BOOKS | Events

COMIC TIM MINCHIN Storm (Orion) ●●●●●

Is there anything Tim Minchin refuses to have a stab at? Already an award- winning musical comedian (he took the Best Newcomer prize at the 2005 Edinburgh Fringe), acclaimed composer of musicals (for West End powerhouse Matilda), and hairy actor (taking the role of Judas in Jesus Christ Superstar), now this ‘prophet and poet’ (c/o one of his friends) has his beat-poem ‘Storm’ turned into a comic book.

It’s long been understood that stories within comics are no longer

the preserve of tormented dudes with other-worldly powers or written by men whose obsessions run to massive marijuana leaves or tough gals with pumped-up cleavages. A far more subtle strain of social nuance has long entered the fray. But basing an entire book around a middle-class dinner-party

disagreement between a rationalist who has no faith in religion or alternative medicine or magic or psychics or fairy tattoos, and someone with a fairy tattoo who isn’t averse to thinking quite a bit outside the box, just drips with pointlessness.

The world of graphic novels has certainly come a long way from a

man of steel chucking green automobiles across a barren landscape. The inconsequential Storm might be conclusive proof that the journey has gone just a little too far. Tim Minchin has certainly done enough in his career by now to have

decided what he’s best at. Get back behind that piano before you’re even remotely tempted to knock up the inevitable first-person shooter in which merry hell is unleashed upon the Storms of this world. (Brian Donaldson)


THE TRACE by Rebecca Monks

Her pencil snapped under the pressure. The clean lines she had carefully mapped across the page were now coated in the dust which spilled across the portrait, blurring her likeness. She cursed, startling her carer. ‘Come on Lizzy, there’s no need for that,’ the nurse chirped. ‘I’ll

get you another shall I? I think we’ve got some proper pencils around here somewhere.’

‘No.’ Elizabeth blew on the page, scattering the powder beyond the

outline of the sketch. ‘I’ve used lead all my life.’ She sharpened the blunted tip with a knife and returned to


Today had been a good day. She had remembered her daughter’s name, her face and her touch as she held her hand. She remembered not to enquire about her one-time husband, but to ask if her grandchildren were doing well. The familiarity healed and ached at once.

Though the fear of forgetting again clung to her, Elizabeth was pleased her daughter had visited. She had obeyed her wishes. By the time Anna left, Elizabeth’s photographs were all gone and no mirror remained. Only her sketchbook was left behind, along with a promise that Anna would return tomorrow.

Elizabeth sighed and began to sketch herself as she lived in

her memory. She wore her hair long in an iron grey rebellion against old age. It draped over her chest, touching the top of the c-section scar that revealed her biggest struggle. It stood at odds with the scar from her last battle with him, which marked her left arm defiantly. Old age had claimed her breasts, and her stomach was now swollen. She smiled as she drew, pleased that she could recall the cruel passing of time, at least for today. She left the eyes colourless, but as she closed her own in contentment, the green of the iris shone bright in her mind. Rebecca Monks is a writer based in Edinburgh. She tweets at @Rebecca_Monks.

Events are listed by date, then city. Submit listings at least 14 days before publication by using our ‘Add an Event’ service at Listings are compiled by Rebecca Monks. Indicates Hitlist entry

Thursday 16

Glasgow FREE Spooktacular Stories Dennistoun Library, 2a Craigpark, 276 0768. 2–3.30pm. Spooky activities including storytelling, mask making, spooky crafts, ghost hunts and competitions. Ages 5–12. FREE Storytelling Café Glasgow Women’s Library, 23 Landressy Street, 550 2267. 2.30–4pm. Tea, scones and stories. Edinburgh Poetry for the Palace: Poets Laureate from Dryden to Duffy The Queen’s Gallery, Palace of Holyroodhouse, 556 5100. 9.30am–6pm. Included in admission. Until Sun 2 Nov. An exhibition looking at the role of the Poet Laureate across the centuries. It’s a Funny Old Story Scottish Storytelling Centre, 43–45 High Street, 556 9579. 2–3pm. £3. Stories and music from the Life Stories group who reminisce to trigger memories. Part of Luminate. FREE Auld Reekie Readers The City Café, 19 Blair Street, 220 0125. 6–8pm. A reading group for literary nuts and budding authors. Late Ripeness: Poems about Memory and Ageing Scottish Poetry Library, 5 Crichton's Close, Canongate, 557 2876. 6.30pm. £5 (£4). Ken Cockburn and Lorna Irvine present a programme of work featuring poets in their older age. Includes the likes of Tennyson, Yeats and MacCaig. FREE Pass on a Poem Golden Hare, 68 St Stephen Street, 629 1396. 6.30pm. Submit a poem to read or simply listen. Café Voices Scottish Storytelling Centre, 43–45 High Street, 556 9579. 7–9pm. £5. A relaxed session of oral storytelling, poetry by memory, music and song. Part of Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival.

