Bouf. We’re into Day 3 of the Inky Fingers Minifest and while we had the very best of intentions in blogging events each day, the general mental-ness of it all has meant that we’re a bit behind. But we’re getting on it. Starting now.
Monday afternoon eased us in with a quirky, funny, bizarre historical lecture on Edinburgh monsters from Andrew Blair and James Anderson, and some beautiful poetry from the lovely Mairi Campbell-Jack.
The walls of the Total Kunst gallery in Forest spent the day being covered in one vast poem (giving me a new favourite word in ‘malarking’. And also ‘plouf’) from Readers of Lice as part of the I Am Not A Poet exhibition (presented by TK and VerySmallKitchen). Spend some time in there. It’s a moment of calm from the throngs on the streets.
And courtesy of one of our favourite chaosmeisters, Tickle McNicholl, the evening’s mixed doubles slam was a showcase of the cream of performance poetry in Edinburgh, Scotland, the world at the moment…a line up of Young Dawkins, Cat Brogan, Jenny Lindsay, Graham Hawley, Fiona Lindsay, Kevin Cadwallender, Sophia Walker and Pete the Temp competing in mixed pairs for the grand prize of a bottle of Pimms and a cucumber. Yah. The strength and diversity of voices and words was inspiring. That, ladies and gentlemen, is how you play tennis.
Closely run, but the final prize was taken by wonderful, passionate Sophia Walker and the thoroughly glorious and gorgeous Pete The Temp. And then, like the gluttons we are, we piled round en masse to the Blind Poet for Texture’s Blind Poetic Cabaret (running on Mondays all month). It ended with fags and pavement poetry on the street outside. It was one of those nights.
Tuesday daytime had us working through a couple of technical hitches (oh Forest, how I love thee) but sorted in time for afternoon readings from Michael Egan and Inky’s newest recruit Tracey Rosenberg (she has a book and everything! A proper one! The Girl In The Bunker – go and get it!), and for the Duality showcase, presented by Alec Beattie. In the meantime, Matt McD was running round the city with a soapbox and a sign to present some flash fiction ninja reading type goodness, with readers like Gavin Inglis, Lindsay Ure and others…
Pete The Temp took to the stage for a presentation of him vs Climate Change…rousing, rowdy, heartbreaking, and funny as fuck. Viagra vegetables, bovine battery Britain, sponsoranactivist.org and the real invisible hands of the market. He’s great. We want him to come back.
Then a warm, absorbing Open Mic with performances from IF vollies Mark Haw and Chris Colbrook, Catriona Child (another book! Trackman!), Peter Mackie, Gus Simonovic, Sergio Garau and Daan Doesborgh (primarily in Italian and a translation from Dutch, and a superb showcase of how energy and performance gets it across. Rhubarb man. Indeed) and then the magnificent Zorras as our headline act. On riots, Amy Winehouse’s small feet, carrots and what happens when language is set free.
It’s the Tiara Gynaelogues! I’m off to see them! Right now!
And – going on last night’s tasters – tonight’s show of lover’s walk (from Siri Embla and Gus Simonovic) and the howling trinity of Sergio Garau, Daan Doesborgh and Ana Reis is going to be extraordinary. See ya in there.
On another note. I’m speaking for myself rather than Inky here, but it’s been very difficult to concentrate on the Edinbubble at times over the past few days, given what is going on in the streets in the rest of UK. We were so absorbed in setting up the Minifest that I didn’t actually hear about what had happened in London until Monday afternoon. And by that time, the chaos and violence and fury had spread to Liverpool, to Birmingham and last night to my beloved Manchester. As the reports filtered through of the destruction – to steal sportswear? £1900 of damage to…the Diesel shop? Burning down a Miss Selfridge? Really? REALLY? – in the city centre, I realised that I know those streets well enough to see exactly where fires and breaking windows had happened, and it hurts. I don’t understand what is happening at the moment – I’m still trying to think it through. But I do know that I feel sad, confused and very angry. And somehow guilty. We’ve got something wrong.
And I do feel that, in the meantime, we have to keep building the beautiful. So that’s what we’re gonna try and do.
Come and see us in Forest this week.