Portobello Book Festival: 29th September – 2nd October 2022
All events are free, but ticketed. Tickets available from 12th September from Portobello Library
THURSDAY 29th SEPTEMBER
T L HUCHU – 7.00-8.00pm at PORTOBELLO BOOK SHOP
Come along to The Portobello Bookshop where T L Huchu will be discussing the two books in his acclaimed Edinburgh Nights series.
The Library of the Dead and its sequel, Our Lady of Mysterious Ailments, are set in a dystopian Edinburgh, featuring Zimbabwean magic and Scottish pragmatism.
Chair: Ann Landmann, Director of the Cymera Festival
FRIDAY 30th SEPTEMBER
10.30-12.00noon LIBRARY UPSTAIRS
Long Live Dada! Free Your Mind. Free Your Writing.
Learn about the ground-breaking techniques developed by artists from the DaDa movement and create your own writer’s manifesto. This fun and hands-on session is open to writers of all abilities and styles. The workshop is led by writer and award-winning visual artist, Sasha Saben Callaghan. Sasha’s illustrations have been published in a wide range of publications and featured in national and international exhibitions. All materials will be provided.
JOHN BRODIE’S PORTOBELLO… PLUS A LITTLE BIT MORE
12.30-1.30pm LIBRARY UPSTAIRS
is the latest local history book by Archie Foley and Peter E Ross and is a comprehensive selection of colour images from the archive of John Brodie who in the 1950s and 60s was an amateur photographer living in Wakefield Avenue. Archie begins the session with an illustrated talk after which there will be time for questions and discussion with local historian Dr Margaret Munro and David McLean (Lost Edinburgh).
SPEAKING TO US FROM THE PAST
2.00-3.00pm JAMESON GATE
Hugh Miller, stonemason, pioneer geologist and fossil-hunter, ground-breaking popular science writer, folklorist, crusading newspaper editor and man of faith, spent the last years of his life in Portobello. In this session Larissa Reid, freelance science writer, poet and member of The Friends of Hugh Miller and Elsa Panciroli, Highland palaeontologist and author of Beasts Before Us and The Earth, Oxford University Museum of Natural History, reflect on how he has influenced them.
Chair: Jim Gilchrist, Hugh Miller enthusiast
LITERARY PORTOBELLO WALKING TOUR
3.30-4.30pm LIBRARY OUTSIDE
For an outlying suburb which only took root as a community in the mid to late 18th century, Portobello can boast an intriguing variety of literary associations from Arthur Conan Doyle to contemporary crime writers, Walter Scott to Jules Verne. During this walking tour, Jim Gilchrist
reveals some often surprising connections.
3.30-4.30pm LIBRARY UPSTAIRS
Poet Henry Bell and photographer Angela Catlin collaborated to create Still Life, a document of the pandemic in Glasgow. Their poems and photographs “offer a glimpse of the grief, fear, solidarity and moments of joy that the experience of Covid-19 brought to Scotland”. Henry and Angela discuss the book and their approach to creating Still Life.
GARETH WILLIAMS: SONGS FROM THE LAST PAGE
7.30-9.00pm LIBRARY DOWNSTAIRS
An evening of music and conversation that has been specially created by local songwriter and composer Gareth Williams for Chamber Music Scotland as part of EventScotland’s Year of Stories. This collection of new songs takes the last page of a book and that moment when the reader silently reads the final lines of a story and transforms it into music. The event features Gareth at the piano, Katrina Lee on violin and Justyna Jablonska on cello. The acclaimed Scots singer Lori Watson joins them as a special guest to perform a brand new Song from the Last Page written especially for Portobello Book Festival.
SATURDAY 1st OCTOBER
SLAVES AND HIGHLANDERS: SILENCED HISTORIES OF SCOTLAND AND THE CARIBBEAN
10.30-11.30am LIBRARY UPSTAIRS
David Alston’s book, which has been described as “necessary reading for our moment”, exposes and explores the prominent role of Highland Scots in the exploitation of enslaved Africans and their descendants in the cotton, sugar and coffee plantations of the 18th and 19th centuries. This legacy, entwined with so many of our contemporary institutions, must be reckoned with.
