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Culture Literature

Havergey review: John Burnside’s loveably weird utopia

Welcome to Havergey: a remote island on Scotland’s west coast where a ‘real community’ has been built, far from the smoking rubble of what The Machine People left behind. John Burnside’s quirky environmental manifesto is a curious mixture of Taoism, deep environmentalism, good humour and the occasional ironic sci-fi reference. Burnside makes no secret of […]

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Culture Literature

‘Language is given a violent potential’: The Unquiet, read by L. Kiew

The debut poetry pamphlet  by L. Kiew, The Unquiet, is a unique collection from a writer of great promise, whose connection with this city goes back to her Creative Writing Masters degree at the university. In a reading at Lighthouse Bookshop, this English-boarding-school-educated Chinese-Malay poet invites us into a world of violent linguistic confusion and identity crisis. Perhaps […]

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World War nostalgia related to Brexit is dishonest

Alone against the world, we guarded our island fortress with heroism and stoicism. Six long years of wartime suffering, shortages and existential threat were born without complaint by this hardy, island nation. Surely the machinations of Donald Tusk will not dent our armour? This narrative, replete with millenarian and masochistic yearnings for some national character-building, […]

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Culture Literature

Fool For Love: The Not So Subtle Art of Medieval French Seduction

On a street where everything is named ‘Scottish’ something, the Scottish Storytelling Centre stands out like a gem. Wednesday night sees the performance of Fool For Love: a collection of stories extracted from a medieval manuscript, stored in the Hunterian collection at the University of Glasgow, and converted into a visual and auditory spectacle that […]

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Debate: Is the ‘Voices’ section simply identity politics or an important platform?

Opinion: all voices are equal and we should not segregate them By Max Hunter There is a spectre haunting our universities. It has many forms, and its aims are too diffuse to be known- even to itself. It sprung from a place of good intentions, and many of its effects have been, and continue to […]

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Culture Literature

Thomas Schmidinger’s Rojava: Revolution, War and the Future of Syria’s Kurds

The irony in the Kurdish situation, asserts Thomas Schmidinger, is that they only attract our attention by virtue of their enemies. When so-called Islamic State (IS) reached its threatening peak in 2014, it seemed that the Kurds were the only force capable of stopping them. As Syria’s miserable and messy civil war enters its 7th […]

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Culture Literature

Sean O’Brien

This Tuesday, as part of the University of Edinburgh’s Visiting Writers series, the Scottish Poetry Library hosted poet, novelist and critic Sean O’Brien. O’Brien’s most recent poetry collection Europa deals with issues of place, identity and belonging. The event consisted of a poetry reading by the author, followed by a short conversation with Beth Cochrane, […]

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Culture Literature

Dove Tales: Voices from Scotland’s Peace Movement

On Wednesday evening I had the pleasure of attending an event so understated, and yet so powerfully moving that it will be a long time before I forget it. Entering the slightly cramped, but cosy and welcoming atmosphere in Lighthouse Bookshop, I was initially struck by the people in the audience. Many were poets themselves, […]