books/ EVENTS


I MEET THE AUTHOR All events will take place in The Royal Museum oI Scotland. Into: 2251915.

I BARBARA TRAPIOO The possible surprise hit oI this year’s events reading lrom her new novel. Temples oI Delight.

Fri 24.11.15am.

I AILEEN PATERSON Second chance to heartales ol Maisle. the mischievous, tun-bundle kitten.

Sal 25. 10.15am

I MICHAEL ROLROYD Discussing the research and writing involved in his latest project. a three-volume biography 01 George Bernard Shaw.

Sat25. 11.15am.

I SCOTTISH POETRY LIBRARY AND COURTYARD READINGS Borrow books and tapes. read your own poetry or the work ol others. Altematlvely. just sit and listen.

Tvveedale Court, 14 High Street. Inlo 557 2876. 24 Aug—1 Sept (not 26 Aug) 2.30pm. Free.

' l is; :“L " I no GOUON AND LIZ LOCHHEAO BOs beat poet and Fringe perennial iolns gritty scriptvrrlter and poetess. Assembly Rooms, 54 George Street. Into 226 2428. 26 Aug-1 Sept. 8.30pm. £6 (25). I NAWKMOON - SAM SNEPERO Stories. monologues and poems by one oIAmerlca’s leading contemporary writers. Festival Theatre 086- USA. Southslde Community Centre. 117 Nicholson Street. 24, 29. 31 Aug. 4pm. £3 (22). I PINK CELLULOIO DREAMS West and Wilde with a romantic, adventurous and lantastlc nevv reading. Blue Oyster Club. 96 Rose Street Lane North. 23.29, SD Aug. 10pm. Entry by donation. I SCIIOONERS, SOUALLS AND MOONSHINE Narrative account of Robert Louis Stevenson’s travels in the South Pacllic, accompanied by slides and archive photographs. St Andrew's and St George's at Festival Time. 29 and 30 Aug. Bpm.

Scouse Nous

Roger McGough is not any easy man to interview. It’s not that he is objectionable. elusive or even short ofthings to say. In fact. he is the complete opposite. He wants to say so much. so quickly. that sometimes you are left adrift. trying to assimilate what he was talking about two paragraphs ago whilst he surges onward. His poems display the same essence of this quicksilver mind. but in his recitals he is willing to accommodate those who cannot keep up. Journalists. not being similarly worthy ofthis concession. are expected to match him pace for pace. So here is the gist of his comments on Edinburgh. Liz

Lochhead. his audience. serious

poems. plays. critics and poets.

‘It‘s nice to have a new challenge every time you go back up to Edinburgh. I‘ve known Liz for many. many years and I thought it would be good to work with her. Often the poem is about love or relationships and they take on a different nuance when read by a woman. We trust each other and that is essential ifyou are letting somebody else read your poetrv. She‘s reading some serious poems of mine like “Holiday on Death Row“ which I haven‘t done for years.

‘The more serious poems take me very into myself. they‘re very probing. With the lighter ones it‘s more fun and more relaxing. In the shows I try to get a balance between the two so you don‘t come out feeling totally battered and drained.

‘1 go through phases ofwriting. But what‘s interesting is that you can often write the funny ones when you’re going through a bad time and vice-versa. If. say. someone died, it’s a year later when you get the depression and it’s the same thing with poetry; something's going well and you can‘t tell why you‘re writing all these despondent dark things.‘

Whilst Lochhead is returning to her poetry after a period when most of her attention has been focussed on theatre. McGough has not written an original play for a decade. I wondered if he had given up the stage for a reason.

‘Every time I‘ve done a play it‘s been successful and well attended but the critics have battered me and said I should stop writing them. It makes me wonder whether I‘m a playwright; I can write good lines but I can’t grasp the whole theatrical thing which Liz can do. I‘m beginning to think that I‘m actually no good at it.‘

Critics are not McGough‘s favourite people. He was recently yet again lumped together with

fellow Liverpudlian Brian Patten in a Times Literary Supplement review and despairs that poetry readers throughout the world are being given a jaundiced view of the British scene. ‘You get bad reviews because people who run the magazines try to keep you out. It's like a class war and that‘s a real pity. I always thought there should be some kind of a brotherhood because there’s not that

many of us and the more we help each other. the more successful poetry will be. One of the reasons poetry is foundering is that the main problems are within itself— people are fighting cliche’s and cliques all the time.‘ (Philip Parr)

I Roger McGough and Liz Lochhead The Assembly Rooms (Venue 3) 226 2428. 26 Aug—1 Sept. 8.30pm. £6 (£5).





‘Pike is a master of suggestion . . . long may he reign” Fear Magazine

Watchoutforw . ,Me

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I Paperback I“ ' £2.99 {I} . f


The List 24- 30 August 190043