With festivals, finales and fantastic book launches, June looks ready to provide a diverse, exciting start to the summer. No matter what the weather, these writers, poets, artists and musicians are ready to brighten your day and bring the (metaphorical) sunshine!
Monday 2 June, 6pm, Tell It Slant, free
This is a gem of an event. Tell It Slant are hosting the launch of A Bird Is Not A Stone; an anthology in which groundbreaking Palestinian poetry has been translated into the languages of Scotland. The book features 25 Palestinian and Scottish writers, including the likes of Liz Lochhead, Kathleen Jamie and Alasdair Gray.
At the launch, Liz Lochhead, Alasdair Gray, Magi Gibson, Henry King and Ellen McAteer will be performing the originals and translations, promising to make the night an evening of appreciation for one’s culture, and those cultures that we are inspired by.
Thursday 5 June, 6:30pm, Blackwells, free
In his latest novel, Tony Black demonstrates his diverse writing talent in his magical The Last Tiger. Myko and his family find themselves outcasts in the harsh land of Tasmania, 1909. Strained by the secrets that have travelled with them, things become even tougher for Myko when his father is paid to become a tiger trapper, just when Myko discovers the last tiger’s den.
If you read one book this summer, make it this one. It’s a powerful, moving story: a perfect mix of history and fiction, with the interesting idea of an immigrant concerned with the survival of an endangered species. Intelligent, delivered in a beautiful sparse prose, Black has created an unexpected masterpiece that should be on everyone’s to-read list.
Friday 6 June, 8pm, Scottish Storytelling Centre, Edinburgh, £6
Illicit Ink are known for hosting some quirky theme nights and this has to be the best one yet.
Passing the Dame is a noir story, told in the way of the traditional vintage films and magazine serials. Tonight, the dame will be passed from writer to musician, to comedian to burlesque dancer, all the while unravelling her story until the mystery is solved.
It’s a brilliant concept of storytelling and promises to keep the audience on the edge of their seats.
Thursday 19 June, 6:30pm, Mono, Glasgow, free
Personally, I’ve been waiting for this book for a long time, as has half of the country. Anneliese Mackintosh has had numerous short stories published in anthologies (last year being included in the Best of British Short Stories) and it is nice to finally see a book of her very own full of her fabulous writing.
Any Other Mouth is a staggering debut – it’s rare to come across something so unique yet somehow unbelievably relatable. A dark, uproarious and often heartbreaking mix of tales and confessions, Any Other Mouth is a fantastic addition to your summer reading.
This lady is a dynamite performer. Come along and be wowed.
Friday 20 June, 7:30pm, The Counting House, Edinburgh, £5
It’s the season finale of Rally & Broad in Edinburgh, and what better way to end with the performance firework that is the incredible Liz Lochhead?
Joining her will be Glasgow boy Sam Small, Leo Condi And Band are back by popular demand, Harry Giles has some new work to delight the audience with, Lou Hickey will be bringing the vintage-pop sensation and there’s some brand new talent in the form of debut artist Michael Daviot.
It’s a feast of talent and will be the finale to end all finales (until next year of course…).
Achtung! Maybe! – Neu! Reekie! & EIFF
Friday 27 June, 7pm, Summerhall, Edinburgh, £8
Hailed by The Skinny as “Scotland’s favourite avant-garde niosemakers” this Neu! Reekie! sees the dynamic duo of Kevin Williamson and Michael Pederson team up with the Edinburgh International Book Festival to bring a feast for the eyes as well as the ears.
The highlight of the evening will be the screening of the previous winners of the EIFF’s McLaren Award for Best British Animation, which celebrates it’s 25th anniversary this year. From 1990 to this year’s winner, these animations represent the best of UK-based talent.
Throughout the night, there will also be some fantastic musicians in the form of The Sexual Objects, Found and Birdhead, with more acts still to be announced.
Summerhall is the place to be in Edinburgh; full of surprising and unique shows and talents, you should set up camp here until the end of September just to make sure you don’t miss anything!
Monday 30 June-3 August, Scotland
Finally, the end of the month sees the beginning of Yestival – a festival taking place all over Scotland to engage and inspire people with music, art, writing and performances. Supported by the likes of RM Hubbert, David Greig and Julie Fowlis, Yestival aims to empower Scottish communities to get involved in the debate in a friendly and creative environment, by visiting communities and cities throughout Scotland and celebrating the country’s culture.
To get involved by performing or volunteering, drop us an email to join the Summer of Independence. You can also donate to the crowdfunder here: