A note on: Reading at London Literature Festival, Southbank Centre for Moby Dick Live

Great to read one of my favourite chapters of Moby Dick, a book I revisited and closely read just a year ago when meeting Philip Hoare, chapter 110 Queeqeg's Coffin, as part of Southbank Centre's Moby Dick Live event, where the entire novel was read out loud in ten minute chunks for four days for the London Literature Festival. http://www.southbankcentre.co.uk/whatson/moby-dick-unabridged-1001129

You can read the chapter in question here: http://etc.usf.edu/lit2go/42/moby-dick/791/chapter-110-queequeg-in-his-coffin/and it is well worth doing so. I managed to cut together the audio of my reading with images from illustrations of Moby Dick, which can be seen above.

"An awe that cannot be named would steal over you as you sat by the side of this waning savage, and saw as strange things in his face, as any beheld who were bystanders when Zoroaster died. For whatever is truly wondrous and fearful in man, never yet was put into words or books. And the drawing near of Death, which alike levels all, alike impresses all with a last revelation, which only an author from the dead could adequately tell. So that- let us say it again- no dying Chaldee or Greek had higher and holier thoughts than those, whose mysterious shades you saw creeping over the face of poor Queequeg, as he quietly lay in his swaying hammock, and the rolling sea seemed gently rocking him to his final rest, and the ocean’s invisible flood-tide lifted him higher and higher towards his destined heaven." 

the Auld Fold! 1st publication of 2015

As part of Kathrine Sowerby's beautiful Four Fold publication series, five of the core touring poets also produced this collaborative poem that was published in January 2015 as the Auld Fold, featuring nick-e melville, Colin Herd, Ryan Van Winkle, Ross Sutherland and SJ Fowler. https://fourdotfold.wordpress.com/

Auld Enemies diary - Kirkwall

After a day of exploring the sights of the Shetland mainland we boarded another ferry south, much more comfortable a journey this time, to Kirkwall in Orkney. We stayed in more wonderfully comfy B&Bs and I went on a night walk just after arriving late, taking in the pedestrian town centre and the awesome St Magnus Cathedral. We met Ross' friend Amy Liptrot, a brilliant writer who is from and has lived on the island for the last few years after being in London and Edinburgh. To have someone show such generosity in showing us the epic stones of Brodcar, the archaeological dig nearby and a trip up to the Kitchener monument and the nearby Puffin cliffs, places we never would have got to in one day by ourselves, carless, really transformed the experience of the place. An amazing beauty the island possesses was given context by Amy and her knowledge and her experience of the place, her closeness to it. We caught her just before she was apart to depart too. The reading itself was another intimate and pleasant affair, the very generous Pam Beasant hosting and contributing, and we did a round robin reading of sorts, with only 4 of us remaining. After departing the library we all flopped into a local chinese, that looked like a shipping container with a sign, and reflected on a really brilliant, unexpectedly touching, week or so on tour together. Sad to see it come to a close in Scotland, we said our goodbyes that night. 

Auld Enemies Kirkwall
nick-e melville & Colin Herd & Ross Sutherland & I https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QkVfrWtSLMQ
Rosie Alexander & Rosemary Merriman https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2C0NqXaSLHI
Pam Beasant & Lydia Harris https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FjKp7E7aXXg

Auld Enemies diary - Lerwick

We got the ferry from Aberdeen overnight to Lerwick, on the auld Northlink. Scots drinking like Vikings as we swanned in the Magnus lounge watching the world cup final. It was a singular experience, something intense and enjoyable, if occasionally stressful, about sea travel. We laughed a lot, the spirit of the tour has been defined by a real closeness, more than I could've imagined, that has been expressed through dark, biting humour. Colin and nick-e are extraordinarily dry. Most of us had cabin bunks, I could hear the sea and the engine as I scratched out a few hours sleep. We docked in Lerwick and then headed to our venue, the Mareel, an amazingly modern and beautiful arts centre, very plush. 

At this point nick-e got really ill and we had quite unforgettable drama at how serious this was and felt and could've been. Again a powerful realisation of how big this experience is, how close to so many important things, like friendship through creativity, going out of your comfort zone etc... nick-e stayed in overnight at hospital and missed the reading, which felt an afternote to me, of course, but was really well received and enjoyable and friendly. Ross was amazing on the night, lifted everyone up with his positive energy and indomitable professionalism, and Ryan and Colin too showed out just how resilient and genuine they are. The local poets were really talented, different to us, but all the more welcome to that, and the island felt like another world, as much for the way we arrived and experienced our first hours, as it's unique character.
Auld Enemies Lerwick
Ross Sutherland & Ryan Van Winkle https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HIz_GmfchMk
Nat Hall & James Sinclair https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fVrGiJIVErQ
Colin Herd & I https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rv_o3xH7yUE
Laurajayne Friedlander https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7_uFxkRzZy0
Donald Murray https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WoL4oheG8vU

Auld Enemies: July 9th - 26th

7 locales : over 40 poets : a national tour of Scotland
& brand new innovative poetic collaborations : a Scottish Enemies project http://weareenemies.com/auldenemies.html

The Enemies project: Auld Enemies is a transnational poetry collaboration where six poets will work in rolling pairs to produce original works for readings across the breadth of Scotland. Each event will also feature numerous pairs of writers from the region, who will be presenting brand new poetry collaborations as well. Auld Enemies is a groundbreaking exploration of contemporary Scottish poetics through the potential of collaboration.

