Edinburgh International Book Fest 2011: 5 poetry picks

Featuring Michael Longley, Robin Robertson, Czeslaw Milosz, Wendy Cope and John Burnside

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This article is from 2011.

Edinburgh International Book Fest 2011: 5 poetry picks

Michael Longley

Michael Longley

One of the most decorated verse-conjurors at this year’s festival, the Belfast-born writer has the TS Eliot Poetry Prize, a Whitbread and the Hawthornden Prize under his belt as well as being the proud recipient of the 2001 Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry. Should you wish to do a bit of boning up before his appearance, among his celebrated collections are Fishing the Sky, The Ghost Orchid and The Weather in Japan.
18 Aug, 10.15am, £10 (£8).

Robin Robertson

The acclaimed editor of James Kelman, AL Kennedy and Irvine Welsh, RR is a feted poet in his own right. We described his last collection, The Wrecking Light as ‘compelling’, ‘startling’ and having ‘a strongly developed sense of the domestic’.
20 Aug, 10.15am, £10 (£8).

Czeslaw Milosz

This year marks the centenary of the birth of Poland’s legendary poet and in a trio of events, the likes of critic Michel Pawel Markowski, philosopher John Gray and the Scottish Poetry Library pay tribute to his genius and legacy.
18 Aug, noon, 3.30pm; 23 Aug, 1.30pm, £10 (£8).

Wendy Cope

The witty poet was in fine form with her most recent collection Family Values which mixes the gently serious with the mildly caustic featuring some light trumpeting of universal emotions.
22 Aug, 7pm, £10 (£8).

John Burnside

In 2006, the multi-disciplinary scribe gave us his Collected Poems, a beautiful set which showcased his gift as a chronicler of the natural, human and mystical worlds.
17 Aug, 10.15am, £10 (£8).

This article is from 2011.

Czeslaw Milosz and Totalitarianism

Czeslaw Milosz's seminal book of essays, The Captive Mind, was written in 1951, when Stalin continued to enjoy a reputation among intellectuals in Paris as a ruler of unimpeachable wisdom and virtue. The work provided a respectful, modest, yet devastating anti-Stalin polemic. In the year in which Milosz would have…

Czeslaw Milosz the Poet

Awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1980, Czeslaw Milosz was unquestionably one of the most important poets of our times. In this event celebrating Milosz’s centenary, three leading contemporary writers ask what it was about his work that gave it such power. The man regularly cited as Milosz's successor to the crown…

John Burnside

Dunfermline-born poet and novelist John Burnside won the TS Eliot Award and the Forward Prize in 2012 for his collection Black Cat Bone.

Michael Longley

This Belfast boy has won just about every award in poetry that’s worth scooping. The Whitbread and T S Eliot prizes have spent time in his trophy cabinet and last year he was awarded an MBE. A Hundred Doors is the first collection in seven years from this ‘ecological’ poet and features the oldest Byzantine church in…

Robin Robertson

Passionate, honest and remorseless, Robertson's poems capture a deep identification with the Scottish landscape, while also betraying a sense of alienation and sometimes desperation. He tells macabre stories of jealousy and murder; of mythology and decay, always with a forlorn intensity that has the hairs on the back of…

Wendy Cope

Cope gives it to us straight with verse about religion, childhood and death, all imbued with her trademark wit and honesty.

Edinburgh International Book Festival

The world’s largest public celebration of the written word takes place in the first UNESCO City of Literature in the beautiful Charlotte Square Gardens. As well as leading Scottish and international authors, the varied programme always manages to cover poets, politicians, historians, journalists and children's authors…

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