6 Poets at the Fruitmarket Gallery – 7pm, Wed 17 August 2016 – Isobel Dixon


Join Isobel Dixon, Alan Gillis, Eliza Kentridge, Tessa Berring, Clare Best and Rob A. Mackenzie at Edinburgh’s Fruitmarket Gallery, on Wednesday 17 August, 7pm for a prompt 7:30 reading start, to finish at 9:30 – 3 poets in each half, with a short interval for wine and book buying. The evening is free, but donations are welcome. Sign up on Eventbrite or Facebook.

The Fruitmarket Gallery is right by Waverley Station: 45 Market Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1DF - View Map

 The poets will read new work and from recent collections, and the night will include some original poems from the poets inspired by the work of Damián Ortega in the gallery’s current exhibition. Damián Ortega is one of the most prominent artists of the new Mexican generation and for The Fruitmarket Gallery’s summer exhibition, Ortega has made new sculptures, mostly from clay, focusing on how the forces of nature – wind, water, earth and fire – act on the earth both independently of and in relationship to humans.

Here’s an introduction to another of our six poets, Isobel Dixon:

About Isobel:

Isobel Dixon’s debut Weather Eye (Carapace) won the Olive Schreiner Prize in South Africa, where she grew up. Her fourth poetry collection Bearings is published by Nine Arches in the UK and Modjaiji in South Africa. Scottish publisher Mariscat published a pamphlet, The Leonids, in August, and Nine Arches will re-issue her earlier collections, A Fold in the Map and The Tempest Prognosticator, later in 2016. With Simon Barraclough and Chris McCabe she co-wrote and performed in The Debris Field, about the sinking of RMS Titanic. She enjoys collaborations with artists and composers too and is working with Scottish artist Douglas Robertson on a project inspired by D.H. Lawrence’s Birds, Beasts and Flowers. Her work is recorded for the Poetry Archive.


What are we to do with all this sky?
Swifts swoop and stitch it
to the glistening grass,

bring flighty news of clouds
that gather     pass    disperse
as birds do,

chirruping the breeze.

Here even the breeze
has water in.
The grass is fat with juice,

the river laps your skin.

The cloudlight turns,
pale stone. The turbines
make their stately signs –

alien druid presences
absorbing winds
into their whiteness,

making fire.

The wide earth’s washed
in several silences.
The grass tufts nod.

This day
will be like another day
and not.


From Bearings, published by Nine Arches in the UK and Modjaji in South Africa.
‘Ellon’ first appeared in Slow Things: Poems About Slow Things, published by The Emma Press.

See more on isobeldixon.com
Twitter: @isobeldixon

And come and hear more at the Fruitmarket Gallery!