‘Nest’ awarded runner up in Callum Macdonald Memorial Award 2013

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May 222013

I was delighted to hear that the runner up in the Callum Macdonald Memorial Award for pamphlet poetry was recently announced as Roncadora Press for Nest. Nest was produced as part of the Locating the Nest project, first exhibited at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh in Spring 2012 and more recently shown at Gracefield Arts Centre, Dumfries. It is a beautiful collection of poems by Tom Pow and artwork by Hugh Bryden. Congratulations to them both.

Poetry pamphlet by Tom Pow and Hugh Bryden, Roncadora Press

Poetry pamphlet by Tom Pow and Hugh Bryden, Roncadora Press

Nest is available to buy here

The Ash Grove

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May 202013

As part of the Moving Forward from Ash Dieback project we decided to search for a poem that would help people consider the value ash has in our environment and our culture. Poetry has the potential to enrich our lives and change the way we look at the world. It can connect with us on a different level from the usual ‘interpretive text’ you may find in an exhibition. So, with the help of the Scottish Poetry Library, we sent out requests to poets across Scotland to ask them to consider ash trees, their disappearance and how we might celebrate ash woodlands. We were delighted with the response: the very high quality and the variety of work. Below is the final work chosen, written by Ken Cockburn.

The Ash Grove

a springtime ash, whose leaves emerge from black
an unlocked ash, so profligate with keys
a mourning ash, its branches heaped on pyres
a lettered ash, in the alphabet of trees
a hedgerow ash, which twists among the briars
a spreading ash, in summer’s heat a bield
a sporting ash, to take the shinty field

a warlike ash, for arrows and for spears
a lightning ash, and flame that flash provides
a hanging ash, a shade of dule and tears
a timeless ash, the horse which Odin rides
a steam-bent ash, which hoops the barrel staves
a buoyant ash, a charm against the waves
a blighted ash, whose crown is dying back

Ken Cockburn
April 2013

Thanks to Ken Cockburn, all the poets who submitted work and to the Scottish Poetry Library.