Thursday, 19 August 2010

We got ducks.

I don't know if you know, but here at the Edinburgh International Book Festival we have our very own team of rubber ducks (this year complete with tiny lanyards and name badges -- so you know they're legit Book Festival ducks). We haven't had much need for them so far this year, what with the glorious golden weather we've been having, so they've been paddling away happily in a bowl of water. They're here to delight passing little ones.

... or whoever else might happen to see them...

ESRC Genomics Forum comp: "improving the human"

Our very marvellous sponsors, the ESRC Genomics Forum, have just launched a new poetry prize for 2010. In partnership with the Scottish Poetry Library, the free-to-enter competition calls for poetic answers to profound questions.

Poems must be of fifty lines or less on the subject of "improving the human"; a theme that poses all manner of questions that have perplexed for centuries.

Grab the opportunity to submit poetic and intriguing answers to these questions and be in with the chance of winning Genomics' exciting new competition. The deadline for entries is National Poetry Day: 7 October 2010. Visit the Genomics Forum website for submission details.

Good luck!

Sad Loss of Scottish Makar Edwin Morgan

Yesterday we enjoyed the Edwin Morgan International Poetry Competition, and today we hear with great regret that the Scottish Makar for whom the competition was named - Edwin Morgan himself - has passed away. Morgan had turned 90 this year, and will remain widely recognised as one of the most significant poets of the 21st century.

Nick Barley, our Director, has paid tribute to the legendary writer:

“As well as being one of the greatest British poets of the last 50 years, Morgan was also the last link to a great generation of Scottish writers than included Sorley MacLean, Norman MacCaig and Hugh MacDiarmid. His work transcended genres, was constantly challenging and inspiring, and encapsulated all that is great about Scottish poetry and writing. His influence will continue to be felt for years to come as his words echo in the work of so many contemporary writers.

“Praise for Morgan was, as always, warm and generous last night, and little did we know that this sad news would follow so soon after.”