Portobello Book Festival 2015 Programme
2nd – 4th October 2015
All events are free, but ticketed
Tickets in advance from Portobello Library
Some tickets available at venues 15 minutes before events.
PORTOBELLO BOOK FESTIVAL FRINGE EVENTS
PORTOBELLO HIGH SCHOOL BOOK FESTIVAL
Monday September 28th – Friday 2nd October
The event is co-ordinated by Lauren Thow,
Portobello High School Librarian.
BRUNSTANE PRIMARY SCHOOL
Janis Mackay, award-winning author of the Magnus Fin series and The Accidental Time Traveller, talks about being a writer and guides pupils through creating their own stories.
TOWERBANK PRIMARY SCHOOL
Portobello Library staff visit the school for some storytelling fun.
*** SCHOOL EVENTS FOR PUPILS ONLY ***
Wednesday 30th September 8.00-10.00pm DALRIADA
CHIANG YEE: THE SILENT TRAVELLER IN EDINBURGH
An illustrated talk by Jim Gilchrist about the remarkable Chinese travel writer Chiang Yee. In Yee’s beautiful book about Edinburgh he describes coming to Portobello in 1943, and how his walk along the Promenade reminds him of his time on Hainan Island, off the Chinese mainland.
POETRY CIRCUS MAGAZINE LAUNCH
Thursday 1st October 8.00pm DALRIADA
An evening of mind-boggling performance poetry and freakish feats. It’s the Poetry Circus that you know and love coming to you in a way that you’ve never seen before as they unveil their all-new literary magazine – FREAK Circus!
FRIDAY 2nd OCTOBER
12.30-1.30pm LIBRARY UPSTAIRS
ON THE TRAIL OF JOHN MUIR
Drawing inspiration from local hero John Muir’s ability to capture a sense of place, storyteller Beth Cross explores the stories and memories that give us a sense of place.
OPENING EVENT – INHERITANCE
Join host David Francis for our grand opening event which includes performances of original and established writing in all shapes and forms. Special guest author and songwriter Doug Johnstone is joined by local actress Sybil Bacica, The Blue Moon Travellers and the Lothian B’us Male Voice Choir.
SATURDAY 3rd OCTOBER
10.30am-12.30pm PORTOBELLO HIGH SCHOOL LIBRARY
INSPIRE: WRITING AND YOGA WORKSHOP
Exploring connections between the breath, the body and art-making, this workshop focuses on opening up, letting go, and feeling grounded in your writing practice. Brigid Collins is an acclaimed visual artist and yoga teacher. Her most recent exhibition/publication Frissure is a collaboration with Kathleen Jamie. Meaghan Delahunt is an award-winning novelist and short story writer. Her latest book is Greta Garbo’s Feet & Other Stories. (Some experience of writing and of yoga is desirable but not essential.)
Maximum 10 places
11.00am-12.00noon OLD PARISH CHURCH
AN ISLAND GIRL’S JOURNEY
Dolina McLellan in conversation with Jim Gilchrist. Dolina’s memoir records a remarkable life from her wartime childhood in Lewis to becoming a leading figure in Gaelic broadcasting, acting, poetry and song. Dolina recalls friendships with Norman MacCaig, Hugh MacDiarmid and Hamish Henderson, who remembered Dolina arriving in Edinburgh, ‘like a shepherdess, trailing these songs of gold from ancient times’.
11.00am-12.30pm LIBRARY UPSTAIRS
PORTOBELLO TALES TO TELL 1
Three new novelists, Peter Ranscombe, RL McKinney and
Grahame Howard, explore the depths of humankind in their haunting tales of past, present and future: Hare after Burke, a soldier’s llfe after Afghanistan and a protocol for euthanasia.
Chair: Bill Jameson
11.30am-12.00 noon LIBRARY
Half an hour of fun, songs and rhymes for under 5s and their parents/carers with special guest…. The Bookbug!
10.00-12.00 noon LIBRARY
BEAUTIFUL BOOK FOLDING: WORKSHOP
Join experienced crafter and artist Jenni Hamilton in this workshop for adults. Meet in the comfort of the library and create your own beautiful folded book. Suitable for all skill levels. Materials supplied.
12.15-1.30pm OLD PARISH CHURCH
PETER PAN: ADAPTING THE GRAPHIC NOVEL
Artist Stref (aka Stephen White) and Fin Cramb reveal the challenges, joys and excitement of turning JM Barrie’s classic and much loved play into the beautifully illustrated and fully coloured Peter Pan: The Graphic Novel.
12.45-2.00pm LIBRARY UPSTAIRS
MEMOIRS OF MADNESS
Jo McFarlane’s autobiography Skydiving for Beginners is a painful yet uplifting story of one woman’s battle with mental illness. In Portrait of the Psychiatrist as a Young Man, Allan Beveridge examines the work of
RD Laing, a colourful and challenging thinker, who addressed perennial questions about the nature of madness.
Chair: Ian Martin
12.45-1.45pm PORTOBELLO HIGH SCHOOL LIBRARY
PORTOBELLO TALES TO TELL 2
Max Scratchmann, brought up in India at the end of British rule, was brought back to 1960s Scotland as a six-year-old and told that he was home. Meanwhile, teenage mum Margaret Halliday, with an urge for adventure, finally made her pilgrimage to India in 1999. Together they recount a myriad of colourful stories of travels and cultural inheritance.
