Pushing Out the Boat at Aberdeen University Mayfest

Pushing Out the Boat held its first post-launch event for Issue 15 at Aberdeen University’s May Festival on Sunday 26 May with a programme of readings from our latest edition.

A hardy audience braved the rainstorm that nearly sunk the University grounds to hear the afternoon kick off with Sheila Templeton’s poem ‘The Iceberg that Sunk the Titanic’ written in her native Doric, a short piece to be cherished for a number of reasons, not least its giving an outing to one of my favourite Scots words – fantoosh.

Poems spanning a range of emotions and themes followed from Al McClimens (‘Yuri Gagarin Stole My Wife’), Helen Steadman (‘Quiet Sisters’) and A.C. Clarke’s intriguing ‘Poems I Don’t Want to Write’.

Interspersed with the poetry were extracts from short stories by Lily Greenhall (‘Frank’), Donna Rutherford (‘The Pack’), and Bruce Gardner (‘Rebel Angel’). The constraint of the festival format meant there was only time for extracts, but what an incentive to go away and find the full texts.

The readings ended with one story that there was time to hear in full – Richie Brown’s ‘A Shaggy Dog’. Richie described it as his party piece and short of having to issue a spoiler alert the only clue about its content must be that its title is not merely metaphorical. It was a good piece to round off a varied programme and send us away with a smile and a chuckle.

You can find a few samples of work from Issue 15 here on the website. For the whole magazine including its selection of artwork, be sure to buy a copy from one of our vendors or online on this site.

The programme for the event was devised by Issue 15’s guest editor Martin Walsh. Apart from Martin, readers included MC Judy Taylor and Eleanor Fordyce. Lily Greenhall, Bruce Gardner, Helen Steadman and Ritchie Brown read their own work. Our thanks to them all.

Footnote: audience members staying on from the previous session in the University’s Multi-Media Room will have seen a wonderful selection of images from Anke Addy’s new photographic essay, The Living Cairngorms. Anke is a member of the Pushing Out the Boat team, serving on the Art Panel for Issue 15, and kindly took all the photos at our recent launch.

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