Showing posts with label authors. Show all posts
Showing posts with label authors. Show all posts

Thursday, 30 June 2022

Edinburgh Book Festival 2022!

Edinburgh International Book Festival 2022 returns

with 600 events, 550 authors, 50 countries – under the banner “All Together Now”.


EIBF returns with a full program this year and hopes to recreate that buzz, after the Lockdowns. To build on the hybrid format developed over two years of pandemic – with live, in-person events also available to steam online.


For the first time since 2019, nearly all events will be live on stage in Edinburgh and will add a new venue at Central Hall - a 700+ seat theatre space in the heart of the city and a 5 minute walk from the Festival Village at Edinburgh College of Art.

 EIBF has re-located from its Charlotte square site (since 1982) – to save the 120 trees, the festival has been hurting their roots with the amount of foot fall: this has been an ecological decision. The festival’s new home will be the Edinburgh University Future’s building which will offer both enough indoor and outdoor space and a village green space.

This year the festival takes place at the Edinburgh art college Lauriston place.


*EIBF director Nick Barley  - “We’ve learned a great deal since 2019 – the world has changed immeasurably with the pandemic and war in Europe – but we’re also beginning to imagine what a better future should look like. Exploring these issues in inspiring conversations with scientists, historians, poets and novelists is exactly where the book festival comes into its own.


Ruby Wax

Nile Rodgers & Irvine Welsh

AUTHORS for 2022 – Ali Smith, Alexander McCall Smith, Julian Barnes.

Nobel peace prize winner Maria Ressa, Outlander Diana Gabaldon, linguist Noam Chomsky, director Armando iannucci. Meg Mason and many more.

FM Nicola sturgeon in conversation with Louise Welsh and Brian Cox (of Succession fame)


The festival plans to be more inclusive with Stories and Scarm – for all to tell our own stories, such a Syrian refugees. The festival has been encouraging people from all backgrounds. 

PLUS Val McDermid with her new book 89, which charts Scotland history via a thriller;  Maggie O’Farrell, Hamnet, her new book set in the Medici Renaissance. 

Douglas Stuart, author of Young Mungo, in conversation with Ian Rankin, 

Music – Martha Wainwright, Jarvis Cocker, Vishti Bunyan, Ricky Ross, Stuart Cosgrove.

Alan Cummings

Also discussions on the role of Europe, impact of war with Ukrainian historian Sarhii Plokky.

**PLUS the large Children’s Book Festival with its

Baillie Gifford program – Julia Donaldson, Cressida Cowell, Michael Morpurgo. And new super heroes, Little Badman and Stunt Boy.


'Come together' for conversations with storytellers, musicians, politicians, actors, chefs, illustrators and more this August. Attend live in-person events in Edinburgh or watch events at home, 



John Byrne

Ian Rankin

Alexander MacColl Smith

Seamus Heaney

Saturday, 31 July 2021

Edinburgh International book festival 2021

August 14-30 2021

After the challenging times, Edinburgh international book festival launches its 2021 program – "Onwards and Upwards" consisting of both online and live events.  With more than 250 events , including the extensive children’s program. 



EIBF Online events 

offer the opportunity to chat with fellow book lovers and connect with authors by asking questions in our live Q&As. You can also catch up on events at a time that suits, and online programme, so you needn't worry about missing out. 

Scottish authors include Tom Devine, Ali Smith, Alexander McCall Smith,  Ian Rankin, Douglas Stuart,

Including events with Nobel Prize winners Amartya Senand Kazuo IshiguroNgũgĩ wa Thiong’o, Booker Prize winners Salman RushdieBernardine EvaristoRichard Flanagan and Scotland's own Douglas Stuart (with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon) and many more.

The EIBF is the world’s premier book festival begun in 1982.

Edinburgh in a Unesco city of literature and each August EIBF welcomes a wide variety of authors  from Scotland and internationally. I’ve met many famous faces here, which at first is a strange experience.  

Words and stories are our passports to a better, fairer world. Imagination is free! Whether the words are carried in song, in poetry, in political debate, in images, or in stories, in fairy-tales, history, theories, journalism or truth. 