Chair: Lauren Thow
1.45-3.15pm OLD PARISH CHURCH
LAUNCHING A DARING DEBUT
Debut novelists and Scottish Book Trust New Writer Award winners Catherine Simpson, Truestory and Lucy Ribchester, The Hourglass Factory discuss the trials, tribulations and fierce joys of launching a first novel with an important issue at its heart.
Chair: Lynsey May
2.00-3.00pm PORTOBELLO HIGH SCHOOL LIBRARY
FROM STEAM TO DIESEL
Local historian Archie Foley and photographer Peter E Ross talk about their new publication. This unique photographic record was made during the 1950s and 1960s by an engine driver recording the changes on the railway as diesel replaced steam.
2.15-3.15pm LIBRARY UPSTAIRS
THE SCOTTISH KITCHEN GARDEN
Restaurateur, slow food advocate and 2014 Scottish Food Ambassador Carina Contini talks about the influences and philosophy behind the development of her kitchen garden and her passion for locally sourced food.
Chair: Viv Cree
3.30-4.30pm OLD PARISH CHURCH
What book did you inherit from your childhood, and what book would you want to pass on to the next generation? World-renowned crime writer
Val McDermid, whose most recent novel, Splinter the Silence, was published in August, joins us to give her answers.
Chair: Jane Meagher
4.45-5.45pm LIBRARY UPSTAIRS
SWIM UNTIL YOU CAN’T SEE LAND
In her latest novel, Catriona Child blends contemporary Scottish and historical fiction, contrasting the lives of two remarkable women: the injured swimmer Hannah Wright and the wartime spy Mariele Downie.
Chair: Sarah Morton
6.00-7.00pm LIBRARY UPSTAIRS
SCOTTISH BORDERS FOLK TALES: BOOK LAUNCH
Local storyteller and poet James Spence presents a lively re-telling of the region’s famous stories and hidden gems, involving witches, hill-dwellers, fairy folk, ghosts and hares.
Wine and nibbles
£1 entry per person No ticket required
SUNDAY 4th OCTOBER
11.00am-12.00noon LIBRARY UPSTAIRS
INTELLIGENCE, SECURITY AND SURVEILLANCE
Rhodri Jeffreys-Jones reflects upon the ‘special relationship’ between the USA and the UK in the light of extensive research into spying and espionage over the past 100 years. In his most recent book In Spies We Trust: The Story of Western Intelligence he explores the underside of this celebrated relationship.
Chair: Trevor Royle
SECTARIAN IDENTITIES IN SCOTLAND AND NORTHERN IRELAND
In their recent anthology Mixing the Colours Glasgow Women’s Library explore sectarian identities in Scotland through stories and poems. Paul Burgess from Northern Ireland is similarly interested in sectarian identities, both in his recent novel White Church, Black Mountain and his academic work The Contested Identities of Ulster Protestants.
Chair: Anne Gilchrist
12.15-1.45pm LIBRARY UPSTAIRS
FROM EXILE TO NATIVE: BEAVERS, SEA EAGLES AND WOLVES
In his new book Nature’s Architect Jim Crumley welcomes the reintroduction of beavers in Scotland, having previously celebrated the return of eagles in The Eagle’s Way and wolves in The Last Wolf. In her recent novel Gatekeeper Kay Sexton explores the consequences, both ecological and social, of reintroducing wolves into the Scottish highlands.
Chair: Rona Gray
2.00-3.00pm LIBRARY UPSTAIRS
DENNIS CANAVAN: A LIFE IN POLITICS
It has been said that few politicians in Scotland leave the political arena as respected as they entered it. Dennis Canavan is one. His autobiography Let the People Decide is a straightforward account of complex events in complicated times.
Chair: Colin Fox
3.15-4.15pm LIBRARY UPSTAIRS
Fiona Ritchie describes how migrating Scots and Irish have been linked through music over the centuries. The host of US National Public Radio’s ‘The Thistle and the Shamrock’ is our guide to the ways in which a wealth of traditional music continues to flourish on both sides of the Atlantic, from Scotland to the Appalachians.
Chair: Gary West
4.30-5.45pm LIBRARY UPSTAIRS
LANGUAGE, CULTURE AND IDENTITY
Sanjeev Singh Kohli and Billy Kay in conversation. Award-winning writers and broadcasters, they are also known for their humorous insight into contemporary Scottish culture. Sanjeev (Navid in ‘Still Game’) learnt Gaelic in a matter of weeks to present a BBC programme. Billy is author of Scots The Mither Tongue, The Scottish World and the seminal series Odyssey. They discuss the wonderful and complex nature of language, culture and identity in Scotland today.
Chair: David Francis
14 Rosefield Avenue EH15 1AU
PORTOBELLO OLD PARISH CHURCH HALL
Old Parish Church, Bellfield Street EH15 2BP
77 Promenade, Portobello EH15 2EL
Books by participating authors will be available
at both venues
OLD PARISH CHURCH CAFE
Open on Saturday 4th from 10.00am to 4.00pm.
Come along and enjoy tea, coffee, snacks and home baking!
PORTOBELLO BOOK FESTIVAL
is organised by local enthusiasts and Portobello Library.
If you have ideas or would like to be involved please contact