2007 - 2022

A Season in the New North

With the Arctic Circle Forum – Scotland and the New North – being hosted in Edinburgh next week – a fringe has developed with Nordic Horizons leading the way.

They are asking “Is the Future Arctic?” with speakers from Greenland, Iceland and  for the event on Sunday 19 November at David Hume Tower from 1-3.

Hosted by Lesley Ridoch the event boasts: Tukumminnguaq Nykjaer Olsen, a campaigner from Greenland who won this year’s Arctic Innovation prize; Rachael Johnstone, Professor of Law, Arctic Oil and Gas Studies at Greenland University; Iceland’s former Foreign Minister Jon Baldvin Hannibalsson (who took Iceland into EFTA & was first to recognise the Baltic countries as independent states); and Rune Rafaelson former Director of the Barents Secretariat and an expert on oil, fishing stocks & Russian politics.

Book tickets here.

A New Season in the North is the strap line to the third volume of The Evergreen , which launches this Thursday 16 November at St Columba’s by the Castle, Johnston Terrace Edinburgh.  Contributors to this ‘Folk of the Old Town’ volume include: Youssef Al-Khatib, Sean Bradley, Donald Campbell, Alison Flett, Tim Ingold, Alan Harding, Mary Hong, Astrid Jaekel, A. Jak, Mary Quinn, Lee Randall, Jennie Renton, Derek Rodger, Michael Romer, Lucy Roscoe, Marianna Silvano, David Tomassini, Nik Williams. Buy it here.

Radical Book Fair: Edinburgh’s 21st Radical Book Fair kicks off tomorrow. This year’s keynote speakers are the civil rights campaigner Shami Chakrabarti (Thurs 16th), the author, poet and activist Michael Rosen (Fri 17th), and global peace builder Scilla Elworthy (Sat 18th).

Other highlights include talks by John Crace, Mark Muller Stuart and Judith Orr; a Craftivist workshop and a zine showcase.

Established in 1996 by Wole Soyinka, the Fair was run by Word Power Books for 20 years, and is brought back this year by the Lighthouse – Edinburgh’s Radical Bookshop, and Word Power’s successor.

[note new venue – this year the Book Fair has moved from Out of the Blue to the Assembly Roxy].

Full listings here.

Scottish PEN has two events coming up – the Right to Write – on Sat 9 December at the Scottish Poetry Library to celebrate 90 years of defending the rights of writers in Scotland and around the world to express themselves free from the threat of violence or censorship. Scottish PEN mark this anniversary and Human Rights Day with a keynote address from David Pratt, the foreign correspondent of Herald Scotland, who will share his experiences around the world documenting conflict, social movements and the shifting narratives of the modern world. The event will also feature readings from leading writers based in Scotland.

“With the rise of right-wing populism, the proliferation of propaganda and false information, the continued refugee crisis in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East, the demonisation of immigration and the constant threats directed at writers and journalists, what does the right to free expression mean and what does that mean for our future?”

See here for more details.

See also the annual Naomi Mitchison Lecture – Many Voices with Marjorie Lotfi Gill, Sepideh Jodeyri and and International Women’s Group Glasgow North.

Marjorie Lotfi Gill is the founder of The Belonging Project, 75 workshops and readings reflecting on the flight, journey and assimilation of refugees. Sepideh Jodeyri is an Iranian poet, literary critic, translator and journalist, who has published several works, including five poetry collections, a collection of short stories and an anthology of her poems. She has also translated poetry books by Edgar Allan Poe and Jorge Luis Borges as well as the graphic novel, Blue Is the Warmest Color by Julie Maroh into Persian. Sepideh was forced to leave Iran in 2009, and currently lives in exile in Washington DC.  More details here.

Glasgow Commonweal are hosting an IndypenDANCE: “You’ve talked for independence You’ve walked for independence You’ve fundraised for independence You’ve probably even had a wee greet for independence. But have you DANCED for independence?I mean really strutted your stuff for the future of your country??”

Get a groove on at the Bungo this Friday.

Upcycle Christmas with Govanhill Baths Community Trust’s upcycling social project Rags to Riches presents the 6th edition of its upcycle Christmas craft fair. This Is Not A Craft Fair takes post-consumer waste, unloved & found objects destined for landfill and  transforms and re-designed them into gifts. 25 November 11-6 Govanhill Baths, Glasgow.

Rags and Riches is more than a one-off event – it’s an award-winning project which has been providing workspace and educational programmes since 2011, reskilling a community. More details here.

Writers in Digital Times with NUJ Glasgow. This is a Bookweek Scotland event about self-publishing for the digital age and hear from five journalists who have had various types of work published – Deedee Cuddihy, Catherine Deveney, Mark Fisher, Alex Gordon and Maggie Ritchie.

The NUJ Scotland event is sponsored by Bookweek Scotland and Scottish Union Learning’s Digital Inclusion Project. Thursday 30 November at the Rhoderick Dhu, Waterloo Street, Glasgow.

Tomorrow sees the launch of two Tapsalteerie pamphlets. Tapsalteerie is a poetry pamphlet publisher based in rural Aberdeenshire who produce quality work written in Scots, Gaelic and English, with a focus on new poets and innovative writing.

The first features the renowned Hungarian poet Győző Ferencz.“Minoritie Status” is the first dedicated volume of Ferencz’s poetry to appear in the UK. Translated into Scots by Tom Hubbard, these poems are a vibrant, faithful introduction to an excellent poet’s work.

The second “heelster-gowdie / beul-fo-bhonn”, volume two in Tapsalteerie’s “Biggin Brigs” series, is a collaboration between two of the foremost Scots and Gaelic language poets in Scotland: the BBC Scotland Poet in Residence Stuart Paterson, and the award winning Marcas Mac an Tuairneir.

7-9 Thursday 16 November at the Scottish Poetry Library.


Bella’s weekly guide to events and happenings, talks, book launches, poetry, music and whatever. To submit yours contact us.

Join the Discussion

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Help keep our journalism independent

We don’t take any advertising, we don’t hide behind a pay wall and we don’t keep harassing you for crowd-funding. We’re entirely dependent on our readers to support us.

Subscribe to regular bella in your inbox

Don’t miss a single article. Enter your email address on our subscribe page by clicking the button below. It is completely free and you can easily unsubscribe at any time.