Monday, 17 August 2020

Edinburgh Book festival 2020

Events this year are ONLINE and you can buy signed copies of the authors books. Certainly not the same as actually being there.....I'VE COVERED THE WORLD'S MAJOR BOOK FESTIVAL SINCE 2007, very strange not to be there.. 


 As we can't put on our usual 900+ event Festival this year in our lovely tented village in Charlotte Square Gardens, we've curated a special online edition. From 15-31 August, enjoy events for adults and children for free. Through the magic of technology, we’ll be crossing continents and time zones to beam events from more than 30 countries straight into your home. What’s more, you’ll be able chat with fellow Festival goers via digital chatrooms and take part in Q&A sessions, and you'll even be able to meet the author and get your books signed (selected events).


All events are free and available to watch here on our website. See events below. 'Save your place' on the event page and we'll email you a reminder just before it starts.

Tuesday, 30 June 2020

Scots Top Ten!

According to the Sunday Times recently - 

Top Ten Films
Local Hero
Gregory’s girl
Whisky Galore
Prime o miss Jean Brodie
Wicker Man
Shallow Grave
Restless Heart
Del Amitri

Top Ten bands 
Simple minds
Deacon Blue
The Blue Nile
The Waterboys
Belle & Sebastian
Del Amitri
Iain Banks & Alex Salmond
William MclLivanney
Top Ten authors
Robert Louis Stevenson
JK Rowling
Walter Scott
Iain Banks
William MclLivanney
Muriel Sparks
Irvine Welsh
Alasdair Gray
John Buchan
Lewis Grassic Gibbons
Top Ten Artists
Charles Rennie Macintosh
Henry Raeburn
SJ Peploe
JD Fergusson
Joan Eardley
Jack Vitrianno
Eduardo Paolozzi
Alison Watt
Margaret Macdonald
John Lawrie Morrison

Top Ten Scots Songwriters
Robert Burns
Gerry Rafferty
Annie Lennox
Lewis Capaldi
Ricky Ross
Fran Healy

Tuesday, 31 December 2019

Scotla's Cultural Renewals

The Sunday Times has been running debates on whether Scots culture has declined in recent years, with an article by Hugh Andrew: criticising the quality of Scots culture today and claiming it is only about clichés and worn-out tat.  (Andrew is Director Birlinn publishers). David Keenan asks if Scots are the only nation that consume cheap tat – well this is certainly not true! Go to any major city worldwide then and find even cheaper .

While historian Tom Devine wondered Scots are too keen on ‘celebrities of limited talent’ over great writers, scientists, artists and scholars. The article also wondered, why has there not been more celebration of the 700 years of  the Declaration of Arbroath: the world’s greatest documents of nationhood, liberty, and freedom – well that is next April 2020 and we’ll celebrate then! 

I find all this astonishing and not my experience at all. The unionist press likes to run articles demeaning the Scots and Scotland - because don’t we need our Etonian masters in London making decisions for us? Well Hello magazine and the Daily Mail are not Scottish publications! Celebrity culture has reached us from America.  

However author Denise Mina, wisely writes that talent often develops from a rich cultural soil, rather than any controlled executive

SCOTS TRADITIONS: The School of Scottish Studies archives  was set up in 1951, by Calum Maclean (brother of poet Sorley Maclean) and by folklorist and poet Hamish Henderson. They collaborated with American folklorist Alan Lomax. Folklorist Margaret Bennet also worked at the school: they worked to keep Gaelic, Scots and traditional ballads alive. A degree course was established in 1986, and is now known as Celtic and Scottish Studies. Bennet’s son, Martyn mixed traditional voices, Bothy ballads, and pipes with contemporary dance grooves. At Celtic Connections 2014, Greg Lawson's innovative Grit orchestra performed Bennet's album to great acclaim .