Chair: Lisa Williams, Founder of the Edinburgh Caribbean Association and Honorary Fellow, University of Edinburgh
11.00-11.30am LIBRARY DOWNSTAIRS
BOOK BUG returns to the Book Festival for fun, songs and rhymes.
TRUDY & ME
12.00-1.00pm LIBRARY DOWNSTAIRS
Bridget Campbell, author and illustrator, discusses her latest project Trudy & Me, a rhyming children’s picture book set in Portobello. Sharing the perspective of Patrick (4) big brother to Trudy (2) who has Down’s Syndrome, it is a joyful book about siblings and about accepting and celebrating difference. Lauren Eliott Lockhart, Patrick and Trudy’s mum, joins Bridget for the session which includes a reading of the book, a discussion of how it was produced, a chance to see original artwork as well as activities for children.
A MATTER OF TIME
12.00-1.00pm LIBRARY UPSTAIRS
Very different eras of history feature in the novels of both Mary Paulson-Ellis (20th century Portobello in Emily Noble’s Disgrace) and Sue Lawrence (16th century Scotland in The Green Lady). Join them as they discuss their books, how they make their historical settings authentic and just why we find the past so fascinating.
Chair: Joanne Baird
1.30-2.30pm LIBRARY UPSTAIRS
Caron McKinlay (The Storytellers) and Elissa Soave (Ginger and Me) speak about the joys and challenges of publishing their debut novels in 2022.
In The Storytellers three women trapped in the afterlife are forced to revisit their toxic pasts to answer the ultimate question What is love?
In Ginger and Me everything changes when Wendy meets Ginger in this part coming of age and part mystery thriller.
Chair: Paul Hudson
3.00-4.00pm LIBRARY UPSTAIRS
Author Mark Fleming discusses his new book 1976: Growing Up Bipolar, a disturbing but life-affirming memoir. From playing gigs and recording an album and BBC radio session during Edinburgh’s electrifying post-punk scene to severe depression and locked psych wards, he describes how music has soundtracked the highs and lows of his life.
Chair: Bill Jameson
THE PUNK ROCK POLITICS OF JOE STRUMMER: RADICALISM, RESISTANCE AND REBELLION
4.15-5.15pm LIBRARY UPSTAIRS
Gregor Gall, Visiting Professor of Industrial Relations at the University of Leeds and the editor of Scottish Left Review, draws on Joe Strummer’s lyrics, bootleg recordings, interviews and testimony from over 100 followers, to take the reader on a journey through the political influences and motivations that defined one of the UK’s greatest punk icons and produced a lasting legacy of progressive politics.
Chair: Joe Herzberg, drummer and Clash fan
DR GAVIN FRANCIS AND PROFESSOR DEVI SRIDHAR
5.30-7.00pm LIBRARY DOWNSTAIRS
Edinburgh GP, Dr Gavin Francis’s 7th book Recovery, the Lost Art of Convalescence is not only a useful practical guide, but also an uplifting meditation on hope and healing. World-leading expert on global health, Professor Devi Sridhar’s book Preventable: How a Pandemic Changed the World and How to Stop the Next One, tells the extraordinary story of Covid-19 and how global politics shape our health.
Chair: Stewart Mercer, Professor of Primary Care and Multimorbidity, Edinburgh University
SUNDAY 2nd OCTOBER
MEET THE AUTHORS
11.00-12.00noon LIBRARY DOWNSTAIRS
Join Emma Christie (Find Her First) and fellow crime writer Trevor Wood (Dead End Street) as they discuss everything from their latest releases to their writing processes. There will be an opportunity to chat with the authors and ask some questions of your own.
