19th - 27th February, 2005
Glasgow is a city with an abundance of literary talent and writers and poets have willingly come forward in their droves to take part in, the aptly named, "Aye Write" - Glasgow's first Literary Festival. The extensive programme includes workshops, readings and discussions and takes in a wide range of genres: poetry, prose, screen writing, fiction, crime and children's books. There will be contributions from well known authors such as Edwin Morgan, William McIlvanney, Ian McEwan, Iain Banks, Denise Mina, Louise Welch, Jacky Kay, the band Belle and Sebastions's Stuart Murdoch and our West End favourite Alasdair Gray. Naturally, Liz Lochhead, Glasgow's newly crowned poet laureate, will also participate. (A popular choice to follow Edwin Morgan, who has always been vocal in his praise of her work. Congratulations, Liz.
The Festival kicks off today, and where better to host this exciting new event than in the magnificient, refurbished 'for the 21st century' Mitchell Library. The Mitchell is not only Europe's largest reference library and home of many treasures such as the wonderful Glasgow Room and The Robert Burns Collection; it is also a truly wonderful baroque building; much loved by Glaswegian book worms, students, academics and researchers from near and far.
Staff at the library are rightfully proud of the Mitchell and when I popped in on Thursday, and was able to persuade the receptionist to let me sneak a peep behind closed doors at the preparations, my effusive praise of the building was received with a proud and proprietory air. There was a real buzz around the place in anticipation of this exciting event - the perfect spot for what seems set to be a brilliant Festival.
I am off to peruse the programme once more. It's difficult trying to choose from so many events - maybe find out what Denise Mina can reveal about writing crime novels?, what new writers are about to publish or even why poems can be so captivating?
After all in the words of Edwin Morgan "Poetry is the new rock and roll".