Northern Extravaganza was the first members-only event on Zoom.
For National Poetry Day we are sharing this film – for Scottish Writers’ Centre members only.
Recently-appointed co-Chair of the Scottish Writers’ Centre, Sheila Wakefield, introduces the on-line recording of the fantastic Roseanne Watt and Christie Williamson’s Northern Extravaganza.
I had the honour of being Project Manager for this event, having volunteered back in February, assuming it would take place at the Club Room at the CCA. Covid-19 struck not long afterwards and of course all live events had to be postponed. Here at the SWC, we didn’t rush to begin facilitating Zoom events, we wanted to take a little time in order to be able to deliver them professionally. We are very fortunate in having Mark Cunningham, a wizard with all things technical and a great Zoom Master who facilitated the event for us.
Christie Williamson lives in Glasgow where he runs Tell It Slant Books and is our Treasurer and recently-appointed co-Chair here at the Scottish Writers’ Centre and now also Co-Chair. Arc o Mons (Hansel Co-operative Press, 2010), his debut pamphlet, won the Callum Macdonald Memorial Award in 2010. His first full-length collection, Oo an Feddirs (2015) and his latest collection, Doors tae Naewye (2020) were both published by Luath Press. He comes fae Yell. He read a range of poems, beginning with a couple of poems from the anthology, These Islands, We Sing (ed.Kevin MacNeil, Birlinn, 2011) which also featured Roseanne so that was a warm way to welcome her to the event. Christie read his poem from Scotia Extremis (ed. Andy Jackson and Brian Johnstone, Luath Press, 2019), went on to read from his new collection and ended with new poems.
Roseanne Watt is a poet, filmmaker and musician from Shetland, She won the third Edwin Morgan Poetry Award in 2018 and her collection, Moder Dy (Polygon, 2019) was joint winner of the Highland Book Prize in 2019. She edited Best Scottish Poems 2019 for the Scottish Poetry Library, recently won the Eric Gregory and Somerset Maugham Awards and now lives in Edinburgh. Roseanne read from her collection and following that, we were very lucky to have both poets engage in a questions and answers session with our members posing dynamic questions via the ‘chat’ facility on Zoom.
There was lots of extremely positive feedback form the members on the night of the Northern Extravaganza event and via messages and emails in the days following. This first event via Zoom was highly successful and helped the Scottish Writers’ Centre schedule further events via Zoom. Please check our website for forthcoming events.