Brian Johnstone and Trio Verso: Book Week Scotland on Skye.

The Reading Room is privileged to present Brian Johnstone and Trio Verso, for our Book Week Scotland 2015 celebration on Wednesday,  November 25, at Skeabost Memorial Hall.

Trio Verso: Brian Johnstone, Richard Ingham, Louise Major. Photo credit: Al Buntin

Scottish poet, Brian Johnstone, is a well- known figure on the Scottish poetry scene. He is a published poet with six collections to his name, a literary event organizer of broad experience and a live performer of his poems, both as a solo reader and with various musical collaborators.

Johnstone’s poetry has been published extensively across Scotland, in the rest of the UK, in the USA and Latin America, as well as in various European countries. The poet has given readings at numerous literary venues in Scotland, and at poetry festivals and other locations in England, around Europe and in Central and North America. His work has been translated into over a dozen European languages and is published in the respective countries. His latest poetry collection is Dry Stone Work.

As a live performer, Brian Johnstone is the poet/reader with Trio Verso, also featuring Richard Ingham (saxes, bass clarinet) and Louise Major (bass). Performing poetry & jazz improv since 2007, the trio has appeared at festivals and literary venues across Scotland, making its first appearance in England in 2011, at the Ted Hughes Festival. Their CD Storm Chaser appeared in 2010.

The recipient of a Scottish Arts Council Writer’s Bursary in 1998, Brian Johnstone has also received a number of Development Awards from the SAC and Creative Scotland. A prizewinner in the National Poetry Competition in 2000, he has won several other competitions, including the Writers’ Bureau Prize, the Mallard Prize and Poetry at the Fringe, during the Edinburgh Festival.

In 1991, he was a founder of Edinburgh’s Shore Poets and, throughout the 1990s, ran the Cave Readings series for the Pittenweem Arts Festival. From 1998-2003, he taught creative writing in poetry for The University of St Andrews Centre for Continuing Education, and from 1998-2000, for the Open College of the Arts. A founder in 1998 of StAnza: Scotland’s International Poetry Festival, he was Festival Director from 2001-2010 and remained on the staff as Festival Consultant until 2013. In 2014, he was appointed an Honorary President of StAnza.

Over the years, Brian Johnstone has organized poetry events for the Words Out! Festival, Perth; for Visual Arts Scotland; and for the American literary tour group, Book Adventures. He has been a frequent events chair for the Edinburgh International Book Festival and has judged poetry competitions, including the Wigtown Book Festival International Poetry Prize and the William Soutar Writing Prize, as well as serving on the panel for the Scottish Book Trust’s New Writers’ Awards.

This event is sponsored by Scottish Book Trust and begins at 7:30 p.m. Admission is free and everyone is welcome to join us for this lively gathering. We look forward to seeing all of you. Please note that there is no bar, so bring your own bottles.

Directions to Skeabost Memorial Hall: grid NG420484. A850, 4 miles from Portree on Dunvegan Rd. Last right before Skeabost Bridge, at Tote/Prabost/Peinmore turn. Immediate Left – look for lights. (18 miles from Dunvegan).