March? MARCH? ALREADY?!
Safe to say this month crept up on me. March seems to be a particularly busy time for lovely book events. Everyone is bouncing about like new lambs in the Spring sunshine/rain/hail, looking for an excuse to avoid staying in and doing the Spring cleaning as debuting authors begin to bloom like daffodils.
Whatever the reason, here are some of the events we feel you shouldn’t miss this month. Here are the literary events for March.
5 – 9 March, various venues, St Andrews
The StAnza Festival is easily one of the best poetry festivals happening in the UK right now. Set in the beautiful town of St Andrews, the festival will take place in various venues, including the Byres Theatre. With one of this year’s themes being Words Under Fire, you can expect sparks to fly in the poetry slam and some smouldering performances from the best poets in the country. There will be performances, talks, poetry-inspired exhibits, slams and readings from the wonderful Carol Ann Duffy, John Burnside, Louis de Bernières, Michael Pederson and Rally & Broad to name but a very small few.
It’s a great excuse to head to get out of the city for a weekend and soak up some wonderful creativity (and hopefully some sun!).
6 March, 7:30pm, The Counting House, Edinburgh, free
Perhaps the event I’m most excited about this month – Fledgling Press bring together seven of the best current Scottish writers for a fabulous night of story telling, poetry and general creative shenanigans. The line-up is particularly fabulous crème de le crème of Scottish literature: Vicki Jarrett, Alan Bissett, Rachel McCrum, Graham Fulton, Allan Wilson, Dickson Telfer and Samuel Best. All these writers for FREE? Surely there must be a catch!
8 March, 4pm, GWL, Glasgow, free
To celebrate International Women’s Day, Glasgow Women’s Library are releasing their wonderful 21 Revolutions on 8 March. 21 women writers and 21 women artists have come together to create a remarkable collection inspired by wonderful archives and pieces that the Library has been collecting for twenty years.
Co-published with Freight Books and showcasing some of the front-running Scottish writers such as Louise Welsh, Janice Galloway and Zoe Strachan, it is guaranteed to be a wonderful afternoon celebrating women and this extraordinary piece of work.
11 March, Scottish Storytelling Centre, Edinburgh, £6
Another amazing line-up for Speakeasy with fantastic guest host Miko Berry trying to bring the guests to some sort of order. Doug Johnstone will be in full flow (guitar and all) joined onstage by author and Herald columnist Julia McDowall, Rally & Broad’s extraordinary Rachel McCrum and comedian Jojo Sutherland packing in the laughs.
For £6 this night is always a steal and a belter – a pick’n’mix of poetry, prose, music and comedy that is a fantastic regular in Edinburgh.
23 March, 6pm, Waterstones Argyle Street, Glasgow, free
“A hybrid of steam punk, retro romanticism and queer fiction”
Girls with antlers, boys with tiger tails, clockwork hearts and circus islands… Kirsty Logan’s short story collection, The Rental Heart, is celebrating its launch in Waterstones this month.
The collection has been a long time coming for the award-winning writer and List editor – already a well-known name on the Scottish literature scene, Logan’s fans will be climbing the bookshelves to get a copy.
Chaired by the lovely Peggy Hughes, lovers of fairytales and wine gather round as we listen to stories that don’t always end happily ever after…
27 March, 6pm, Waterstones Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow, free
A book I’ve been watching for with keen eyes is Samuel Best’s Shop Front. Most Scottish debuts are cause for great excitement, but Shop Front is one of those stories that this generation of graduates can really relate to.
Graduate Ben comes straight from university and back into his parents’ house, complete with shelf-stacking job at a local supermarket. There he makes a new group of friends, leading him to heavy drinking, violent fights and testing the limits of their small-town boundaries, all the while heading down some even darker paths.
Like all good book launches there will be wine and familiar faces to celebrate this eagerly awaited debut. Best’s hard work and dedication is no doubt about to pay off!
Photograph of Kirsty Logan by Neil Thomas Douglas