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Pushing Out the Boat all the way to Stirling

At the end of March, Pushing Out the Boat were privileged to join Stirling Makar Laura Fyfe in hosting The Book Nook’s Forth Friday reading night. The monthly event invites readers to share their poetry and prose in an open mic evening filled with friendly faces and topped with fine pieces aplenty. Venturing to the central belt was a first for Pushing Out the Boat and an opportunity we hope presents itself to us again.

Attendees were greeted by the bookshop-cafe’s inviting glow and cosy atmosphere, and welcomed in with tea and cakes. We sat down amongst an eclectic mix of readers: personally invited contributors to Pushing Out the Boat’s latest Issue 17, Stirling locals, newcomers and oldtimers, and one or two students. We were glad to see some magazine contributors local to the central belt who may have missed the chance to attend our Issue 17 launch held in Aberdeen earlier last year.

A colourful bookshelf adorned with fairy lights, the perfect backdrop for the readers.

The evening was structured such that allocated slots were assigned to magazine contributors with open mic slots dotted between, introduced initially by Laura Fyfe and compèred by our own Judith Taylor. First to kick off the Pushing Out the Boat contributions was Emma Mooney with her story “Just Like Lynda Carter” (Issue 17, page 72), followed by several more familiar faces: Laura Fyfe with her poem “Scream If You Want Tae Go Faster” (Issue 17, page 84), Tom Murray’s prose “If the Face Fits” (Issue 17, page 42), and poems “Volcano” (Issue 17, p.17) and “Clutching” (Issue 17, p.62) by Matthew Keeley. After a short interval with more tea and chatter, we were treated to Morag Smith’s poems “His Number” (Issue 17, p.65) and “This Summer” (Issue 17, p.70), followed by short story “The Sneck” (Issue 17, p.55) by Don Taylor, poems “The Complexity of Simplicity” (Issue 17, p.5) and “Moving House” (Issue 17, p.54) by Dorothy Baird, and finally our own Judith Taylor’s poem, “Hill of Rubislaw” (Issue 17, p.58). Judith also treated us to a reading of the late Sheila Templeton’s poem, “The Iceberg that Sunk the Titanic” (Issue 15, p.80) which can be read here, as one of our sample pieces for Isssue 15.

Laura Fyfe reading “Scream If You Want Tae Go Faster”

The variety of genre and style was compelling, and team members agreed it is always a joy to hear the voice and see the expression behind a story or poem we may have read to ourselves several times. Some new faces appearing on open mic slots provided a refreshing selection of talent, too.

Tom Murray reading “If the Face Fits”

The evening felt relaxed and friendly, which carried into conversations with open mic attendees at the end of the night who inquired if Pushing Out the Boat were touring Scotland with our readers… maybe one day!

For more pictures of the event, head over to our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. We would like to thank The Book Nook for their hospitality and for the exciting opportunity for Pushing Out the Boat further into Scotland.

Read the Forth Friday contributions for yourself in Issue 17, available for purchase on our sales page.

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