are – oil worker, nurse, librarian, six-former or pensioner, punk, rap or Val Doonican fan – we want you there.”

The event, at Stonehaven Community Centre from 7pm-9.45pm, will coincide with the launch of Issue 2 of The Poets’ Republic magazine, which features new work from world-famous writers such as Brian Patten to acclaimed Scottish poets Hugh McMillan and Beth McDonough, and many others.

Duncan Lockerbie, co-founder of the Aberdeenshire-based magazine which is hosting the event, said: “We’ve decided to declare Stoney the poetry capital of Scotland. And why not? It’s the wee town that thinks big.

“What we’d say is come along and you might be surprised. We hope you’ll love it and be shouting for more by the end of the night. And if you are, that’s great, because we want to make this a regular event.

“We’ve got a great firing line of some of the best poets in Scotland – all in one room – and that means poetry that is witty, punchy, moving and has plenty to say about what’s going on in the world.

“What’s more, it’s free – and you can bring a bottle – it’s Friday night, after all, and this is a friendly, sociable event.”

Headline readers include the celebrated Galloway poet Hugh McMillan, writer-in-residence at Dundee Contemporary Arts Beth McDonough, Judith Taylor from Aberdeen, Ross Wilson from Edinburgh, Peter Burnett from Edinburgh and the magazine’s new Gaelic poetry editor Marcas Mac an Tuairneir.

There will also be plenty of ‘open mic’ slots for those who wish to read their own work.

The event is the second The Poets’ Republic has staged in Stonehaven and follows the success of the magazine’s ‘Opening Shots’ event on July 24 to mark the launch of Issue 1.

The biannual magazine, founded by Mr Lockerbie and Stonehaven-based poet Neil Young, was set up to champion poetry that is “irreverent, provocative and alive to great public debates – such as food banks, war, or independence – and shuns the insular or obscure”.