What a fabulous end to 2013, at the SWC! Thanks to the audience and performers who made Tuesday night so special.
First, Ingrid Lees read her stark and poignant poems, recollecting the freezing Berlin of 1945. Next, Catriona Lexy Campbell treated us to some first rate Gaelic poems, on topics such as island life and the creation myths of various cultures (including a Chinese image of stars as a bridge of birds between two lovers, and the African idea that the stars are holes in the dark through which the dead are watching us).
Then, Colette Coen gave us her intriguing short story: The Empty Pillowcase (told through the eyes of a child and hinting darkly at a near-miss festive calamity that threatens her world). Mary Thomson proceeded to offer excellent poems, including a Glasgow No.18 bus re-imagined as Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. Afterwards, L. A. Traynor (Lesley McKay) delivered the wonderfully titled In the Dreich Midwinter, and a topical tribute to Nelson Mandela.
Alison Lang subsequently brought Gaelic back to centre stage, with an extract from her first novel (due out next year) and her first published poem in English (she has been published in Gaelic for ten years). Frances Corr delivered five very beautiful poems, including a farewell to houses sabotaged by the Bedroom Tax. Then, John McGlade produced a spectacular performance of his hilarious short story, The Art of Peace (in which the much-abused statue of Wellington, from outside Glasgow’s Gallery of Modern Art, arrives at somebody’s door in the middle of the night to demand an apology for this continuous abuse by traffic-cone wielding guerrilla artists).
Barbara Brown recited five poems (The Dry Stane Dyke, Home, The Fishmonger, A Bedtime Story, and The Security Light) followed by Wullie Purcell’s partially musical performance of poems inspired by Scotland’s herring fishing industry. His rant about adverts and a touching reflection on Alzheimer’s were also memorable. SWC regular G. W. Colkitto (George Walker) proffered his usual, sterling routine, which included Xmas Death Poems (better than it sounds!).
Finally, Derek Parkes astounded us all with a series of impromptu impersonations and a rather humorous piece by Dylan Thomas, before Douglas Thompson brought matters to a close with three love poems (as befits the season of goodwill to men and women).
The party continued in the bar downstairs…
See you all in 2014!