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As Scotland prepares for referendum, Scottish Poetry Library presents an alternative A to Z of British Isles – Scottish Review of Books
by SRB

As Scotland prepares for referendum, Scottish Poetry Library presents an alternative A to Z of British Isles

September 18, 2013 | by SRB

I will wear your tartan
With the pride and strength
Of my history and tribe.
I will weave in its pattern
The breadth and length
Of five rivers that subscribed
To my wealth, which I will now
Lend to your tartan
and make it mine.

‘Tartan and Turban’ by Bashabi Fraser

September, 2013 – At an interesting moment in the constitutional history of Scotland and the United Kingdom, the Scottish Poetry Library and Bloodaxe Books bring you an alternative A to Z of the British Isles.

Co-edited by Jackie Kay, Out of Bounds (Bloodaxe) is an inventive reworking of the map of Britain as viewed by its black and Asian poets. On Thursday, 24 October, a selection of the poets featured in Out of Bounds will perform in the Scottish Poetry Library. Poets taking part include Vahni Capildeo, Bashabi Fraser, Irfan Merchant and Tawona Sithole.

Occasionally disturbing, often funny, and even hopeful, the poetry of Out Of Bounds depicts a Scotland whose various people already embody the change the debate on Independence is exploring. From Irfan Merchant’s humorous and proud account of how the chicken tikka masala was invented in Glasgow to Kokumo Rock’s account of experiencing racism on a trip to Tesco; from George Murevesi’s miserable experience of the Scottish weather to Bashabi Fraser’s vision of the cultures of her native and adopted homelands blended in a tartan turban – these poets explore notions of Scottishness at a crucial period of self-examination for all Scots, whether pro- or anti-Independence, as we consider what the country will look like in the future.

Out of Bounds takes place on Thursday, 24 October, 6.30pm, at the Scottish Poetry Library. Tickets are £5 (£4 concessions). Tickets can be bought in person at the SPL or online at http://splbounds.eventbrite.co.uk/?ref=estw

For more information on the Scottish Poetry Library, visit www.scottishpoetrylibrary.org.uk

About the Poets

Vahni Capildeo was born in Trinidad in 1973 and currently lives in the UK. At present she is a Contributing Editor at the Caribbean Review of Books and a freelance researcher for the Oxford English Dictionary. She is a member of the extended Capildeo family that has produced notable Trinidadian politicians and writers (including V. S. Naipaul). Her third collection is Dark & Unaccustomed Words (2011).

Bashabi Fraser was born in West Bengal and lives in Edinburgh with her husband and daughter. She is a lecturer at Napier University. Her last collection was Tartan and Turban (Luath, 2012).

Tawona Sithole was raised in Zimbabwe with oral traditions that celebrate the values of his ancestral family, Moyo Chirandu. He is the co-founder of Seeds of Thought, an arts collective in Glasgow.

Irfan Merchant was born in Liverpool in 1973, and brought up in Ayr.  His poetry has been published in diverse places, including Wish I Was Here: A Scottish Multicultural Anthology and The Redbeck Anthology of British South Asian Poetry.

About the Scottish Poetry Library

The SPL is one of three poetry libraries in the UK, but the only one to be independently housed. It is the only poetry house in the world to have an extensive lending library at its core. It seeks to bring people and poetry together in many different ways.

For media information, images, or to arrange an interview with the Out of Bounds poets, contact:


Jennifer Williams
SPL Events Manager

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