2014 Commonwealth Culture Programme

Find out more about our 2014 Commonwealth Culture programme, which brought six writers from Scotland together with six Commonwealth writers.


Exploration of Dangerous Ideas

Saturday 14 June 2014, 7-8pm
Nnedi Okorafor and Ken Macleod, chaired by Stuart Kelly
Exploring the freedom of expression that Science Fiction writing offers. Nnedi Okorafor (Who Fears Death, winner of the World Fantasy Award 2011) and Ken Macleod (Intrusion and most recently Descent) will discuss their favourite pieces of provocative SF from their own works and others followed by an audience Q and A.
Venue: Summerhall Demonstration Room. Summerhall Place, Edinburgh, EH9 1QH
Hear the event recording here!


The Politics of Poetry – Burns, Jamaica and the Scottish Slave Trade
Friday 20 June 2014, 7-8pm
Linton Kwesi Jones and Kevin Williamson
Set in the atmospheric surroundings of the Burns Museum, Linton Kwesi Jones and Kevin Williamson will read from their works and explore Burns own responses to the Scottish slave trade in Jamaica.
Venue: Robert Burns Birthplace Museum, Murdoch’s Lone, Alloway, Ayr KA7 4PQ


Reinterpreting Women’s Stories using the Surreal and the Mythological
Friday 27 June 2014, 6-7pm
Amruta Patil and Karrie Fransman, chaired by Peggy Hughes (Literary Dundee)
Amruta and Karrie will be discussing their graphic novels and the use of the magical and the strange in their work. Amruta is currently working on a reinterpretation of the classic Indian tale of The Mahabharata called Adi Parva, whilst Karrie’s debut graphic novel The House That Groaned has been described by Paul Gravett as ‘absurdist magical realism’.
Venue: McManus Cafe, The McManus: Dundee’s Art Gallery and Museum,
Albert Square, Meadowside, Dundee DD1 1DA


Words in times of conflict
Saturday 5 July 2014, 7-8pm
Philo Ikonya and Linda Cracknell, chaired by Drew Campbell
Kenyan exiled author Philo Ikonya discusses her personal journey and works with Scottish PEN Treasurer and author Linda Cracknell (Call of the Undertow). Linda’s radio drama, The Lamp (BBC Radio 4, 2011), set and recorded at Innerpeffray Library imagined the visit of a Kenyan librarian and drew on her work with Philo and experiences of Kenya. Audience members are invited to take part in a guided walk in the footsteps of the original library borrowers before the event.
Venue: Innerpeffray Library, Crieff, Perthshire, Scotland, PH7 3RF


Celtic Commonwealth – Gaelic poetry and literature from Canada and Scotland
Tuesday 8 July 2014, 7-9pm
Lewis Mackinnon and Meg Bateman
Celtic Commonwealth A celebration of Gaelic poetry and literature from Canada and Scotland. An evening of poetry and music, with readings by the current holder of the Scottish Bardic Crown, the Canadian poet Lewis Mackinnon; Meg Bateman, respected Gaelic poet and scholar and Lewis poet and singer Babs MacGregor, whose work featured in the anthology These Islands We Sing.
Venue: Woodlands Centre, Castle Grounds, Lews Castle Grounds, Isle of
Lewis HS2 0XP


Tales of the Empire Café
Thursday 24 July, 7-8.30pm
Fred D’Aguiar and James Robertson, chaired by Alan Riach
Fred D’Aguiar and James Robertson will be discussing the Scottish links with the Caribbean created by the slave trade. Both will talk about how they have reflected on this in their own novels (Robertson’s Joseph Knight) and poetry (D’Aguiar’s Bloodlines and British Subjects).
Venue: Empire Café, The Briggait 141 Bridgegate Glasgow G1 5HZ