Home > Blog, Literature > The West Port Book Festival: Day One – We have lift off!

The West Port Book Festival: Day One – We have lift off!

With elder statesman Douglas Dunn about to kick things off at Edinburgh Books, the Third Annual West Port Book Festival has arrived! With 2010’s line-up seeing the wonderful Kei Miller, Ken MacLeod, Miriam Gamble, Michael Scott, Roger Rees and many others take to the nooks and crannies of Edinburgh’s West Port this is something to get really excited about.

I’m also delighted to see that Friday night finishes off with an abandoned film spectacle courtesy of Screen Bandita, while Jay Bernard will be on hand to provide poetry. After seeing her first hand at StAnza this year, I’m excited about that prospect. Jay is a London poet, based in Oxford and I recently enjoyed reading her collection ‘Your Sign is Cuckoo, Girl’.

The Westport is always an assorted affair though. Film and poetry give way to this year’s Broons Appreciation evening on the 26th (with attached whisky tasting).You always get a certain level of well-informed magic from the team at this festival and I’ve been lucky enough to make it to both previous years. They are dedicated to their craft at the West Port, and Scottish literature is particularly celebrated. Little touches, like the tasting comes courtesy of W.M. Cadenhead, Grandpaw Broons’ favourite whisky shop, is just one of those splendid little details.

If you survive the ‘water of life’ on Saturday night, Sunday afternoon promises one of my most-anticipated literary delicacies with a whole afternoon of the Classics. Don’t expect the usual dryness here. The West Port is a young team who recruit invigorating elders and talented striplings alike. This is still a weekend in the famed ‘Pubic Triangle’ after all, and the passion and cheer that spark up this festival will be in full force. Ronan Sheehan and Mia Gallagher will be exploring The Irish Catullus at 4.45 which I am particularly looking forward to.

All in all, I challenge you not to be captivated by this wistful little celebration of books and trinkets. You will make friends and discover gems, and as a Southsider myself I will be blogging all the goings on right here.

For more information, the web-site is a cornucopia of information about the West Port and off-festival news from its team; including podcasts.

The West Port Book Festival runs from Thursday 24th to Sunday 27th of June.

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