Following the death of Edwin Morgan last week, The Edinburgh International Book Festival has confirmed that a special event will be held on Monday 30th August to celebrate the life of Scotland’s first National Poet.
Ron Butlin, Robert Crawford, Douglas Dunn, Janice Galloway, Kathleen Jamie, Jackie Kay, David Kinloch, Don Paterson, James Robertson, Alan Spence and Hamish Whyte will read poems by Edwin Morgan and pay their personal tributes.
The evening has been co-ordinated by Nick Barley, Director of the Edinburgh International Book Festival, together with Don Paterson, Guest Selector of the Book Festival’s poetry strand and Robyn Marsack, Director of the Scottish Poetry Library, and is being supported by Creative Scotland. The event, which starts at 8.00pm, will last for one and a half hours.
Nick Barley, Director of the Edinburgh International Book Festival, said “Edwin Morgan’s work has had a profound influence on several generations of Scottish writers and since his death it has become clear that many of them wish to celebrate his extraordinary career. At a time when we have so many of Scotland’s great poets and writers with us in Edinburgh, it seems highly appropriate for the Book Festival to bring together a collection of them in an event to celebrate his life and work.”
Dr Gavin Wallace, Head of Literature at Creative Scotland, said “Almost a decade ago, Eddie gave a keynote address at the Edinburgh International Book Festival which closed with his passionate aspiration that Scotland would become ‘a bold, brainy, breathing part of the literally and metaphorically turning globe.’ In no small part due to his inspiration, the Book Festival exemplifies that spirit; there’s a beautiful poetic justice, then, in closing the 2010 Book Festival with our gentle genius in the caring hands of his devoted fellow-writers and friends.”
Scottish Poetry Library director, Robyn Marsack, who has described Morgan as the brightest star in our sky said “A star goes on giving light long afterwards, as he will. Edwin Morgan was not only our national poet – widely read, studied at school, much loved by fellow authors as well as readers – but our international poet: a marvellous translator from many languages and, equally, translated into many languages. This event brings together readers with writers to express their admiration and affection for a true son of poetry.”
The event will be chaired by Richard Holloway. With the support of Creative Scotland, tickets will be free of charge and can be booked on-line at www.edbookfest.co.uk, by phone on 0845 373 5888 or in person at the Box Office in Charlotte Square.