Monday, 29 April 2013

I'm going to be Poet in Residence at Logan Botanic Garden!

Yes!  At last I'm allowed to shout about it!  I'm so honoured to be joining Gerry Loose, Mandy Haggith and Sue Butler as one of the four poets selected for the brilliant new project Walking With Poets, a partnership between the Scottish Poetry Library, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh and Cove Park..  Each of us will have a month long writing and walking residency at our assigned Scottish Botanic garden, as well as a fortnight’s residency later on at Cove Park.

This fantastic opportunity has come about through the first aim of the Scottish Poetry Library: 'bringing people and poems together', and most appropriately, etched into the flagstone at the entrance to the Library,  Patrick Geddes's words 'by leaves we live'.

We will each work from an iPad (and yes, this is also rather exciting for me) for the duration of our residency, with which to contribute regularly to an online blog Walking With Poets, with photographs, poems and observations from the garden. We'll run writing workshops and guided walks for various age groups during our stay in the garden, providing endless opportunity for sharing the wonders of these extraordinary places with the people who come along.

From the start I've been madly obsessed with Logan Botanic Garden.  After 12 years living in Dumfries and Galloway I know it fairly well, and have always loved visiting it.  Because it's so strange - an exotic garden in the warm Gulf Stream, perched on the long, thin, green peninsula of the Rhins, at the very edge of Scotland, lapped by the seas.
And inside it, those palm trees sheltered by tall, dusty walls, which are all that remain of the old castle of Balzieland, said to have burned down at the end of the fifteenth century.

At the thought of waking up there, early on an August morning, my fingers itch for a notebook.

1 comment:

  1. “Women’s Lib Under the Rising Sun”

    by Giuseppi Martino Buonaiuto

    You might think that Women’s Lib in
    Japan began due to the flood of
    Western thinking reaching
    Its isolated shores after
    The so-called Meiji Restoration in 1868.
    But you’d be wrong.
    Think about it: American and European girls
    Were not exactly burning their bras
    In the late nineteenth century.
    What deluge of Western thinking & influence?

    It was in the aftermath
    Of World War II that
    Real changes to the status of
    Japanese women began.
    Most of the young & middle-aged
    Husbands & fathers were dead.
    Their cities were garrisoned,
    By tall Caucasian-Americans,
    Calling the shots.
    Nip local honey
    Trading their tight twats
    For PX ration cards,
    Chocolate & cigarettes, or
    “B-Yen” military scrip,
    That funny money
    Issued to American Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen.
    Why would we still honor
    Japanese males?
    You lost the war, Samurai Sam.
    It’s your fault your
    Wives and mothers,
    Your Geishas & Mama-sans,
    Are all whores for the
    Gaijin (外人?, [ɡaidʑiɴ]) Conquerors!
    Your daughters literally nipped in the bud.
    General MacArthur’s mandate—
    That new Japanese constitution of 1946--
    Stipulating equality between the sexes.
    Japanese women unleashed.
    Godzilla in the Ginza: Amok.