Thursday, February 28, 2008

Jim Carruth Launch

Yesterday evening, I was at the Scottish Poetry Library where Jim Carruth was launching two new chapbooks, Baxter’s Old Ram Sings the Blues, and Cowpit Yowe.

The former is a fable for our times. – not the most fashionable approach, but it’s good and is illustrated really well too. The latter contains mainly concrete poetry, but concrete poetry which attempts not just to do tricks with words and design, but to make a connection with readers. I’ve only had a chance to glance through it, and what I’ve read was excellent stuff. Jim was entertaining and read his poems very well.

After the reading, I ran into Alan Gillis, whose collection, Hawks and Doves, made the shortlist for this year’s TS Eliot Prize (you can hear poems read by the nominess at the link). I was impressed that when I asked him, without any introduction, if he’d come and read at the Great Grog Bar in 2009, he didn’t ask, “Who are you?” or “What kind of venue is it?” or anything like that – rather, an immediate ‘yes’. So there’s another thing to look forward to…


Cailleach said...

Alan Gillis is a pretty cool dude. I missed his reading in Belfast by a hair's breadth and I'm still kicking myself. Hawks and Doves is a pretty rollicking collection!

Andrew Shields said...

I think you pointed me toward Gillis's book. Some really good stuff in that!