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Writing Politics: An Evening with IRISH PAGES

Edinburgh, Friday, 28 October 2016
Launch: 6.00-6.30pm, with wine served
Panel Discussion: 6.30–7.45pm

Irish Pages hosts the Scottish launch of its now-celebrated Seamus Heaney Memorial Issues, followed by a panel discussion on the theme of Writing Politics.

In the first issue, “Heaney” (Vol 8, No 2), there is a particular focus on poetry, memoir, reminiscence and literary essays of a non-specialist nature directly relating to the man and his work; but the issue also includes outstanding writing of all creative genres in a posthumous celebration of the enduring literary imagination in general. The sequel, “After Heaney” (Vol 9, No 1), focuses on the Maestro’s creative, critical and cultural legacy.

The panellists are the poet Robert Crawford, the novelist Kirsty Logan, and Editor Chris Agee. The starting point of the discussion will the following passage from the essay by Robert Crawford, “Bardic Voice,” in the second issue:

No poet should feel obliged to engage with politics. All poets should be free to do so. A poet who wants to write politically hears two voices. One, the bardic voice, urges him or her to speak on behalf of a community, a tribe, a gender, a nation; the other insists only on truth to the individual self, an unstable self which may elude communal, tribal, gender or national definition.

Each of the panellists will focus on a particular territory for “writing politics”: nationalism (Crawford), gender (Logan), and ecology (Agee). A question-and-answer session will follow the panel discussion.

Admission free.

Venue: Out of the Blue Drill Hall, 30-38 Dalmeny Street, Edinburgh, EH6 8RG