Things I Love Thursday #35

Brand new Read This!
By the time you read this (ha!), I will probably be in the Forest, slaving over a hot photocopier, creating the brand new issue of Read This… RT17. (What happened to 16?) We’re back with a bang, let me tell you: brilliant artwork and prose from exceptionally great artist Amy Bernays, and poetry from former ONS Featured Poet Eric Hamilton, the lovely and talented Mr Howie Good, and an impressive list of talented RT newcomers. We’ll also have some great stuff up on our website in the next day or two (I’ll let you know), and as always, RT17 will be available to purchase at the Read This Store! Watch this space!

My students.
This is maybe a strange one, as this week I (and they) received the bad news that only one student in my entire lecturing class had passed their prelim (mock) exam. Many of them are relying on the grades they get this year to carry them into University; the majority of them have learning support needs of some kind, almost all are high school dropouts or second-time-around-ers… which basically means that a failed mock means a lot more to them than you’d think. I have only been working with this class for about three months but they are a really great bunch of kids, and to see their self-esteem knocked like this is upsetting. I suspect that the prelims, which were marked within the department, have been harshly marked across the board to get them all to pull their socks up before the exam… this is pretty common practice. However, it seems to be having the opposite effect in some cases. Basically, my students are in my TiLT this week because I have huge faith in them all — I know that not all of them will pass, but there are many who work hard and really, really want this qualification. They’ve also been an incredibly levelling influence (nothing more levelling — or brutally honest! — than a group of seventeen year olds!) when I’ve been feeling down or upset lately. I am doing my best to help them achieve their goal, but this is just an additional prayer to the universe: give them all a kick up the ass, give them the motivation to revise! They are all good, sweet people and they deserve success.

Getting back into the poetry swing of things, for real!
I know this was in last week’s, but I’ve been breaking myself back into everything gently after my brief hiatus. I am now getting on top of everything again: plotting the next Read This Press titles after the huge success of Skin Deep (yeah!), getting ahead with RT as you’ve already heard, and best of all, writing again! I have loads of new plans and schemes AND, if my desperate saving and squirrelling continues to plan, I am also hoping for a free summer (ie, no distracting waitressing job or the like!) to write, plot, scheme and achieve. Sounds good! Let’s hope it happens!

I really need to go out and take some photos of my own to show you my new neighbourhood… I feel like a real phoney living round here, it is so nice and respectable! It’s very quiet and safe (lowest crime rate in the city! Take that, Morningside!), with loads of cool winding backstreets, closes, parks and gardens to wander around. And here’s my street! I am loving it — I loved the mad, noisy rush of life on the Grassmarket, but I feel like that phase is over now. I am officially a New Towner, depressing, but true!

Poetry at the, er… Jekyll and Hyde!
That is, the event formerly known as Poetry at the Great Grog! The Edinburgh New Town’s best monthly poetry reading has changed location, from this to this (check out the inside)!!! I love the new venue, I have to say: creepy and kooky, amazing cocktails, and much quieter and calmer… no more annoying sports fans interrupting the poetry! And the first J&H gathering was a freaking amazing one… among the performers were my dear friend Ryan Van Winkle, who wowed the audience with smart, sweet, sad and funny poems, including ‘Darkness on the Edge of Toast,’ his famous Bruce Springsteen poem, which I never get tired of hearing. Ryan was followed by the wonderful Kevin Cadwallender, who is without question the best performance poet I’ve ever heard read. His set was hilarious and brilliant as always. If you’re in Edinburgh at the beginning of the month anytime, let me know and I will take you along!

The X Files
Yes, this was also here last week… but I am officially obsessed. In fact, I have started playing ‘oh my gosh did you see that episode?!’ with my dear friend Miriam (she deserves to be on this TiLT list, too!). I have a massive girl-crush on Scully, she really is my heroine.

And you?

(Photo by Ukpressphotographer)

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4 Responses to “Things I Love Thursday #35”

  1. Roger Cornish. Says:

    Glad your back on the hop!

  2. Crafty Green Poet Says:

    Glad to see you’re doing well again. I’m also a fan of Scully and Stockbridge. I also enjoyed the Jekyll and Hyde poetry, Kevin particularly was very entertaining and I really was impressed by Nigel MacLoughlin too. I think I recognised you across the room but was too busy catching up with an old aquaintance to actually circulate.

  3. Rob Says:

    Yes, I hope it works out for at least some of your students. Let’s hope that they recover after the initial jolt and disappontment.

    I was also really pleased with the Jekyll & Hyde as a venue. I can confidently predict that the next reading (Sunday May 10th, from 8pm) will be just as excellent. How could it not be with poets like Robert Crawford, Gerry McGrath, Jennifer L Williams and Julia Rampen.

    I think that probably counts as unsubtle and barely subliminal advertising!

  4. Rachel Fox Says:

    That toast poem of RVW’s sounds interesting!

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