Kevin Williamson

This article is from 2008

Writing poetry on the run

‘Rebel Inc involved a lot of chaos and a lot of confusion,’ says Kevin Williamson, founder of the one-time cult Edinburgh imprint. ‘And I can tell you that my days as a publisher are definitely over. I gave it all I could for ten years and wouldn’t go back into it now, but I can look back over each of those 60 books and still recommend every one. They stand the test of time.’

Rebel Inc was variously a literary magazine, a publisher of authors such as Irvine Welsh and Alan Warner, and ‘a glorious failure’ of a cannabis coffee shop. Since the Rebel Inc banner was taken down in 2001, Williamson has been indulging his own creativity. Tired of prose after editing other people’s for so long, he writes non-fiction and recently released In a Room Darkened, his first book of poetry and his second book after the non-fiction Drugs and the Party Line a decade ago.

‘It’s taken me 15 years to write this,’ he says. ‘I’ve been writing poetry since 1992, so this work runs in parallel with everything else I’ve done. I like to experiment with style – there are concrete poems and cut-ups in there – but also find a lot about the people and places of Edinburgh and the Highlands creeping in. The longest poem in the book is called ‘Requiem for La Belle Angele’, named after the Edinburgh club which burnt down, and it’s about my recollections of the 1990s’.

When questioned about his working methods, Williamson says he likes to write ‘on the run’. So no change from the old days there.

14 Aug (with George Gunn), 7.30pm, £6 (£4)

Kevin Williamson

The founder of the now-defunct cult Edinburgh imprint Rebel Inc continues to live a life 'on the run' with the publication of his poetry collection 'In a Room Darkened'. He shares an event with George Gunn. 'Part of the Edinburgh International Book Festival'.