European Literature Night Edinburgh videos

More to come from the various and ambitious readings that took place across the city of Edinburgh on May 14th, but a good selection can be found here 

Including Colin Herd & I's launch of the collaboration poetry book celebrating the life of Oskar Kokoschka - Oberwildling. 

European Literature Night: Edinburgh – May 14th: the full whack

European Literature Night 2015 will be a unique evening of live contemporary literature in Edinburgh, with over 30 poets performing at five events, from a dozen European nations, all on one night.

Part of the continent-wide European Literature Night program, held in 75 cities during mid-May, and supported by the Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature trust, our program brings together some of the most forceful European avant-garde, literary and sound poets, to share their work, to read alongside and to collaborate with a swathe of Edinburgh’s equally brilliant poetry scene.

Four simultaneous events take place in the early evening of Thursday May 14th, around 6pm, with solo readings, before all poets and audiences will congregate at Summerhall for the epic finale of the night, with 11 pairs of poets presenting brand new Camarade collaborations, starting around 8pm

Every event is free of charge, so join us at The Fruitmarket Gallery, The Saltire Society, The Sutton Gallery and The Forest before seeing the night in at Summerhall, with poets from France, Spain, Iceland, Austria, Germany, Sweden and of course, Scotland. 

European Literature Camarade! Summerhall - 8pm doors for an 8.30pm start - Free entry. In the Demonstration room 

Following the amazing success of the Auld Enemies project in Summerhall in 2014, we return to the Demonstration room for the grand finale of this ambitious evening. Brand new collaborative work will be presented by pairs of poets from across the continent. Featuring:

Colin Herd & Iain Morrison
Ryan Van Winkle & Calum Rodger
Graeme Smith & Andres Anwandter
nick-e melville & Anne Laure Coxam
Valgerður Þórodds & Katy Hastie
Esther Strauss & Ann Cotten
SJ Fowler & Jorg Piringer
Max Hofler & Robert Herbert McClean
Eduard Escoffet & Martin Bakero

JL Williams & Jessica Johannesson Gaitán 

The Saltire Society Caesura on Sound poetry: supported by the Scottish Poetry Library
6pm - Free Entry Enjoy some of Europe's most dynamic and pioneering sound poets, coming together for one night to present their innovative musique concrete, from Paris, Barcelona and Vienna. Featuring Eduard Escoffet (Barcelona), Martin Bakero (Paris) Jorg Piringer (Vienna) & curated by Graeme Smith (Edinburgh) as part of the Caesura series. 

The Sutton gallery on 20th century art:
6pm - Free entry Join us for performance art from Esther Strauss (Vienna), readings from Tomasz Mielcarek (Poland), Robert Herbert McClean (Belfast), and the launch of Colin Herd & SJ Fowler's collaborative book Oberwildling: on the life of Oskar Kokoscka, published by the Austrian Cultural Forum all in the environs of one of Edinburgh's most beautiful galleries.

The Fruitmarket Gallery on Possibilities of the Object:
6pm - Free entry 
At one of Edinburgh's cultural hubs, The Fruitmarket Gallery, hear readings from Valgerður Þórodds (Reykjavik), Max Hofler (Graz), nick-e melville (Edinburgh), Jean-François Krebs (Paris/Edinburgh) and Iain Morrison (Edinburgh), all responding to the exhibition on display. 

The Forest Café on Activism / Craftivism
6pm - Free entry At an Edinburgh staple, join Ryan Van Winkle and other Scottish poets, alongside Austrian Ann Cotten, for readings on the theme of activism. Featuring Thomas MacColl, Ed Smith, Rachel McCrum & Ryan Van Winkle (Edinburgh), Katy Hastie & Calum Rodger (Glasgow) & Ann Cotten (Berlin) 

European Literature Night is supported by Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature Trust, the Austrian Cultural Forum, the Polish Cultural Institute, the Scottish Poetry Library & many others.

Poetry at Little Sparta - May 15th 2015 

"Set in the Pentland Hills near Edinburgh, Little Sparta is Ian Hamilton Finlay’s greatest work of art. Imbued with a high idea content, the garden is created from the artistic fusion of poetic and sculptural elements with those of the natural landscape which is shaped and changed to become an inherent part of the concepts realised at Little Sparta.” 

The day following European Literature Night, we will be presenting this unique poetry event at Little Sparta. The performances will begin at 2.30pm and finish 4.30pm, taking the form of a series of short readings given as a tour of the gardens. This will be a unique mini-festival poetry celebration of one of the most extraordinary landscapes in Britain with an amazing array of contemporary European poets.

Readings & acoustic sound performances from Andres Andwandtner, Martin Bakero, Eduard Escoffet, Graeme Smith, Calum Rodger, Ryan Van Winkle, SJ Fowler, Colin Herd, Iain Morrison, Esther Strauss, Katy Hastie, Robert Herbert McClean, nick-e melville, Valgerður Þórodds & more.

Please note entrance to the garden is £10 and if you can't make your own way, you can join the poets on a pre-booked coach to the location by emailing me at The coach will meet at 1pm in Edinburgh city centre, at Waterloo place, and depart Little Sparta at 5pm. All are welcome. Thanks to the Little Sparta Trust, Calum Gardner & Graeme Smith.

