About a month ago, I read poetry at the Inky Fingers open mic and heard about a project called Poets on a Bus. I wrote a poem about James Young Simpson’s discovery that chloroform could be used for anaesthesia (yes, that happened in Edinburgh). And I got in!
I am one of four poets. My colleagues are J. A. Sutherland, who has been helping me so much recently with Anti-Zine Circus; Andrew Blair, who has managed to work a refrain about Coldplay into one of his poems and Max Scratchmann, whose illustrations are fantastic (he’s selling prints at our launch party this Saturday). Both J. A. and Max are published in Anti-Zine Circus. One of the greatest joys of the project has been discussing my work with fellow writers and publishers. Perfect timing! Reminds me why I use so many of my non-working hours working on personal creativity and publishing others’ work.
Max and I are on the morning tours this coming Thursday at 10am, 11am and noon. Our poems both have humourous elements. Some poems we’ll read when the bus is stopped and others we’ll have to read sitting down while the bus is in motion. Normally it is too cold after 4 November to have actual tour guides on the Edinburgh buses, but our guide Graham is volunteering specifically for this event, which is also part of the Edinburgh History Festival. Me? History? An American gal talking about Edinburgh on a tour bus. I have learned a lot about Queen Charlotte and Scotland’s cannibals (I will publish this poem here soon!).
In addition to all of this, we will be on BBC Radio 4 next Friday on a programme called The Culture Studio with Janice Forsyth. We were interviewed outside yesterday (good practice for our upcoming tours) and poem segments from the actual tours will appear on the show. It will air at 14:05 on 22 November for 7 minutes.