Open Mic at the Reading Room

How long have we been breathless for this?

The Reading Room has received input from local writers who ache for a platform from which to deliver their private (secretly longing for exposure) works of poetry and prose–and we’ve listened to you…

Ta Da! Show up at Edinbane Hall on Tuesday, June 27, for our Experimental Open Microphone event. It will be kicked off by Francis Mitchell, who is adept at the handling of the shy and the bold and all comers can be sure of an amenable reception. 

Cakes, tea and coffee will be served to keep energy flowing. We hope to attract an eclectic mix of work—everyone is encouraged to read. Prepare for a five-minute time slot and we will go from there.

Feel free to bring those pieces that cringe in the corner or beat on the door for release. Want to test your material before a live audience? Here we are! Tell your friends. All ages preferred; no categories. Work in Gaelic very welcome.

We look forward to hosting intriguing, controversial and just plain, comfortable writing here.

Admission is free to members and performers. £5 each for non-member audience.

Open Mic begins at 7:30 p.m. If you would like to join a few of us for dinner at the Edinbane Inn, make reservations for 6 p.m.  and we’ll see you there.

As usual, our bookshelf of Good-Reads will be available to browse and purchase for 50p each. The Reading Room Anthologies 1 and 2 may be purchased for £8.50 each. Ask us about our reasonable memberships.

For further information about events or the Reading Room, message us on Facebook at The Reading Room – Skye or email us at skyereadingroom@yahoo.co.uk.

Storybones, Storyskin with Margot Henderson

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Margot’s work requires creativity, resourcefulness and the ability to be with people where and how they are.

The Reading Room presents an evening of poetry and stories by Margot Henderson, who will perform some of her work and share stories of her engaged practice as a Community Artist. She will also hold an afternoon workshop called ‘Words for Well-Being’.

This Scots-Irish poet and storyteller is one of those ‘list people’. You know the type–the ones who make us flush green and cringe and throw half-empty teacups and whisky glasses at walls…the ones who have accomplished such an incredible amount of creative work, it requires much space and headings to organize it all and we are loath to believe a word of it.

With over 30 years of experience in leading Community Arts projects and workshops, Margot was Reader in Residence for Inverness, Storytelling Fellow for Aberdeen and Writer in Residence for the Cromarty Arts Trust. She has led Expressive Writing groups for Maggies Highlands, CLAN and the Highland Hospice  She is a regular workshop leader with LAPIDUS and the WEA in Wellbeing. She also leads Mindfulness workshops and retreats.

The central themes of Margot’s work, which takes place in a huge range of venues, are: encouraging creative self-expression; exploring roots and heritage; deepening connection to self, community and place; and generating a sense of belonging. She has a deep love of nature and a keen sense of our interconnectedness.

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Margot as a Garden Pea in a Pod, ‘Connecting with the Intelligence of Nature’, at a 2008 celebration of Findhorn Community co-founder, Dorothy Maclean.

She has taken part in cross-arts collaborations and has been commissioned by a range of organisations including Scottish Natural Heritage, the Findhorn Foundation, Ballet Rambert, the Barbican Centre and the Tate, to create and perform her work.

Everyone is welcome to join us at Edinbane Community Hall, on Tuesday, February 28, at 7:30 p.m. Admission is free for members and our reasonably priced memberships are available at the door. Non-members: £5. Refreshments will be served.

Write Here

Margot’s Afternoon Workshop will be mainly aimed at carers and people who work in the caring profession. She says, ‘Sometimes we are so busy caring for others that we don’t find it easy to take space for ourselves. This workshop is a chance to take some time to relax and reflect, create and express.

‘We will share some playful and practical writing prompts that can support our own happiness and well-being. These tools can also be helpful in working with others.

‘Writing can be a wonderful way of becoming more present helping us get in touch with and express our feelings. We can resource ourselves through writing in groups, sharing concerns and inspirations, responses and reflections as a way of finding greater meaning and well-being in our lives. It can also be a way of developing empathy and creative imagination. Sharing our writing together can be satisfying and fun.’

The workshop will be held on February 28, 2:30-4:30 p.m., at the Caledonian Hotel, downtown Portree (upstairs from street). Admission is free of charge but please register with us, as space is limited. Message us on Facebook: Reading Room – Skye or email us at skyereadingroom@yahoo.co.uk.

