Goodbye Logan Botanic Garden #gardenpoet

Fri 30Aug last Poet Tree Poem Linda Eve Diamond Fri 30Aug last Poet Tree2 Fri 30Aug last Poet Tree 1This morning I tied the last Poem to Hang in a Walled Garden onto the Poet Tree, and took a few photos of it today.

Then Frances arrived from Scottish Poetry Library, and I began to realise that actually there were lots of people in the Garden who’d come to listen to our ‘Goodbye Garden Poet’ event.

In fact the room filled and filled, and we fetched more chairs, and people perched on tables, and eventually stood.  But everyone passed along cups of tea, and trays of cakes creamsconesand cream scones.  It was very friendly and informal, with a great turnout of my neighbours from Port Logan (who’ve been providing me with fresh veg and home-baking this month), several families, lots of staff from the garden, the shop and the cafe here at Logan, and some contributing poets who’d travelled to be here today – Nancy McGuffog and Rita Bradd.

I shared as many poems as I decently felt we could in the time.  We enjoyed the Stepping Stones poem again (an enduring favourite), Isa from Eucador’s poem ‘Five Stars’, poems from the Gunnera Bog, poems from the lily pond, Nancy’s poem about the Wollemi Pine, Rita’s Poem to Hang in a Walled Garden and many more.

Thank you so much, everyone on the staff at Logan Botanic Garden, the Scottish Poetry Library and Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh for creating Walking With Poets, and all the many visitors who’ve made my month such a joy.


The Dark Farms at EAFS

The same for every window, every door. In every room, the dark’s walled in.
The same for every window, every door.
In every room, the dark’s walled in.

I’m really looking forward to the very first Environmental Arts Festival Scotland (EAFS), taking place across Dumfries and Galloway on 30th August to 2nd September.  It’s got an ambitious and exciting programme aimed at exploring new ways to connect with environment, nature and place.

Better yet, EAFS have asked me to read from my poetry pamphlet ‘The Dark Farms’ (Roncadora Press) – because it’s all about the Galloway Forest, where this part of EAFS takes place.  Do come along – Sunday 1st September, 5pm at the Festival Yurt outside of SNH Cairnsmore of Fleet Reserve Office.  Click here for the link to book.

Now he sees what the bull sees: two dim curved worlds.
Now he sees what
the bull sees: two dim
curved worlds.

‘The Dark Farms’ is a short collection of poetry about the abandoned steadings and dark skies of the Galloway Forest.  ‘Jean Atkin’s beautifully crafted poems evoke the traditions and relics of human work as well as this dramatic, marginal landscape.’  Anna Crowe, reviewing in The Dark Horse, 2013.

#gardenpoet at Logan Botanic Garden

logan-botanic-garden PALMSIt’s hard to believe I’ve nearly been here for a week.  Logan really is the most wonderful place!  To start with, the sun has shone daily, I can always, distantly, hear the roar of the Irish Sea, and the palm trees tickle the bluest skies.

I’m working as poet in residence for Walking With Poets, set up by Scottish Poetry Library and Botanic Gardens of Scotland.  My brief is to encourage visitors to the garden to engage with it through poetry, in all the many ways that’s possible.  So I work with people of all ages who come into the Poetry Yurt.  We write on labels, seed packets, cut out gardening gloves and Logan Poetry Postcards.  And we’ve set up a beautiful Poet Tree, a New Zealand Snow Gum, and poems are coming in now from all over the place under the request ‘Poems to Hang in a Walled Garden’.  Bliss.  And I’m here until the end of August.  For a schedule of what’s on when please click here.

Poet Tree COLIN W 7 Aug 005

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