Scottish Writers' Centre Blog

The Scottish Writers' Centre is a charitable body, registered in Scotland, number SC040823.

Archive for March, 2010


Last time: Gerrie Fellows

Grateful thanks, first of all, to Gerrie Fellows for her Poetry Collage Workshop on 18 March – the first ‘workshop’ session the Writers’ Centre has held. The author of this Post was in Leipzig – and so couldn’t attend – but clearly missed something good, as comments on Facebook reflect:

* Thanks for the excellent collage workshop on 18th March, it was really enjoyable! am looking forward to future events with SWC now I’ve signed up to the blog!

** Felt my brain really wake up during last night’s poetry collage workshop with Gerrie Fellows. Who would think taking a random page of text and examining the words could be such an inspiring way to trigger metaphors in our own writing? My page was about meteorology. Included terms like ‘dew-point’, ‘radiation fog’, ‘sand drifting’, ‘disper…sal’, and given lines like ‘strong winds blow across fallow fields’. A great night.


Next time: Peter Robertson

Our next event is on Thursday, 8 April, again at the CCA on Sauchiehall St, and – as ever – at 7pm. This time, however, we are downstairs in CCA 4 for an event marking the publication of 40 ‘Glasgow Voices’ in the international literary quarterly ( Not all forty will read, of course. Editor Peter Robertson has selected the following writers:

Gerrie Fellows

Jane Goldman

Peter Manson

Ewan Morrison

Sheila Puri

Alan Riach

Sue Reid Sexton

Admission is on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. The event is NOT ticketed. So do get there early, to avoid being disappointed.



Another ‘great night’ (quote!) was had at the CCA in February when – as various other groups had been doing around the world throughout January – the Scottish Writers’ Centre celebrated the poetry of William Stafford. Glasgow Americans Larry Butler and Donna Blackney were joined by three fellow Americans, also resident in Scotland: Brian Larkin, Gerry Stewart and Steve Tillie. A technical glitch meant that – despite the best efforts of CCA staff – a short film about Stafford could not be shown – but this was almost forgotten as the five poets shared their passion for Stafford’s work. The speakers were also touched by the enthusiasm shown by the audience: many had taken up the invitation to discover Stafford’s poems at – and had printed out a favourite poem or two to read at the event. This format of many voices presenting the work of one writer – also used by St Mungo’s Mirrorball for the poetry of W S Graham at an event late last year – is one we hope to use again in the future.

Thanks, meanwhile, to Larry, Donna, Gerry, Brian and Steve for sharing their enthusiasm for Stafford in such an accessible and infectious manner.  Thanks, also, to all those audience members who were prepared to read poems they’d only recently discovered!

Our next event is ‘The Echo Game’ – Gerrie Fellows’ Poetry Collage workshop – on Thursday, 18 March. Again: in the Club Room at the CCA (Level 2).  Again: ADMISSION FREE. Again: a 7pm start, finishing by 8.30pm – with the option of continuing discussions in the bar afterwards.

Full details reproduced below for ease of reference.

Do spread the word and come along!



A Poetry Collage Workshop

Thursday 18 March at 7pm


Gerrie Fellows

This workshop, run by the poet GERRIE FELLOWS, will explore how the technique of collage can be used to incorporate a diversity of voices into a poem. Our lives are a confab of many different kinds of language: from the lists of everyday life to the jargons of technology; from the precision of medicine to the emotive word stock of place or plant names. The aim of this workshop is to find ways of playing with these sometimes conflicting languages, opening them up to the imagination.

Gerrie Fellows’ fourth collection, Window for a Small Blue Child (Carcanet), is a sequence of poems about fertility treatment in which the language and images of medical technology interact with those of the body in the natural world. Described as ‘an exciting and important book that extends the territory of poetry’, it was shortlisted for the Sundial Scottish Poetry Book of the Year. New Zealand born, but long resident in Scotland, her earlier collections The Duntroon Toponymy and The Powerlines, brought together the voices and geographies of those two countries. In 2008-9 she was the first mentor for Glasgow’s Clydebuilt Verse Apprenticeships.