Friday 17

Glasgow Read Aloud! Celebrating Commonwealth Women’s Writing Glasgow Women’s Library, 23 Landressy Street, 550 2267. 1–3pm. £2 (free). Stories and poems reflecting women’s experiences. Edinburgh FREE Timothy Donnelly George Square Lecture Theatre, 651 2189. 6.30pm. Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award winner Timothy Donnelly reads from his work. Rally & Broad The Bongo Club, 66 Cowgate, 07989 508436. 7–10pm. £5. A literary-flavoured cabaret night, boasting spoken word, 'live literature', new music and dancing into the wee small hours. Hosted by Jenny Lindsay and Rachel McCrum. With Inua Ellams, Anneliese Mackintosh, Hailey Beavis, Toby Campion and other special guests. Vive the [R]évolution: Poems in Translation Institut Français d'Ecosse, 13 Randolph Crescent, 225 5366. 7–8pm. £3–£5. Contemporary Scottish poets delve into French verse, explore the process of translation and examine the interplay between English, Irish and Scots Gaelic.

Saturday 18

star Holly Hagan signs copies of her book, Not Quite a Geordie. Edinburgh Poetry Society Surgeries with John Glenday Scottish Poetry Library, 5 Crichton’s Close, Canongate, 557 2876. Times vary. £50 (poetry society members £40). A chance to discuss your work with the poet and tutor.

Monday 20

Glasgow FREE Gaelic Writing Group Scottish Writers’ Centre, CCA, 350 Sauchiehall Street, 352 4900. 7pm. A series of workshops for writing in Gaelic or Scots and English. Ages 16+. Edinburgh Auld Reekie Readers The City Café, 19 Blair Street, 220 0125. 6.30–8.30pm. £3.50. See Thu 16. Edinburgh Genre Group Forest Centre +, 38 Castle Terrace, 229 4948. 6.30–9pm. £3. A workshop style get- together for genre writers. FREE Edinburgh Creative Writers’ Club Monboddo Bar, Point Hotel, 34 Bread Street, 221 5555. 7–9.30pm. Writing discussion group.

Tuesday 21

Glasgow FREE Dr Michael Penman: Robert the Bruce: King of the Scots Hunterian Museum & Art Gallery, University of Glasgow, 82 Hillhead Street, 330 4221. 5.30–8pm. Dr Michael Penman discusses his latest book, Robert the Bruce: King of the Scots, which examines Robert's kingship after his victory. Edinburgh Nothing But The . . . Poem Scottish Poetry Library, 5 Crichton’s Close, Canongate, 557 2876. 6pm. £5 (£4). An informal poetry group. FREE Edinburgh All-Comers Writers Club Sofi’s, 65 Henderson Street, 555 7019. 7–10pm. Writers are invited to read their work at this weekly group meeting.

Wednesday 22

Glasgow FREE Kirkland Ciccone: Endless Empress Waterstones, 174 Argyle Street, 248 4814. 7pm. Kirkland Ciccone discusses his second book, Endless Empress: A Mass Murderer’s Guide to Dictatorship in the Fictional Nation of Enkadar.

Edinburgh FREE Edinburgh Independent Radical Book Fair Out of the Blue Drill Hall, 30–36 Dalmeny Street, Leith, 662 9112. Times vary. Five days of free readings and discussions plus bookstalls with an emphasis on small and independent presses and writings from outside the mainstream. Owen Jones opens the event with his latest book The Establishment: And How They Get Away with It as well as appearances from Rob Sewell, Murray Armstrong, Dave Sherry, Sarah Browne and many more. New Edinburgh Writers Fountainbridge Library, 137 Dundee Street, 529 5616. 6–8pm. £0.50. Everything from writing exercises to reading new material at this weekly meeting. FREE Owen Jones: The Establishment Word Power Bookshop, 43 West Nicolson Street, 662 9112. 7pm. Owen Jones discusses his new book, The Establishment. Part of Edinburgh Independent Radical Book Fair.

Glasgow FREE Holly Hagan: Not Quite a Geordie WH Smith, 53–55 Argyle Street, 204 0636. noon. Geordie Shore

Dundee Dundee Literary Festival Bonar Hall, The University of Dundee Park Place, 01382 434940. Times vary. Prices

52 THE LIST 16 Oct–13 Nov 2014 16 Oct–13 Nov 2014 THE LIST 52