1st–31st May 2009
Be inspired by the combination of traditional music and contemporary poetry surrounded
by spectacular lenses
Saturday 2 May 2009
Museum of Scottish Lighthouses, Fraserburgh [Map]
L to R: Knotbrook Taylor, Morna Annandale, Martin Walsh, Ian Stephen
Photo by Ross Barrett-Ayres
Never in the history of Wordfringe events has so much been missed by so many, witnessed
by so few! The stunning Museum of Scottish Lighthouses in Fraserburgh provided just
the right atmosphere for this event's maritime theme. Surrounded by those spectacular
lenses and nature's own sound effects — winds howling, seagulls mewling, rain
skittering across the rooftops — our tiny audience settled into shared intimacy,
to be regaled by poems and stories of the sea and the folk who live by it.
From Stornoway, special guest Ian Stephen's life experiences pervade his verse and
prose. Wrapping us in those lilting Lewis inflections, he was a hard act to follow,
but his fellow poets bravely met the challenge: Knotbrook Taylor, deft and daring,
turned his "outsider's existential gaze" on the sea — or perhaps not? While
newcomer Morna Annandale offered more gentle reflections rooted in the Scotland
of her east coast ancestors. Master of dialects Martin Walsh transported us to the
remote coast of Sierra Leone. His tale of an African boy's first seatrip, and a
comical encounter with an ocean liner, inspired an impromptu change of program as
Ian Stephen recounted another youngster's voyage, this one in the Hebrides.
The venue's warm hospitality encouraged performers and audience to mingle and muse
over the evening's diversions before setting out into the Moray Firth gloaming.