On Tuesday 9th May 2017, the SWC were joined by ten extraordinary writers who came together to produce their eponymous book Ten Writers Telling Lies. Stephen Watt started the night off by explaining the project to the audience, stating that the group is a collective of ten writers who have written either short stories or pieces of poetry to correlate to the songs produced by musician Jim Byrne and friends. In other words, their aim for the project was to interweave music and literature in a single text.
Stephen was first to read, starting off with his Valentine’s Day-inspired poem ‘City Break’, which explores the inevitable heartache that comes with losing the one you love. It goes without saying that Stephen pulled at the audience’s heartstrings as he narrated “Love’s old dream split away”, “Emerald’s heart split in 2, 3, 4”. And if those genuine sentiments of love weren’t enough to break your heart, then the musical stylings of Jim Byrne and his team would surely be sufficient. Following with the heartfelt ‘Songs For You’, this was a song which delved into themes of friendship and love, whilst also providing some beautiful lines of poetry – most notably with the song’s finishing lines, ‘don’t worry, you will dance again.’
Next was Pat Byrne’s reading of a very personal, tragic story – one which vividly detailed every moment of a heartrending funeral service, from the fact of her sister’s late flight to her short stay in a café, to her morbid contemplation of who will be next. Following Pat was another musical performance, linking perfectly to Pat’s moving tale, which centred on the same ideal of loss and grief.
Up next, was Polly Lynch and her poem which also celebrated the ordeals of love; the “up and down kind of love” she mentions in her work, which interwove seamlessly with Jim’s song ‘All This I Will Learn From A Kiss’, which contains such emotive lyrics as “I will be your heart. I will catch your breath. And all this I will learn from a kiss”.
After a few more fantastic performances from both writers and musicians alike, the writers finally declared that they were hiding behind lies. These lies, however, are a matter of interpretation – lies can symbolise fiction and fiction is, of course, conjured out of our own creativity.
The writers were also kind enough to answer questions from the audience and offer advice on the whole writing process. It evidently goes without saying that the writers have one thing in common: the telling of lies. Otherwise, writers are vastly different in approach: some write in the morning, some in the afternoon and others at night. Some writers merely write as they gain inspiration from a particular somewhere or something; other writers make sure to pour all their thoughts onto the page in one massive, tangible effort. Others confessed to writing as a form of procrastination, although we won’t reveal who said what…
As ever, this fantastic night was a huge success: packed with immense talent and an inspiring marriage of music and literature, it truly made for a thoroughly entertaining night for all of the audience.
Words by Simran Aulakh