I went yesterday evening to the inaugural meeting of the UK Poetry Society’s Edinburgh ‘Stanza.’ The idea is that members of the Poetry Society meet together once every month or two and such meetings take place locally up and down the country. I wasn’t sure what these meetings were supposed to do, other than bring people who like poetry together, and went along out of curiosity.
It was a good evening. Valerie Gillies, Edinburgh’s “Makar” (a Scottish version of city area poet laureate), was there reading a few new poems and talking about her work. Then we discussed the future of the group, what could be done that wasn’t already being done by other groups. It will be interesting to see how things develop. Options (not mutually exclusive) include asking well-known poets to come along to read their poems and appraise members’ poems, holding discussions about poets and poetic themes, exploring ways of getting poetry more into the public eye, and hosting short readings by members.
Colin Will and Alan Gay were both there, but it was also good to meet poets and readers who were not otherwise connected with the east of Scotland poetry ‘scene.’