Mary Irvine: Scottish Writers Centre Comes Home

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A full house, good poetry and prose speakers, an interesting discussion (with a revelation) and a very entertaining and talented singer. All in one evening and all for free!

The event was a celebration of the Mexican Day of the Dead organised by Dove Tales in which the courage of conscientious objectors was honoured in words and music. The event also celebrated the return of the SWC to its Centre for Contemporary Arts (CCA)  home, having been exiled to the Project Café for several months following the devastating Glasgow Arts’ fire.

day of the dead

Charlie Gracie welcomed everyone and read the poem ‘Recall’ by Brian Johnstone. Harrison Hickman began the session with a declaration explaining the rationale behind conscientious objection. A.C. Clarke and Jean Rafferty followed with poems on the evening’s theme.

Next up were Robin-Lloyd Jones and Larry Butler. Their conversation centred on Larry’s time as a conscientious objector focussing on the impact it had on his life and family. The revelation mentioned above is that Robin is now embarking on the biography of Larry. Judging from what we heard that is one biography not to miss.

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Pauline Bradley ended this part of the evening with songs on the theme and also Eric Bogle’s ‘And the band Played Waltzing Mathilda’ which has never failed to send a shiver down my spine. I found myself mouthing the words along with her singing, thinking of the words that adorn so many war memorials – Our Glorious Dead. There was/is nothing glorious about anyone who dies in/because of conflict.

The second half comprised various poets and prose writers – an eclectic mix – in an Open Mic session. Over two hours of good writing… Thank you to everyone.

Scottish Writers Centre

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This section: Books, Talks, Poetry and Creative Writing Events, Mary Irvine: Writer and Philhellene

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Avatar of PatByrne Publisher of Pat's Guide to Glasgow West End; the community guide to the West End of Glasgow. Fiction and non-fiction writer.

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