In the build up to Untitled Six Live event (in conjunction with The Grind), one of the promotional posters stated that there were 6 reasons why it was a good idea to buy a ticket. Just reading the poster made me burst with pride – I’d be sharing a stage with writers I admire AND raising money for charity!
No. 6 is even more significant after reading that there’s been a shocking increase in the number of teenagers turning to Falkirk Foodbank for help.
Apart from making a mess of my slot, my biggest fear was being star-struck. I’ve met Janice Galloway before, when she led a writing workshop and I’ve heard her speak several times but to be listed on the poster alongside a literary idol was Christmas come early for me. I’m glad to report I lived to tell the tale and was given a generous welcome on and off stage.
Of course, Janice was as captivating a performer as ever, reading from her evocative short story collection, Jellyfish but the other writers also blew the crowd away.
Being back in his home-town, the audience loved Alan Bissett in the role of ‘Moira’ and his reading of old poems from Falkirk’s archives. A rising star on the spoken word scene is another local, poet John Kennedy, whose performance went down a storm. Unknown to me, poet Maggi Gibson has Falkirk connections and her selection of poems were a perfect mix of politics and dry humour.We were also privileged to have a preview of stunning new poems from Jenni Fagan and if you haven’t read her brilliant novel, The Panopticon, I’d highly recommend it. And to top the night off for me, Jenni bought a copy of Talk of the Toun which meant a LOT to think she wanted to read my work and I only hope it doesn’t disappoint her!
Do you have a thriving spoken word scene in your area? Who are your literary idols?