NEWS, EVENTS AND LINKS

Here we intend to post any relevant items relating to Hugh MacDiarmid, Scottish literary and other arts activity, community events in and around Biggar and further afield.  Let us know of things you think we should publicise by submitting details of any news, events and happenings. Simply email us at macdiarmidsbrownsbank@gmail.com

To start with: at the end of 2017 the first new portrait of Hugh MacDiarmid since his death in 1978 was created by the artist Calum Colvin. The manner of its creation was as striking as the end result. Calum came to Brownsbank and took an exhaustive photographic record of the cottage.  His studio was then set up in the Royal Scottish Academy where he worked on the portrait with public access to the work while it was being undertaken.  On New Year’s day this year at the gallery Calum spoke about the work and James Robertson read some of MacDiarmid’s work.  (Incidentally Calum has also done the cover of James’s superb new biography of the singer songwriter Michael Marra  ‘Michael Marra - Arrest This Moment’)

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CALUM COLVIN

The portrait was hung in the Royal Scottish Academy in 2018 summer exhibition. You can find out more about Calum, who manages to find time to be the Professor of Fine Art and Photography and Programme Director at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design Dundee University, and his  extraordinarily fine work at his website calumcolvin.com

NATIONAL COLLECTIVE

Photograph of National Collective, James, Alan and Denham outside Brownsbank March 2014.

In March 2014 The National Collective made a film at the cottage featuring James Robertson and Alan Riach discussing MacDiarmid. You can watch this important record by entering ‘Ode To All Rebels’ in the search box on Vimeo.com

FURTHER USEFUL LINKS

Saltire Society: www.saltiresociety.org.uk

Scottish Poetry Library: www.scottishpoetrylibrary.org.uk

Scottish Book Trust: www.scottishbooktrust.com



BIGGAR LITTLE FESTIVAL

We are holding three events at this year’s Biggar Little Festival.



BEST OF ENEMIES

A POETRY READING

Biggar Little Festival Thursday 24 October 2019

7:30pm

The Elphinstone Hotel

IN ASSOCIATION WITH THE SQUIRREL PRESS:


The programme will feature poets Alan Riach, Andrew Sclater, Angela McSeveney, Aonghas MacCeacall and Colin Will reading their work. This will be an outstanding showcase of contemporary Scottish Poetry.

THE CONCERT FOR BROWNSBANK

Biggar Little Festival Friday 1 November 2019

The Corn Exchange

MACDIARMID’S BROWNSBANK PRESENT:


MacDiarmid’s Brownsbank are delighted to present our Makar JACKIE KAY at this year’s concert for Brownsbank. Jackie has strong connections with the cottage having grown up in Glasgow with many who knew and admired Hugh MacDiarmid.


Also on the bill will be the premiere of a new film by filmmaker Carolyn Scott and Andy Sim. The film features first Brownsbank Fellow writer JAMES ROBERTSON filmed at the cottage and talking about his time there


Students from Biggar High School will read MacDiarmid’s work and other work by Scottish poets.   Sarah and Scott Wilson will provide the music with their striking approached to traditional Scottish Music.


Tickets £15.00


Biggar Little Festival Wednesday 23 October 2019

The Corn Exchange

MACDIARMID’S BROWNSBANK PRESENT:

BEST OF ENEMIES


Hugh MacDiarmid and Ian Hamilton Finlay were two of the most important Scottish cultural contributors to the twentieth century.  They started out as firm friends but then became the best of enemies.


Chaired by Magnus Linklater, Professor Alan Riach and Professor Stephen Bann, both definitive authorities on each artist, will discuss the how and the why of the incendiary relationship.  This promises to be a fascinating evening with insight that continues to have contemporary resonance.


Proceeds from this event will all go to the restoration and maintenance of Brownsbank Cottage.

POETRY READING

Scottish Poetry Library  Wednesday 11 September 2019

7pm


Red Squirrel Press is presenting a poetry reading in aid of MacDiarmid’s Brownsbank. Poets Alan Riach, Gerry Cambridge, Richie McCaffery, Elizabeth Rimmer and Colin Will will be reading their work.  This promises to be a fine occasion featuring the cream of Scottish contemporary  poetry.

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BROWNSBANK COTTAGE

A Drunk Man Looks at the Thistle

 ‘And let the lesson be - to be yersel’s,
Ye needna fash gin it’s to be ocht else.

To be yersel’s - and to mak’ that worth bein’,

 Nae harder job to mortals has been gi’en.’

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