Auld Enemies will commence with a six date tour of Scotland, taking in Dundee, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Lerwick in the Shetlands and finishing with Kirkwall in the Orkneys. It will conclude with an event in London, at the Rich Mix Arts Centre, on July 26th, which will feature many of the new works from the tour, new collaborations and a documentary screening about Auld Enemies.

Auld Enemies is fundamentally about the creation of new collaborative works and the integration of differing poetic communities, and has only been possible through the generosity of a series of organisational partners, first and foremost Creative Scotland, but also the Scottish Poetry Library, Literary Dundee, Summerhall, Shetland Arts, the Orkney Islands Council and Northlink Ferries.

Please find below the schedule and the poet's involved, and if possible, do spread the word, and attend all and any of the events you can:

July 9th - Dundee - 6pm
Duncan of Jordanstone (studio & foyer space) University Of Dundee, Perth Rd, Dundee DD1 4HT (with thanks to Peggy Hughes)

Billy Letford & nick-e melville / Ryan Van Winkle & SJ Fowler / Colin Herd & Ross Sutherland
plus AZ Jackson & Lindsay MacGregor / James Stewart & Dawn Wood / Richard Watt & more
July 10th – Glasgow - 8pm
McChulls 40 High Street (http://mcchuills.co.uk/) (with thanks to Henry Bell)

Ross Sutherland & Ryan Van Winkle / Billy Letford & Colin Herd / nick-e melville & SJ Fowler
plus Thomas Betteridge & Neil Davidson / Katy Hastie, Antony Autumn, Iyad Hayatleh & more
July 11th - Edinburgh - 7pm
Summerhall -- Demonstration Room. 1 Summerhall EH9 1PL
 http://www.summerhall.co.uk/ (with thanks to Jen White)

Colin Herd & Iain Morrison / Billy Letford & Ryan Van Winkle / SJ Fowler & Ross Sutherland
nick-e melville & Jane Goldman / Dave Coates & Rachel McCrum / JL Williams & Elspeth Smith / Luke Allan & Graeme Smith / Karen Veitch & Mike Saunders / Ed Smith & Thomas MacColl / Rob McKenzie & more
July 12th - Aberdeen 7pm
Cellar 35, 35 Rosemount Viaduct (http://www.list.co.uk/place/21626-cellar-35/ (with thanks to Gerard Rochford & Richie Brown)

Billy Letford & SJ Fowler / Ryan Van Winkle & Colin Herd / Ross Sutherland & nicke melville
Gerard Rochford & Richie Brown / Maureen Ross & more
July 14th – Lerwick, The Shetland Islands- 7pm
At the http://www.mareel.org/ arts centre. ZE1 0WQ (with thanks to Donald Anderson)

Ross Sutherland & nick-e melville / Colin Herd & SJ Fowler / Ryan Van Winkle
Nat Hall & James Sinclair / Donald Murray /  Laurajayne Friedlander & more
July 17th - Kirkwall, The Orkney Islands - 7pm
Kirkwall Library -- 44 Junction Rd, Highlands and Islands, Kirkwall KW15 1AG -- https://www.facebook.com/orkneylibraryandarchive) (with thanks to Pam Beasant)

Ross Sutherland & SJ Fowler / Colin Herd & nick-e melville
Rosemary Merriman, Sylvia Hays, Rosie Alexander, Lydia Harris & more
July 26th - London - 7pm

Ross Sutherland / nick-e melville / Colin Herd / Ryan Van Winkle / SJ Fowler
Emily Berry & John Clegg / Tom Chivers & Roddy Lumsden
Nick Murray & Eley Williams / Vahni Capildeo & Jeremy Noel-Tod
Kirsty Irving & Harry Man / Daisy Lafarge & more

Nick-e Melville on 3am

Keeps getting better. Nick-e is an awesome force, powerful powerful authentic poet from Scotland, I've had him down a few times to read at Enemies / Maintenant stuff and you know when he's with you that the evening will be one in which something happens, internally or externally to those foolish / nice enough to show. His groundbreaking visual work is really his - that is it maintains a consistent sense of humour, of wit, of cutting satire, of sophistication but is so simple and immediate in its mode and style and realisation that it captures something really innate about the proximity of the culture it is lampooning and the place it has grown out of. Anyway, to have his work on 3am is really great, really represents what I'm trying to do with the editorship of the poetry part of the magazine. check it http://www.3ammagazine.com/3am/thought-experiment-31/