 

Celebrate Scottish Book Week with Brian Johnstone

THE READING ROOM PRESENTS

SCOTTISH BOOK WEEK 2015

SKEABOST MEMORIAL HALL

NOVEMBER 25        7:30 PM


POETRY: JAZZ IT UP

THE WORDS AND MUSIC OF

BRIAN JOHNSTONE AND TRIO VERSO

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Photo credit: Jim Nock

Brian Johnstone with Trio Verso will perform poetry and jazz improv for our Book Week Scotland celebration, which is always a good party. This is sponsored by Scottish Book Trust, so while admittance is free, the entertainment is worth hightailing it to Skeabost Memorial Hall. Take advantage of this opportunity to see Johnstone, a prolific Scottish poet, writer and performer, whose work been translated into more than a dozen European languages, while he continues to maintain a high profile in the Scottish poetry scene as founder, organizer and competition judge.


ALL WELCOME. ENTRY IS FREE.

BRING YOUR OWN BOTTLES


SPONSORED BY SCOTTISH BOOK TRUST

THE READING ROOM ON FACEBOOK

SKYEREADING ROOM@YAHOO.CO.UK

New Poetry Collection by Kenneth Steven

Cover-1_Iona-Poems

 

 We’ve been waiting for Kenneth Steven’s new book of Iona-inspired poems and here it is.

 

The poet told us that all of the poems in this collection are Haiku-esque, but they don’t intend to be paying formal homage to the genre: ‘These are intended to be little meditations on the island and its story.’ 

 

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It is a little book, so the price is pretty little too.  A single copy, with postage, is £8. Two copies, again with postage, will be £15, and three £20. This lovely gem would be a special gift for yourself and/or friends.

Correspondence and payment  may be mailed to Kenneth Steven at the address below or go to his web page. Let him know dedications you might like him to write and please include your home address to make things easier and swifter for him.

Little Narnia
Spoutwells
Dunkeld
PH8 0AZ
Scotland

www.kennethsteven.co.uk

 

It’s all about the ‘ring of language’

As a recap of our June 30th fun with author, poet and mad storyteller, Ian Stephen, here are some photos from the day.

Poets Beverly Mann and Norma Walker getting a taste of Ian’s sense of humor.

Writer, Kevyn Smith…it’s the effect Ian has on people.

The Skeabost House Hotel was a-buzz with the things that the Reading Room is all about – language and the reading, writing and sharing of it. In our afternoon workshop, Ian focused on recipe poems, which involved the writing and then the editing, which magically turned sketchy or wordy stuff into surprises.

There was a lot of literary metamorphosing going on in Lachlan MacDonald’s original wood-panelled chapel turned billiard room. Ian reminded the poets that claritas was a great classical virtue but, as we chopped and re-arranged, he asked, ‘Is there a risk in giving too much away?’ He was especially interested in Kevyn’s willingness to kick out what he liked best.

The evening began in our new location, the stately dining room cum literary salon, with open mike readings by A.S. DeWitt Angel, Kevyn Smith, Norma Walker, Francis Mitchell and Morag Henriksen.

 

Ian Stephen and Francis Mitchell.

Morag Henriksen reads sequel to ‘Scenery of Dreams’.

Himself becoming a legendary maritime storyteller, Ian’s tales come bounding out of his gills (as I see it!) and we were treated to a couple of his funny stories right away. After a cocktail break, Morag delighted all with a reading from her humorous, in-process sequel to Scenery of Dreams, and Ian re-took the floor to read from his first novel, A Book of Death and Fish. 

Fish we understand, with Ian, but ‘why death?’ someone asked. The author explained that the stories had been compiled over many years and to turn the chain into a novel meant it had to have something cohesive, something special. Referring to how theatre is developed, he said his protagonist/narrator’s character changes with each story…and there is a death in every story.

We look forward to watching Ian Stephen’s star rising, and though he seems like a fireball on a stage, it is evident the webcams will be catching him for a long time. 

R:  128 G:  255 B:  179 X:54188 Y:    0 S:  546 Z:  141 F:  138

We are happy to announce that award-winning author, Louise Welsh, will be our special guest on Tuesday, July 28, at the Skeabost House Hotel, for an afternoon workshop and evening reading.

