Thursday, May 17, 2018

Three Readings, One Weekend. Who am I, Pam Ayres?

Well, whoop de doop. 

Not often I can say I have three poetry readings in one sunny weekend, but I say it now, good people. I shout it from the roof tops! 

That's not me, by the way, that's just some Glasgow radj's trying to get a tan. But you know what I mean. I'll shout it from the blog tops. 

Numero Uno - I'm excited to be part of the fabulous Edinburgh Book Festival Outreach in Glenrothes - It's a free lunch. Pass they sausage rolls, Mag'ret! I'll be reading poems that aren't too scary. 

Then it's back to Glasgow on a Stagecoach bus and off to Tell it Slant at the lovely Project Cafe. I can never be too far from general scone-age. Friends tell me I am like a squirrel. I carry croissants in side-pockets, just in case. Half woman, half choux pastry. 

On Saturday/Sunday, I am pure gagging to get to the dynamic Coastword Festival,  in Dunbar, where I'm humbled to be reading with the mighty William Letford and talking about all the good that flows from the Scottish Book Trust. Come on down to the seaside. 

Can we buy a Family Ticket?

Monday, April 30, 2018

It's Been Ages / Yogurts and Shyness

Bloggo Pals! Yes, I'm still here.

My mum used to have a theory about storing yogurt in the fridge. If the yogurt was one day past use by or sell by date, you just kept it on the shelf in a prominent position. I'll probably eat that tomorrow, you'd say. 

Two day, three days, you move it around a bit, to reach things at the back of the fridge. Four days, you say, I really better throw that yogurt out. But you can't quite bring yourself to. 

You feel ashamed of your food and plastic waste! You wager that you could eat it, even now and still be okay. But you don't. It becomes harder and harder to throw it out, until one day, a month later, you say, now is the time for action, for fridge clear-out!

And so it is with blogging. If I don't blog for months, I go all shy and yogurt-limbo, and can't think what to say. Daft, I know. 

I've built a new fish pond in my garden.  I'm waiting for goldfish poems to strike me. Today, a pigeon took a drink and fell in. It had to flap its wings in ungainly fashion to get out again. I need a Ducks Welcome sign. An old guy in the pet shop said, you better watch out for the Herons. He was a bit 'Royston Vasey' in a nice way.

Remember kids: Be the Strange You Want to See. Moustaches are okay on a Monday.

More Poetry News soon, good people.

Monday, January 29, 2018

An Interview and Three Poems at The New Writers Awards

Check me getting over-excited on the live stream. I thought I was on the Wogan Show, circa 1981. If you like the poems, Past Love in the Museum of Transport is available from Tapsalteerie Press and a few Glasgow bookshops soon!

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Half a Century (No Fakers)

Well, Amigos....what a week to turn 50.

My poetry launch doubled up as a wee 50th birthday bash and delightful it was too. The house band were: my own Francis Macdonald, Sophie Pragnell Bell from Sister John and pal, Alex MacLean, who sang beautifully. 

Poetry Superstar Liz Lochhead joined in with aplomb. I would call her the icing on the cake, but she might tell me not to use cliches. 

Thursday was the New Writers Awards Showcase in Edinburgh. We all had a great night - here with fellow writers, Anna Stewart, Christine Laurenson and Julie Rea.

If you want to read Past Love in the Museum of Transport, you can buy it here at Tapsalteerie Press.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Past Love in The Museum of Transport

You heard it here first, blog pals! I have a poetry book coming out soon (January 2018), published by the lovely Tapsalteerie Press.  

I hope these are accessible poems, poems that won't scare people who don't usually 'do' poetry. Poems about the places love takes us. Poems about different kinds of love - teenage crushes, female friendship, parental devotion, past love, present love. 

Thanks go out to the wonderful Scottish Book Trust,   Creative Scotland and fellow poets for these great quotes -

Liz Lochhead says, “These poems - in the voice of a woman, a mother, a good neighbour of the here-and-now - are light-but-deep, often funny, always generous, accessible, inclusive, deeply humane, celebrating small things that can say some very big things indeed.”

“Ciara MacLaverty takes the everyday and passes it through a prism. How wonderful to see the hidden colours of the ordinary. Bright, beautiful, familiar, magical. Language that's honed, 'to the point where - almost imperceptibly - it reflects more light.” (William Letford)

“There is wisdom in her pen, aspiration in her heart, and a lightly crumbed fruit scone on her plate. Eat of the goodness in this book!”

(Stuart Murdoch, Belle & Sebastian)

I'll keep you posted, poets and pals. Feel the love!

Monday, October 23, 2017

What Cats Can Teach You about Parenting

Okay, the kids are back at school and I thought I'd try to write a poem about the first thing I saw.

The Visiting Cat

We don’t know who owns
the black and white cat
that comes to our back door
but my girl named her Mischief
and now it feels like she couldn't
be called anything else.

That’s the way it is with children
making their mark on the world -
there’s no going back
and life feels as irrefutable
as this damp cat, tail aloft,
bumping her head off my shins
not in or out, always close
to the open door.

She sniffs the empty air
where, minutes before, 
the kids bustled out to school,
all lunch boxes and late protests,
their faces lit with purpose.  

Monday, September 25, 2017

National Poetry Day? Oh, go on then...

It's a Scottish thing, I know - this fear of 'blowing your own trumpet.' Hence, when this poster describes me as, 'poet, Ciara MacLaverty,' I still think, who me? Surely, you mean some one else like Jackie Kay, Liz Lochhead or Wendy Cope? 

But Readers, I gotta grab the wheel and own it! Drive it like I stole it! (Sing Street, by the way).

So, I'm doing my bit for NPD and sharing some poems with a P7 class in Knightswood library. If I can get a few weans enthused, I'll be doing something right. Better than my own kids shouting 
Bo-ring! at me, which wouldn't be unheard of. Maybe Seamus Heaney's kids told him to pipe down...

'There better be banana poetry or I'm not going.'

I'll also be at Hillhead library on this Friday 28th for poetry and cake at the Macmillan charity coffee morning. Don't be shy.