Bards for Breakfast: Finola, Joanne & Charlie

Join three fantastic poets for a bardic breakfast. Charlie Gracie (Tales from the Dartry Mountains), JoAnne McKay (If You Find My Mother, Buy Her Flowers) and Finola Scott (Much Left Unsaid) will read from their latest publications while you digest the best the Crafty Crow can offer.

9.30 for 10.00 – 11.00Crafty Crow£4 incl coffee/tea & bun

Mary Smith & Keith Kirk: A-Z of Dumfries: Places-People-History: 

Author Mary Smith and photographer Keith Kirk delve into the history of Dumfries, revealing interesting and significant moments in the story of the town as well as highlighting landmarks, famous (and not-so-famous) residents and hidden gems. You’ll hear about research methods, fascinating finds and the highs and lows of capturing the photos with which this book and its companion title, Secret Dumfries, is richly illustrated. With time for questions.

10.30 – 11.30  Mezzanine at Kirkcudbright Gallery.  £8.00

Alan McClure: Callum and the Mountain

What strange and mysterious forces lurk in the landscape around you? Join Callum and the Mountain author Alan McClure for a romp through the natural and supernatural in Scottish children's stories, asking important questions like, "If that river could talk to you, what would it say?" Suitable for ages 8 and over.

10.30 - 11.30  Gatehouse Drop-In   Free

George Szirtes: The Photographer at Sixteen

Winner of one prize and short-listed for two more at the time of writing, The Photographer at Sixteen is a memoir of Szirtes's mother who, after two spells in concentration camps, the discovery of the loss of her entire family, and emigration as a refugee, ended her own life after suffering with a critical heart condition. But, as the memoir records, she was a fighter all her life. The story is told backwards in three parts: from mother, to young woman, to a child getting ever younger in studio photographs of her and her vanished family.

“A truly remarkable book about identity, image and memory. It is fiercely compelling.” Edmund de Waal

“I've read no memoir that moved me more.” Miranda Seymour, Financial Times

11.30 – 12.30  Mill on the Fleet  £8.00

Moniaive writers: The Artist’s Tale

Award winning artist Silvana McLean RSW, well-known and loved artist from Moniaive, died in 2018 leaving a body of work inspired by landscapes of the far north – mainly Shetland and Iceland. The Artist’s Tale is an illustrated response by Moniaive writers to a remarkable artist’s work – ‘it’s pared down, spare beauty opens up a space for conversation with the viewer and invites their contribution.' These poems illustrate so well the mystery and depth of her art. Silvana aspired to paint the way a poet writes. “This book is a wonderful tribute to her memory.” Alastair McLean.

12.00 – 1.00  Kirkcudbright Gallery  £8.00 incl £5 book reduction

Susi Briggs:  Nip Nebs and The Last Berry 

An hour of storytelling, reading and fun Nip Nebbery with author Susi Briggs. ‘It wis a cauld frosty mornin in auld Jeannie’s gairden an aw wis peacefu until there was an awfy stooshie at the tap o the hawtree ...’ Suitable for pre-school and primary school age groups.

1.00 - 2.00  Gatehouse Drop-In  Free

Beethoven Tribute: Beethoven in His Own Write. A 250th Birthday Celebration

BIG LIT marks the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth to be celebrated in performances and special exhibitions all over the world! Musician Helen Keating introduces Gatehouse's very own birthday offering with lesser known music and songs from the composer’s early life played by the talented Morva Trio, Geoff Keating (piano) with singer Robert Lind. Often portrayed as a ‘grumpy old man’, letters to friends reveal Ludwig as a very different character. ‘Beethoven can write music, thank God, but he can do nothing else on earth’. Ludwig van Beethoven

1.30 – 2.30  Mill on the Fleet  £8.00

Bashabi Fraser: Rabindranath Tagore: Global Phenomenon.

Bashabi Fraser, poet, Professor Emerita and Outstanding Woman of Scotland (2015), who bridges East and West in her own work, talks about her new biography of Indian Polymath and Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore. Tagore strove to bring East and West closer together, gave talks in over 37 countries, and forged friendships and bonds with global citizens like Arthur Geddes, Albert Einstein, W.B. Yeats and Mahatma Gandhi. In a world threatened by conflict and corporate greed, Tagore is breath of fresh air, and as relevant today as a cultural rebel who defended freedoms for all humanity.

 ‘In this timely reappraisal of Tagore's life and work, Bashabi Fraser assesses Tagore's many activities and shows how he embodies the modern consciousness of India’. University of Chicago Press

2.00 – 3.00  Mezzanine at Kirkcudbright Gallery  £5.00

Liz Lochhead: Morgan Hour with Liz Lochhead: A Centenary Celebration.

In this centenary year, and a decade after his death,  former Scots Makar Liz Lochhead celebrates both the work and the life of Edwin Morgan, her predecessor in the role, and the first poet in Modern Times to be created Makar.  Liz will perform her own personal favourite Morgan poems and share incidents and insights into that extraordinary long life which spanned so much vital change. She'll also add a couple of her own poems directly inspired by her friend and his work that is so playful, experimental, entertaining, accessible -- yet so profound. Undoubtedly one of the great poets of the 20th century. 

BIG LIT is honoured to have Liz with us for our own modest 10th Anniversary.

3.00 – 4.00  Mill on the Fleet  £10.00

Annette Badland: Three in a Bed: Iris, Gertie and Me

Gertrude Stein, novelist, poet, art collector, friend of Picasso and Hemingway, mentor to Cezanne, Matisse and F. Scott Fitzgerald. Iris Murdoch, novelist, poet, philosopher, playwright. Both had steadfast partners whom they loved and had binding relationships with yet they explored beyond the parameters of conventional relationships. Award winning actress Annette Badland, patron of The Iris Murdoch Society, who played Gertrude Stein to great acclaim at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre last year, shares the work and worlds of these two extraordinary women through her own metaphorical love affairs with both of them.

‘...Annette Badland’s (Gertrude) Stein alone is worth the ticket price...! (review of Shakespeare’s Globe’ production of After Edward. Jonathan Kemp)

4.30 – 5.30  Mill on the Fleet  £10.00

Sue McCormick: Wild as The White Waves 

Written and performed by Sue McCormick. 

October 1950, at Steepletop, a remote farmhouse in the pinewoods of upstate New York. Through the early hours of the morning, Edna St Vincent Millay drinks and reminisces, sharing the highs and lows of her tumultuous life.

The first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, an accomplished pianist, a political activist, a drug addict and an alcoholic. Openly bisexual, her poetry celebrated women’s’ sexuality with a new freedom that brought her fame and notoriety. What Byron was to 19th century England, Vincent was to 20th century America – the embodiment of genius, passion and scandal.

‘I will put chaos into fourteen lines and keep him there.’

8.00 – 9.00  Mill on the Fleet  £10.00