Auld Enemies diary - Edinburgh

The Auld Enemies project is quite obviously an experiment. We put a lot of time into making sure it was as well organised as it could be, that the pairs of poets we asked to collaborate were carefully matched, for or against each other, and that the venues and local poetry communities we asked to partner us were the right people to approach. Yet, after this event in Edinburgh, it became clear to me we needed a moment when it became obvious the whole thing was a good idea and that the experiment had been a success. It came at Summerhall, with a night so good, so full of brilliant new work, so full of openness and intensity and energy, a night that brought together a whole community, that I really felt if it had ended there, in Edinburgh, three nights in, it all was worthwhile. The Demonstration room was absolutely full to capacity, with people sitting in the aisles and standing, and the 22 poets in 11 pairs all used the rawness of the idea to bring genuinely exciting work, and poetry and performance that really showed the variance of responses to the open criteria. After the event, many said to me it was the best evening of poetry they'd ever been to, and it was undoubtedly one of the finest events I've ever put on. Already a creative crescendo for Auld Enemies, nights like this make you think of doing it all again. 
Auld Enemies Edinburgh:
Ryan Van Winkle & William Letford
JL Williams & J.Johanneson Gaitan
SJ Fowler & Ross Sutherland
nick-e melville & Jane Goldman
MacGillivray & Andrew Blair
Mike Saunders & Karen Veitch
Rob McKenzie & Janette Ayachi
Colin Herd & Iain Morrison

the Hidden Door festival

Another very special time in Edinburgh. The Hidden door festival was an extraordinary undertaking, clear from the outset that it was entirely community based, built on people's sweat. Yet unlike so many things that emerge from this kind of DIY spirit, it was amazingly put together - well organised, beautiful to look at with some fantastic artwork, performances and installations, and vitally, it provided remarkable audiences. Both the walking tour and camarade event were concepts, imported in, that I had no way of controlling in that environment, so I had no idea how it would play out: it couldn't have fitted better. The poets were uniformly excellent, a wide range of tonalities and poetries on display, with a lean towards the energetic and intense, and funny, and the atmosphere was welcoming and as communal as the festival itself. For me it was lovely to idealise a city I don't live in, and need not experience the downside of, through the hospitality of the unusually innovative and original poets who inhabit it. So good to see old friends amidst making new ones, and for an event this like, a little bit special for all who witnessed and were part of it.
Colin Herd & Iain Morrison
Graeme Smith & Anthony Autumn
Daisy Lafarge & Anne Laure Coxam
JL Williams & MacGillivray
Greg Thomas & Lila Matsumoto
Ryan Van Winkle & Sarah Kelly
nick-e melville & Ross Sutherland

& the Walking tour in the vaults themselves.

Hidden Door Camarade in Edinburgh

Last year I had the chance to curate travelling Camarade events in Bristol and Manchester, at the Arnolfini and the Cornerhouse, and it was apparent of all the poetry event formats I've tried, this is the one that seems to work almost anywhere. The normal structure is 12 to 20 poets, in pairs, writing original works of around 5 to 10 minutes. Well now, this year, I have the chance to put a Camarade on in Edinburgh, my favourite city outside of London in the UK. There are so many amazing poets in Edinburgh, genuinely original and innovative in their stance, and welcoming too, I had such a good time doing Caesura last year. Moreover, Ryan Van Winkle, Colin Herd, nick-e melville, Ross Sutherland, Billy Letford and I got funding from Creative Scotland this year to do the Auld Enemies tour, which is a like a mini rolling tour camarade, so all these things have flowed together. The Hidden Door festival will host the event, on March 29th, and their program is a really exciting and ambitious list of art installations in the unused vaults of Edinburgh town centre, alongside music and performance. And us. Here is the final list of the 18 poets Ive roped in to do the Hidden Door:

Ross Sutherland & nick-e melville
Samantha Walton & Jow Lindsay
Daisy Grove Lafarge & Anne Laure Coxam
Kirsten MacGillivray & JL Williams
Tom Jenks & SJ Fowler
Lila Matsumoto & Greg Thomas
Ryan Van Winkle & Sarah Kelly
Colin Herd & Iain Morrison
Graeme Smith & Anthony Autumn

& here, a sneak peek from Colin & Iain, setting the tone heavy hard to follow

The Hidden Door Festival - a worthwhile Crowdfunding project

A genuinely worthy cause for Crowdfunding, the Hidden Door arts fest is looking to achieve a variety of things, and close to my heart, they are looking to bring together edgecutting work from differents artforms to intermingle and utilise space that is integral to community and place. It'll happen this late March in fact. They will inhabit the abandoned vaults in the centre of the city of Edinburgh and have over 100 artists and musicians performing, exhibiting, and for a specially commissioned Camarade, reading with 20 poets Ive got the pleasure of placing in pairs to read original works they've written. Some amazing poets involved, Samantha Walton, nick-e melville, Ryan Van Winkle, Lila Matsumoto, Ross Sutherland, Tom Jenks, Jow Lindsay, Greg Thomas, Graeme Smith and loads more. Do visit the site, watch David Martin's vid and give a little of cash if you're inclined to. for information and regular updates