In 1994 Aly Bain and other musicians began a small Glasgow winter festival, Celtic Connections, which has now evolved into the world biggest folk, roots and world music festival and takes place in 32 venues over 18 days and with artists coming worldwide. Many artists perform Robert Burns and other traditional songs, as well as singing in Gaelic. Glasgow is ideal for the folk festival with its many diverse and much loved venues – Barrowlands, King Tuts, Oran Mor, Old Fruitmarket  concert hall and more. -

Edinburgh also is the perfect historic city for its major arts festival each August – begun in 1947, it attracts visitors worldwide and is one of the world’s oldest and most significant cultural events. Edinburgh International festival -
Aly Bain
Dougie MacLean

SCOTS ARTS. Glasgow also boasts the work of the Glasgow Boys Colourists, 1890s to 1910. 
Glasgow’s Rennie Mackintosh Art School may have been destroyed by fire, but more people than ever appreciate and enjoy Macintosh’s work at the Home for an Art Lover and at the LIghthouse. In Glasgow there is also the impressive Kelvingrove and the Burrell collection. While Edinburgh boasts the Scottish Portrait gallery and National Galleries. In the 90s the head of Scottish Arts wanted to close the portrait galleries, claiming no significant Scottish art! 

SCOTS MEDIA. We’re poorly served by media and by Creative Scotland though, with a struggle to build Scotland a film studio (amazingly considering Wales, Northern Ireland, Birmingham have studios). Even though we have some of the world’s greatest scenery. And no Scottish TV channels: when even the poorest European country, Moldova, has its own tv channel.  However the global success of Outlander has seen a film studio built. While the new BBC Scotland channel is mostly playing it safe. 

What has been a problem is Scots institutions being run by outsiders who don’t value or understand Scot’s traditions or history. I studied art, history at school in Edinburgh, in the 70s, but learned nothing of Scots culture, history or heritage. I’m now teaching myself and learning of our great enlightenment, art and song.  For decades, no centuries, there has been deliberate policies to suppress Scots culture.  

SCOTS MUSIC. Scots music has enjoyed a renaissance since the 70s –  Average White band, Simple Minds, Deacon Blue, Franz Ferdinand, Lulu, Texas, Snow Patrol, Gerry Rafferty, Annie Lennox, Del Amitri – to name a few. With some of the most innovative and creative talent. Scots artists have achieved great success in 2019 – a particular shout out to the newcomer Lewis Capaldi. Plus Calvin Harris, Mogwai, Emeli Sande, Chvrches, Tom Walker, Kathryn Joseph, Young Fathers, C Duncan, Be Charlotte, Frightened Rabbit,... Scotland definitely punches above its size.

On the folk Trad scene there is outstanding talent both young and old – Karine Polwart, Braebach, Rura, Blazin Fiddles, Dick Gaughan, Rab Noakes, Blue Rose Code, Dougie MacLean, Skerryvore, Julie Fowlis, many more

Alexander MacColl Smith
I attend Edinburgh Book festival each year, which was begun in 1983 and is the UKs oldest book festival. Scots literature is not only thriving, but producing some of the worlds best known writers – Val McDermid, Ian Rankin, Iain Banks, Christopher Brookmyre, Alexander MacColl Smith, Ali Smith, Alasdair Gray, more …Dundee games industry is a world leader and now also boasts the iconic Dundee V & A designed by Kengo Kuma.-

What has been a problem is Scots institutions being run by outsiders who don’t value or understand Scot’s traditions or history. I studied art, history at school in Edinburgh, in the 70s, but learned nothing of Scots culture, history or heritage. I’m now teaching myself and learning of our great enlightenment, art and song.  For decades, no centuries, there has been deliberate policies to suppress Scots culture.  

II  Since the Scottish Parliament opened in 1999 twenty years ago, there has been renewed confidence to believe in and understand our rich Scots traditions and heritage. Artists are now proud to sing in their Scots accent. Gaelic is more popular than ever. My local folk club is flourishing. We also have many highly respected academics such as the distinguished historian Tom Devine, along with 4 fo the world's top universities. 

Scotland is creative and bold, but we allow other places (such as London) to make money out of our creativity. Big London outfits are profiting from turning Edinburgh into a Scottish Disneyland of the North. More money must be kept in Scotland to improve roads and infrastructure. We must teach more business in Schools and how to protect and keep the money here in Scotland: and build our own infrastructures.

For our size our cultural contributions are outstanding. They are also grassroots, rather than top down by some Big Label machine – and in my opinion much healthier and creative for it. 

**Special mention to artist and writer Alasdair Gray 1934 – 2019. We have just lost one of Scotland’s great artists and innovators. I took photos of him Edinburgh a few years back – what a great character!