Hugh McMillan and Alan McClure: Bards for Breakfast

Saturday April 21st

Hugh McMillan has always been from Dumfries and Galloway, writes inside it, about it, beyond it. He has three new books pending, including a poetry collection from Luath called Heliopolis and a pamphlet (in collaboration with the Australian poet and academic Jane Frank) inspired by emigration from our region. He’s joined by Gatehouse based teacher, poet and songwriter Alan McClure whose work is informed by a fascination with nature, the concerns of fatherhood and his hopes and fears for the children he teaches and the country he lives in.

10.00 – 11.00  Franca Bruno’s Free event. £3.00

(includes coffee and croissant or tea and teacake)

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WagTongues Pop-up Bookshop

Saturday April 21st

WagTongues is Dumfries & Galloway’s only itinerant bookshop that pops up all over the Region to showcase books written by local authors. As well as the opportunity to browse and buy from a wonderful range of books – fiction, travel, memoir, poetry, young adult – you can meet and talk to writers and listen to readings from our ‘Human Books’ throughout the day. Come along and celebrate the wealth of Dumfries and Galloway’s writing and publishing talent. Entry is free and you will be entered into a free draw with the opportunity to win one of the books.

10.30 – 5.30 Mill on The Fleet. Free event

Chrissie Gittins: Writing poetry for children

Saturday April 21st

A writer’s workshop with Chrissie Gittins

Explore how writing poetry for children differs from writing poems for adults. How much research do we need to do, if any? What can we use as inspiration? Come prepared to be playful and to tell the stories which stay with you. We will write, re-write, and entertain each other with our new poems.

Chrissie has written five collections of poetry for children. She began by self publishing her first three collections, which all won awards, then was taken on by Bloomsbury who published her new and collected poems Stars in Jars. Otter-Barry Books published her latest collection Adder, Bluebell, Lobster which featured on BBC Countryfile. Chrissie is the judge for this year’s Caterpillar Poetry Prize for poems written for children.

10.00 – 12.00 The Drop-in Centre £15.00

15 places. Book with The BIG LIT Box Office

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Robin Yassin-Kassab: A Kind of Stupidity....

Saturday April 21st

BIG LIT: Change of programme:
Due to a family crisis Iyad Hayatleh has had to return to the Lebanon so can’t be with us. We are grateful to author Robin Yassin-Kassab for stepping into the breach at very short notice.

Peace charity Dove Tales, that uses art to oppose the arms trade and militarism, launches its first anthology A Kind of Stupidity featuring  readings from local writers. This will be  followed by a discussion between Robin Yassin-Kassab and award winning journalist Jean Rafferty about his non-fiction book Burning Country: Syrians in Revolution and War co-written with Leila al-Shami. It was shortlisted for the Rathbones Folio Prize 2017. With chapters focusing on ISIS and Islamism, regional geopolitics, the new grassroots revolutionary organisations, and the worst refugee crisis since World War Two, Burning Country is a vivid and groundbreaking look at a modern-day political and humanitarian nightmare. Questions from the floor should stimulate lively and no doubt controversial debate. 

11.30 – 12.30 The Mill on The Fleet  A free event

Peter Marinker: Robert W Service: From the gold fields to the battle fields - The war poetry of Robert Service.

Saturday April 21st

Robert Service is best known for his accessible money-spinning verse like The Cremation of Sam McGee and The Klondike Gold Rush. In 1912 he left The Yukon, married a French woman and then served as an ambulance driver for The American Red Cross during WW1. Less well known, but equally engaging are verses written ‘from the thick of it’ – tales of the ordinary soldier -  from ‘kilted jocks’ to the gallant French infantry. In the tradition of Burns, Service was above all a people’s poet, his eye for detail and narrative mastery enabling him to bridge the spheres of popular and literary imagination.

1.30 – 2.30 Mill on the Fleet  £ 5.00

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Susi Briggs and Ruthie Redden: Nip Nebs Daydream Believer Workshop

Saturday April 21st

A workshop for young people aged 5 and over

Discover what adventures lay within the treasure box. Explore the gardens of your imagination. Learn to weave words and create your own characters and illustrations – will they be villainous grannies or sleepy giants? Hungry unicorns or fractious trolls?  The possibilities are endless! Susi Briggs and Ruthie Redden, author and illustrator  of Nip Nebs, a new Scots language picture book for children (pub: Curly Tale Books Ltd)  will inspire you to create your very own picture book story in groups or pairs.  Imagination, creativity and use of the Scots language actively encouraged!

1pm – 3.30pm Drop In Centre Free event

Young children should be accompanied by adults.

25 places but book your child’s place at The BIG LIT Box Office.

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Stuart A Paterson: ‘Any poet in a storm...?’

Saturday April 21st

Stuart A. Paterson is one of the most lauded & kenspeckle poets & performers of his generation. Previously Writer in Residence for Dumfries & Galloway & The Scots Language Centre, he’s been a past recipient of an Eric Gregory Award & a Robert Louis Stevenson Fellowship. ‘Looking South’ was published by IDP in 2017. Stuart was BBC Scotland Poet in Residence 2017-18, broadcasting a series of highly acclaimed poems on subjects ranging from Remembrance Sunday to Pudsey Bear to Diwali. Unmissable.

3.00 – 4.00 The Mill on The Fleet £5.00

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Alan Bissett: (MORE) Moira Monologues.

Saturday April 21st

Winner: Edinburgh Festival Fringe First 2017.

She’s back! Falkirk’s hardest woman and ‘the most charismatic character to appear on a Scottish stage in a decade’ (The Scotsman) returns in Alan Bissett’s hilarious ‘one-woman show’.  Moira lights a fag and regales her BBF Babs with a new series of raucous anecdotes about Brexit, snobs on trains, her estranged sister, and the return of her ex, Billy.

“A near-perfect series of new monologues, both howlingly funny and unnervingly sharp and poetic.” - 5***** The Scotsman

4.30 – 5.30 Mill on the Fleet  £10.00

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Mill Session: Blowing in the Wind: BIG LIT Celebrates Bob Dylan

Saturday April 21st

Bob Dylan is the only songwriter in history to have been honoured with a Nobel Prize for Literature, but anyone with even a passing knowledge of his work can see why he merits it. From civil rights campaigner to psychedelic beat poet to enigmatic iconoclast, Dylan stands alone in popular culture.  Following last year’s sell-out tribute to the late Leonard Cohen, BIG LIT pays homage to a living legend through readings and performances of his inimitable lyrical brilliance.

7.30- 9.30    The Mill on The Fleet    £8.00

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