The Poetry of New Beginnings


After a few years’ hiatus, Edinburgh’s free, bookshop-run, independent literary festival is back!

From Aug 5th – 12th, Lighthouse Books will be hosting a feast of lunchtime conversations focusing on nature writing, climate justice, place & belonging, language, legacies, all rooted in anti-racist, feminist and environmentalist politics.

The Poetry of New Beginnings, with Roseanne Watt, JL Williams & Annie Rutherford

Poetry lives in hybridity; in the spaces between meaning and sound, night and day, the now and what’s to come, bud and bloom. We can think of few more suitable images to begin our last day of Lighthouse events than with those of transformation and possibility.

To bring these to life, we welcome two poets whose work often thrives in the meeting with other art forms. Poet and musician Roseanne Watt shares her work alongside poet and librettist J.L. Williams for a magical afternoon moment full of language and sound.

Roseanne Watt is a writer, filmmaker and musician from Shetland. Her dual-language debut collection, Moder Dy, was published by Polygon in May 2019, after receiving the prestigious Edwin Morgan Poetry Award for Scottish poets under 30. Moder Dy subsequently received both an Eric Gregory and Somerset Maugham Award in 2020, and was named joint-winner of the Highland Book Prize 2019. In 2019, Roseanne completed a funded doctorate from the University of Stirling in the disciplines of creative writing and filmmaking. Her research project, ‘Aa My Mindin: moving through loss in the poetic literary tradition of Shetland’ received AHRC funding, as part of the Scottish Graduate School for the Arts and Humanities. She also holds an MLitt in Creative Writing and a BA Hons in English and Film Studies, also from the University of Stirling. Roseanne also performs in the bands Lukkie Minnie and Wulver, where she plays fiddle, vocals and (occasionally) guitar. Her next book, ‘Scotland’s Wild Words‘, is due to be published by Polygon in 2023.

Books by JL Williams include Condition of Fire (Shearsman, 2011), Locust and Marlin (Shearsman, 2014), House of the Tragic Poet (If A Leaf Falls Press, 2016), After Economy (Shearsman, 2017) and Origin (Shearsman, 2022). Published widely in journals, her poetry has been translated into numerous languages. She has read at international literature festivals and venues in the UK, Sweden, Germany, Denmark, Turkey, Cyprus, Canada, Hungary, Romania, Montenegro and the US. She wrote the libretto for the opera Snow which debuted in London in 2017, was awarded a bursary to develop a new opera with composer Samantha Fernando at the Royal Opera House and was a librettist for the award-winning 2020 covid-response Episodes project by The Opera Story. Williams curates writing events and creates workshops and professional development activities for poets. She is hopeful about the simple and mysterious power of poetry that allows us to know ourselves, each other and the world more deeply.

This event is a part of Book Fringe 2022: PoliNations Edition series. Click to view more from this festival.

12.08.2022 : 12:00 – 13:00
Lighthouse Bookshop Garden, off West Nicolson Street, Edinburgh EH8 9DB
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Friday 12 Aug 2022
Lighthouse Bookshop, Edinburgh. United Kingdom