Updated: Oct 9, 2020
As the pubs call last orders across large parts of the country, and we are forced back into our homes, thank your lucky stars the Stay-at-Home Fringe Literary Festival kicks off this evening!!
I’m sooooo excited and honoured to have been invited along as the Writer-in-Residence for this, the second edition of UofG’s Creative Writing students ‘all things writing’ festival.
A student on the MLitt Creative Writing course myself, a friend and fellow writer recently described me as being a ‘beautiful mad scientist of a poet’.
And so yes, aged 47 (and a ½), I now feel confident enough to call myself a writer/a poet/a visual artist. And perhaps in some parallel universe I live a suitably bohemian life, but for now I still wait tables, do my own housework, eat pot noodles, and drink wine from a box (well not straight from the box, I do put it in a glass first!). In between all of which, I write.
But – as usual – I digress…
It was during the inaugural edition of the S@H Fringe Lit Fest earlier this year that I cut my teeth on the Zoom Open Mic circuit, nervously reading satirical poems to a screen full of strangers and thanking them for their silent applause. I also tried my hand at experimental work with guest speakers and editors from SPAM and Streetcake Magazine and listened in to conversations with celebrated writers Jamaica Kincaid and Will Harris, and Haruki Murakami’s go-to translator Jay Rubin. There were masterclasses from the likes of award-winning novelist Carolyn Jess Cooke, ekphrastic writing, food writing, ghost writing, experimental writing, and a chance for all involved to forge friendships with writers and readers from across the globe.
What is happening this year across the world is unprecedented, but it also feels to me that as writers and readers there could not be a more vital time to be engaging with the written word.
The Fall S@H Fringe LitFest brings a mind-blowing array of workshops and talks from all kinds of writers and poets straight to the comfort of your own home, and all for the price of nothing. And yeh, I know we’re all Zoomed and Zoomed Out, it’s true, it’s true, but these are strange times, festival friends, and what better way to spend these darks days and nights than in the company of like-minded thinkers and wordsmiths in order to realise the goals of the S@H Festival manifesto:
In these times of Plague we hope to (a) prevent loneliness; (b) champion connectivity and community amidst social distancing, and; (c) celebrate writing and reading as tools to achieve both. It is vital to nurture our community now more than ever.
The festival kicks off tonight with the Spooky Story Slam at 8:00pm. Be sure to sign up by visiting the web site and clicking on the RSVP to get the Zoom Link. I look forward to seeing you all there!