Thursday, March 27, 2008

Job Opportunity - Literature Development Officer

Initially 4 month post; further year subject of application to SAC, decision expected May 2008. Salary: £21,861

As some of you may know, Andy Forster is moving on to pastures new with the Wordsworth Trust in Grasmere. Their gain is undoubtedly our loss, but Dumfries & Galloway Arts Association is therefore seeking a creative individual, able to work on their own initiative to develop and co-ordinate literary activity throughout the region, and manage an ongoing events programme, working in partnership with Wigtown Book Festival and Dumfries & Galloway Libraries, Information and Archives.

Candidates will have a track record of literature development in the community and a thorough knowledge of the literary scene, both contemporary and historic, in Scotland and beyond.

For information and application pack contact Danny McGrain, Administration and Finance Officer, on 01387 253383, or email For an informal chat call Susan Garnsworthy on 01387 253383. Closing date 17 April 2008.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Review of August Kleinzahler Poetry Event in Dumfries

Poetry lovers were treated last week to an evening with award winning American poet August Kleinzahler, who made his first visit to Dumfries after a barnstorming appearance at Stanza, Scotland’s Poetry Festival in St Andrews.

The first half of the evening was an interesting discussion with August, facilitated by Lilias Fraser, Reader Development Officer at the Scottish Poetry Library in Edinburgh. Lilias asked August to choose and read five poems from different poets, which he did with great personality. The poets chosen were varied, from the rugged force of Adam Drinan, a little known Scottish poet of the mid 20th century, to a fantastic poem, “Lufthansa”, from the Australian poet John Tranter, with its extraordinary sense of vertigo and a very human discontinuity of reflection and impression. August’s discussion with Lilias was both interesting and accessible to listen to, and much appreciated by the audience.

August then read from his own work. He was a great reader, with a big presence on stage, his work both lyrical and peppered with the colloquial:
“The ceiling and walls are star maps/ breathing, alive/ Those aren’t stars, darling/ That’s your nervous system/ Nanna didn’t take you to planetariums like this/Go on, touch/ Lovely, isn’t it/ Like phosphorus on Thule Lake” (extract from Hyper-Berceuse: 3am).

Poetry lovers in the region have more to look forward to, with news of leading contemporary poet Les Murray confirming a visit to Dumfries on 9th June. For further information please contact Dumfries & Galloway Arts Association on 01387 253383.

Under The Skin - 4 short plays this summer

The Swallow Community Actors have commissioned
four D&G writers - Vivien Jones, Mike Smith, David
Sumner and Carolyn Yates - to create four short plays for
a series of performances through the summer around the region.
The event 'Under the Skin' has been workshopped and
directed by Ken Gouge and each play explores what may lie
beneath the surface of human behaviour.

Performances start on 3 May at The Swallow Theatre,
already sold out, followed by 5 May at The CatStrand, with further performances still to be confirmed. Watch this space for more details!