#5: Isobel Dixon
Fruitmarket Gallery, Friday 15 August 2014, 8 pm.
Every year I look forward to returning to Edinburgh at Festival time – because I’m half-Scottish and studied at Edinburgh University, because I love the Book Festival and other festivities there, and because it’s one of the truly splendid cities of the world.
And for the last few years the Fruitmarket Gallery has given added reason for delight, providing the setting for a fine evening of poetry, whatever the festival weather. Hosted by the Fruitmarket’s inimitable Iain Morrison and local host poets Andrew Philip and Rob Mackenzie, the night alone’s been worth the trip north.
I’m very happy this year to be joining Andy and Rob again, along with Simon Barraclough, Chrissy Williams and AB Jackson, and to be hosting here, virtually, a small introduction to their brilliant work.
And I’m up next…
Isobel Dixon's latest collections are A Fold in the Map and The Tempest Prognosticator. She co-wrote and performed in The Debris Field, about the sinking of RMS Titanic, and is working on a project with Scottish artist Doug Robertson, responding to DH Lawrence's Birds, Beasts & Flowers. She has a new collection forthcoming from Nine Arches in 2015 and a pamphlet due from Mariscat in 2016. She completed her post-graduate study in Edinburgh and no year is quite complete without a climb up Arthur's Seat.
i.m. James Harvey
Alphabet of breath
and fish and fowl,
words the gills and wings
of the world we love and suffer in.
Kingdom of mackerel skies,
the cloud’s anatomy,
glottal branches of sense,
beautiful trachea, click-locking vertebrae.
We husband our resources,
tend. O tender emperor,
your cheer a mute command,
more subjects than you dream unwind
the bandages. The curling scrolls,
inscrutable cells. The dorsal fin
of fortune flicks, scales flex.
Mutable, curious, entire,
unfurl in the flux,
the deep, beyond-breath alphabet.
Follow Isobel Dixon on Twitter: @isobeldixon