The Launch of Issue 17

Pushing Out the Boat Issue 17 was launched on 21 May at an event in the Phoenix Hall, Newton Dee, Aberdeen. A selection of contributors and team members read poems and stories from the new issue and artists displayed the originals of their artwork in the foyer area. Here’s a reflection on the event by our coordinator, Roger White.

Pushing Out the Boat Issue 17 Launch
Is it really two years ago your humble scribe dashed out a blog post on our last magazine launch? Time passes quickly when you’re … well, when you’re in full recovery mode from two years of pandemic.

It seems a lifetime ago that we huddled around our screens for Pushing Out the Boat’s first Covid-cautious online launch in 2021. Now we could actually see the whites of our readers’ and artists’ eyes and engage them in real conversation beyond a sterile ‘chat box’.

If you’ve not been to one of our face-to-face launches, that’s exactly what you get. A chance to hear and discuss great poems and stories read by their authors to an attentive audience, as well a chance to view art suddenly sprung to life from the constraints of the A4 page.

As always, it’s invidious to pick out individual contributions from such a wealth of creativity (see full list below). But let’s especially acknowledge those who joined us from afar for the afternoon – from Dundee (well, just down the road, really), Edinburgh, West Lothian, Glasgow and even Kent. Our thanks especially to our youngest contributor, Niah Thomas and her mum Anna, who were those travellers from Kent. We hope you enjoyed the event (sorry about the Aberdeen weather).

Our thanks also to our foreword author this year, Shane Strachan, the current National Library’s Scots Scriever. You can read his kind words about the magazine (‘a visual feast across beautiful artworks and well-crafted images of language …’) in full here, along with a sample of writing from Issue 17 and a slideshow of the art in the magazine.

As well as our published authors and artists, we added a sprinkling of team members for the first time, reading their favourite pieces from authors unable to attend the launch. It worked for us and we hope it worked for our guests.

The difference from our 2021 online launch was instructive. You can’t beat the real human contact and buzz of a live event. But technology allows contributors and fans from afar to join in. Last time, people logged in from, amongst other places, Italy, