New Passages: Nalini Paul pt 2

Following an initial writing residency on the Isle of Lewis in August 2017 – reflections on which you can read on this site – last month novelist Abir Mukherjee and poet Nalini Paul travelled to Kolkata to work with two India-based writers: poet Sampurna Chattarji and novelist and journalist Sandip Roy. The authors are encouraged to creatively respond to items …

New Passages: Abir Mukherjee pt 2

Following an initial writing residency on the Isle of Lewis in August 2017 – reflections on which you can read on this site – last month novelist Abir Mukherjee and poet Nalini Paul travelled to Kolkata to work with two India-based writers: poet Sampurna Chattarji and novelist and journalist Sandip Roy. The authors are encouraged to creatively respond to items …

New Passages: Sampurna Chattarji

The following piece is the first response from Sampurna Chattarji, a poet, novelist, translator and children’s author of fourteen published titles. She is currently the Poetry Editor of The Indian Quarterly. In my most recent poetry book, Space Gulliver: Chronicles of an Alien (HarperCollins, 2015), I wrote about my protagonist’s ‘disinclination to pore over beautiful things/ in an overheated building …

New Passages: Sandip Roy

Following an initial writing residency on the Isle of Lewis in August 2017 – reflections on which you can read on this site – last month novelist Abir Mukherjee and poet Nalini Paul travelled to Kolkata to work with two India-based writers: poet Sampurna Chattarji and novelist and journalist Sandip Roy. The authors are encouraged to creatively respond to items …

Unlocking Literature in Scotland’s Prisons

A highlight of the year-round Booked! programme, our work in Scotland’s prisons has been stimulating and rewarding for offenders, authors and staff alike. Here, Projects Manager Casi Dylan considers its progress so far, and its future development. Ryan Gattis – tall, tattooed, in jeans, cardigan and tie – stands in front of an audience at HMP Greenock and begins his …

Is this your Glenrothes?

We’ve been asking past and present residents of Glenrothes to share their feelings on the town and their lives in it, as well as their hopes and fears for the future, as we prepare to head to Fife for the next leg of our ReimagiNation tour of Scotland’s New Towns. Read on below for a selection of their responses so …

Tell us about Glenrothes

Glenrothes was designated as Scotland’s second post-war New Town in 1948, and in the spring of 2018 we’ll be marking this 70th anniversary by taking our ReimagiNation tour to the town, culminating in a festival in May. Unusually among the New Towns, Glenrothes was not designed as an overspill site for Glasgow, but as a development to house workers at …

New Passages: Nalini Paul

In August we launched New Passages, a year-long project commemorating the 70th anniversary of Indian independence and partition, in partnership with An Lanntair in Stornoway and Apeejay Kolkata Literary Festival, with support from the British Council. Writers Abir Mukherjee and Nalini Paul spent a few days on the Isle of Lewis exploring the Mackenzie Collection, a renowned collection of Asian …

New Passages: Abir Mukherjee

In August we launched New Passages, a year-long project commemorating the 70th anniversary of Indian independence and partition, in partnership with An Lanntair in Stornoway and Apeejay Kolkata Literary Festival, with support from the British Council. Writers Abir Mukherjee and Nalini Paul spent a few days on the Isle of Lewis exploring the Mackenzie Collection, a renowned collection of Asian …

On the road in August

Our Booked! programme in August was the biggest we have delivered yet. Making the most of the fantastic authors who join us in Edinburgh for the Book Festival, we toured to three towns and cities with mini-Festivals, took writers to the Hebrides to launch a fascinating new intercontinental partnership, and visited three Scottish prisons for five events, including two with …

The Book Fest on Tour

In a previous post on this blog, historian and writer Daniel Gray said he has found that Scotland ‘oozes stories’. Booked!, the travelling programme of the Edinburgh International Book Festival, intends to uncover them. With the support of fantastic local partners, the help of writers from around the world and, of course, the enthusiasm of audiences new and old, Booked! …

Unbound in Irvine

Books might not make you think loud and lively, but Unbound is just that — a thrilling cabaret-style event with live music, hilarious and haunting readings from authors often showing new sides to their work, and a bar. And it’s completely free to attend! Taking place nightly at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, we’re excited to bring the same wild, …

Unbound in East Kilbride

Books might not make you think loud and lively, but Unbound is just that — a thrilling cabaret-style event with live music, hilarious and haunting readings from authors often showing new sides to their work, and a bar. And it’s completely free to attend! Taking place nightly at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, we’re excited to bring the same wild, …

The North East’s Finest

Following the success of last year’s Unbound event in the bar of Aberdeen Arts Centre (then ACT Aberdeen) during the first Aberdeen Booked! Festival, an even bigger cabaret-style event will take place this year upstairs in the theatre, bringing you a mix of readings and music from the north east and beyond – all for free! This year’s event takes …

ReimagiNation Rolls On

The Book Festival’s ReimagiNation tour of Scotland’s five New Towns continues in August as we head to two fascinating areas in the west of Scotland, each with their own distinct character and history. We pop up in East Kilbride, Scotland’s original New Town, between Saturday 19 and Monday 21 August, before winding up our summer activity with a visit to …

Reflecting on ReimagiNation: Cumbernauld

Our weekend Festival in the New Town of Cumbernauld came to a close on Sunday with an impassioned, energetic and galvanising debate on the past, present and future of the town in which local residents had a chance to share their views with panellists Diane Watters, Kirkland Ciccone, Adam Kaasa and chairperson Richard Holloway. Topics covered ranged from the necessity …

Chris Leslie: A Disappearing City?

Award-winning Glaswegian photographer and filmmaker Chris Leslie embarked on a project to document the changing face of Glasgow in 2014, capturing a city in the throes of another transformation, like that which led to the creation of the Scottish New Towns 70 years ago – but what might this mean for the city’s people? Here he shares an outline of …

Boundless Talents

Books might not make you think loud and lively, but Unbound is just that — a thrilling cabaret-style event with live music, hilarious and haunting readings from authors often showing new sides to their work, and a bar. And it’s completely free to attend! Taking place nightly at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, we’re excited to bring the same wild, …

David Bishop: Dredd Dystopias

David Bishop is a writer of novels, screenplays, graphic novels and non-fiction. A former editor of British science fiction anthology 2000AD, he is the co-writer of that comic’s unfiltered history, Thrill-Power Overload: 2000AD – The First Forty Years. He teaches on the genre-focused Creative Writing MA at Edinburgh Napier University, including the world’s first postgraduate module on writing the scripts …

Diane Watters: New Town, My Town

Diane M Watters is an architectural historian. A specialist in nineteenth and twentieth century architecture and conservation in Scotland, she has recently authored St Peter’s Seminary, Cardross: Birth Death and Renewal (HES, 2016), and co-authored a guide to Cumbernauld (with Miles Glendinning) as part of Buildings of Scotland architectural guidebook series to Lanarkshire and Renfrewshire (Yale University Press, 2016). She …

Festival Programme Unveiled

Last week we launched the programme for a new Festival, ReimagiNation: Cumbernauld, which takes place from Friday 19 to Sunday 21 May 2017. Writers, artists, musicians and poets including Liz Lochhead, Denise Mina, Jenny Colgan and Graeme Macrae Burnet will join audiences in celebrating science fiction, crime writing, poetry, football and the stories of Cumbernauld’s residents. The programme for ReimagiNation: …

Moving Pictures, Hidden Clocks

Daniel Gray continues his exploration of life in Cumbernauld past, present and future. Here, he finds out what signs and symbols hold meaning for local residents, and gets an insight into what they feel is lacked and what is loved in the town. Beyond the plastic cones is the clock. It came from St Enoch Station, following the many Glasgow …

Fresh Plans

Ishbel McFarlane has performed her new interactive theatre experience with groups of young and old residents of Cumbernauld. Here, she shares some insights in to the towns each group built during the show and highlights the issues, debates and common interests which came to light during each session. Crudville. Supercity. Clintown. Jefflandia. Knewtown. Pitsville. Shaun Junior. Paxtoun. Jjam. Dragon City. These are some of the names that were selected …

Stories Under the Surface

Mike Nicholson has been working with pupils in Kildrum, Carbrain, St Mary’s and St Margaret of Scotland Primary Schools in Cumbernauld. Here he shares his initial reactions to the sessions with the kids and teases what stories might emerge from the sessions. Four schools visited, eight sessions completed and the first stages of the ReimagiNation: Cumbernauld schools’ writing project are …

Green Coloured Pencils

Writer and historian Daniel Gray is working with CACE Older People Active Lives service users as part of our ReimagiNation creative residency. Below he shares some thoughts on the town from his first visit to the town. Those who first drew what would become Cumbernauld did so with plenty of green pencils. For each house, a garden; for each towerblock, …

Cumbernauld: Meet Ishbel McFarlane

Ahead of a series of special workshops with the young and old of Cumbernauld, we asked our three resident artists to introduce themselves and share their thoughts on how they’d approach the questions they’ll bring to local people. Theatre maker Ishbel McFarlane’s new performance/game Plan invites audiences to construct a town in much the same way as New Town planners …

Cumbernauld: Meet Daniel Gray

Ahead of a series of special workshops with the young and old of Cumbernauld, we asked our three resident artists to introduce themselves and share their thoughts on how they’d approach the questions they’ll bring to local people. Writer and historian Daniel Gray is working with service users at Cumbernauld Action Care for the Elderly to gather stories of the …

Cumbernauld: Meet Mike Nicholson

I’m Mike Nicholson, an Edinburgh-based children’s author who enjoys writing for others to read, as well as working with others to create their own stories. It took me a while to get into writing. I had worked in a few jobs with different charities before I twigged that what I really love is playing around with words and forming stories; …

From New Town to New Towns

Across 2017 and 2018 Booked! is going on a tour of Scotland’s New Towns – Cumbernauld, East Kilbride, Irvine, Glenrothes and Livingston. We’ll work with local people and organisations in each area to celebrate and enjoy books, creativity and discussion. Following the Second World War, the establishment of these new developments in and around (or on top of) existing communities …

What’s it called?

The New Town of Cumbernauld began coming to life 60 years ago next year. Located on the north eastern outskirts of a then overcrowded post-war Glasgow, the developers brought ideas of modernity to an extant village with roots stretching back to the Romans. Theirs was a vision of utopia, of a community created from scratch in a town purpose built …