WITCHES IN SCOTLAND
11.00-12.00noon LIBRARY UPSTAIRS
The past persecution of women accused of witchcraft in Scotland is well known and witches often feature in Scottish history and folklore.
The Lighthouse Witches by C J Cooke tells the tale of a haunted Scottish island and the mysterious disappearance of three women from the same family. She is in conversation with Olga Wojtas, whose latest novel Miss Blaine’s Prefect and the Weird Sisters features Macbeth’s fictional witches.
HOLLYWOOD, TARTAN AND SUBCULTURES
12.30-1.30pm LIBRARY UPSTAIRS
Just a few of the topics author, journalist and fashion blogger Caroline Young has covered in her extensive and varied writing on fashion, film and pop culture. Caroline talks about writing and researching her diverse range of books including The Colour of Fashion, Hitchcock’s Heroines, Style Tribes: The Fashion of Subcultures and her latest Fashionquake.
Chair: Ellie Bell-Thompson, lecturer in Fashion and Textiles, Edinburgh College
WRITING YOUR LIFE
12.30-1.30pm LIBRARY DOWNSTAIRS
Catherine Simpson has used her lived experience to inspire one novel Truestory and two memoirs When I Had a Little Sister and One Body, covering subjects including raising an autistic child, family suicide and experiencing cancer. Join her as she discusses the pros and cons of writing from life. In this, Scotland’s Year of Stories, you may be inspired to start writing your own.
Chair: Louise Kelly
ISLANDS, THRILLERS AND ROMANCES
2.00-3.00pm LIBRARY DOWNSTAIRS
Christopher Brookmyre’s thriller The Cliff House and Jenny Colgan’s romance An Island Wedding both have Scottish islands as their backdrop. Chris and Jenny (did you know they are both winners of Celebrity Mastermind?) talk about their writing and discuss the importance of settings in providing atmosphere in their novels.
Chair: Susan Elsley, writer and island enthusiast
ALTERNATIVE HISTORY OF 20th CENTURY MUSIC
2.00-3.00pm LIBRARY UPSTAIRS
BBC Radio 3’s Kate Molleson offers a new take on classical musical history. From the Philippines to Ethiopia to Mexico, she shines a light on charismatic composers who made radical music in extraordinary times. This event digs into questions around why the conventional canon needs redressing and how to meaningfully diversify an artform whose dominant narrative has been almost exclusively white and male for centuries.
ELLEN RENTON: AN EYE FOR AN EYE FOR AN EYE
3.30-4.30pm LIBRARY UPSTAIRS
Poet, performer and theatre maker Ellen Renton talks about and reads from her debut book of poems that look at what it means to be a girl and how this intersects with disability/visual impairment.
Chair: Paul Hudson
PROGRAMMES! PROGRAMMES! FOOTBALL AND LIFE FROM WARTIME TO LOCKDOWN
3.30-4.30pm LIBRARY DOWNSTAIRS
Cliff Hague’s book is a social and economic history of football and Britain told through football match day programmes. Cliff talks about how more than strips have changed over the decades.
Chair: Steve Harvey
PORTY FOOD MAP, THE TRADERS’ STORIES
5.00-6.00pm LIBRARY DOWNSTAIRS
Come and listen to the story behind the collation and production of this unique book which gives an insight into the background and range of food outlets in Portobello. Jo Turbitt, who devised the project in collaboration with Portobello Central, is on hand to discuss the project and may have some tasty nibbles to whet your appetite!!
14 Rosefield Avenue, EH15 1AU
3 High Street, Portobello EH15 1DW
THE PORTOBELLO BOOKSHOP
46 Portobello High Street, EH15 1DA
PORTOBELLO BOOK FESTIVAL is organised by a group of local book enthusiasts in collaboration with Portobello Library. If you have ideas or would like to be involved, please contact email@example.com Tickets are free and contributors are not paid. The festival is entirely dependent on donations to meet basic running costs. Books by contributing authors can be purchased at the festival bookstall in the library and from the Portobello Bookshop.