 

 

An Evening with Ian Stephen

THE READING ROOM PRESENTS AN AFTERNOON POETRY WORKSHOP AND EVENING EVENT WITH IAN STEPHEN. OPEN MIKE FOLLOWS

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Scottish Writing Centre in-process master class with Ian Stephen, at Glasgow’s  Centre for Contemporary Arts. Photo credit: Pat Morrissey

IanStephenBookYou are invited to join the Reading Room in welcoming writer, artist and sailor, Ian Stephen, on Tuesday, June 30, at Skeabost Country House Hotel, Isle of Skye.

Ian Stephen, an Isle of Lewis man, has the reputation of being an adventuresome sailor, a passionate performer and workshop leader and a master storyteller.

His poetry and stories are published in many countries and have been translated into German, French and Czech.

Stephen’s first novel,  ‘A Book of Death and Fish’ (Saraband, 2014), has received excellent reviews as a brilliant and mesmerizing story, evocative of the rich life and characters found in the outer Hebrides.

His ‘Western Isles Folk Tales’ (illustrated by Christine Morrison, 2014) was described by Canadian storyteller, Dawn MacFarlane, as ‘brilliant and compelling historical artistry in word and illustration’.

We are excited to be able to present this talented man to the community and look Ian S Western Isles Folk Talesforward to surprises, tales and a completely enjoyable evening, which begins at 7:30 p.m.

Plan on making a night of it. There are two dining options at Skeabost. A fine Dining menu is served in the Dining Room, with its oak panelled walls. There is also Sonas, the contemporary, casual bistro outlet, serving an a la carte menu. Both menus use the freshest of local produce sourced from around the island. The cozy pub is also a favorite pre-event option.

The author will also head a 2-hour afternoon workshop for poets. He has used the device of the recipe-poem in several publications, as a way into the short stories in Mackerel and Creamola (Polygon\pocketbooks) and worked into the text of his novel, A Book of Death and Fish.

In this workshop, he will introduce some examples and propose the recipe-poem as a starting point. This can be developed in a practical or completely impractical way but the aim is to let the imagination loose and play with language.
Bring a copy of one of your poems. There is a £5 fee for the workshop. Sign up for the workshop by emailing the RR at skyereadingroom@yahoo.co.uk. Limited to eight participants, to allow close reading and feedback. The workshop begins at 3:30 p.m.

Included in the evening is our Open Mike session which is filling up, so if you want to do a reading, get in touch by sending a short sample of a poem or prose piece to skyereadingroom@yahoo.co.uk. No Facebook sign-ups, please.

Currently, there is room for single poems or very short prose. All writers are welcome. 

All June 30 events will take place at Skeabost Country House Hotel, situated on Loch Snizort Beag, in north Skye, 7 miles from Portree, on the Portree/Dunvegan road. There is no charge for the evening event with Ian Stephen. Supportive donations are always welcome and memberships are available. Our selection of used books offers a variety of good reads at bargain prices, so be sure to  the book table.

Ian Stephen and Open Mike in June

The big cheeses at the Reading Room have to take a breather occasionally, so May will be dark while they have a ‘wee break to sort the paperwork, emails & get the anthology going strongly’. With the impressive Baker Prize winning pieces and a barrage of fascinating entries, the anthology promises to be popular. Let’s hope this serious business includes some good wine and sunshine on the deck…but have a wee-wee dram for me.

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Ian Stephen, writer, artist, sailor.

We are looking forward to seeing poet, author and playwright, Ian Stephen, at Skeabost Country House Hotel on the evening of Tuesday, June 30, for an entertaining program. Ian resides on the Isle of Lewis, living a busy creative lifestyle. Check out his web page to see what he is up to, at http://www.ianstephen.co.uk. We’ll give you more information on Ian in June, but bear in mind this is a spellbinding storyteller and mark this event on your calendar.

On the afternoon of his evening appearance, Ian also will be offering a two-hour workshop for poets, with close-reading and feedback on poems. Poets wanting to attend may book a place at skyereadingroom@yahoo.co.uk. There will be a small fee. Attendance will be limited to eight, unless you cry a lot.

In response to the many requests from writers, an Open Microphone Session will take place on the same evening, June 30. There should be time for at least five readers, depending on sign-ups. Prose pieces are limited to ten minutes and up to three poems may be read, no more than ten minutes. Shorter single poems and prose are encouraged, as this will give more readers a chance to present their work. All writers are welcome. To sign up, please submit a short sample of your work to the Reading Room, at skyereadingroom@yahoo.co.uk. (No Facebook sign-ups, please.) See you there.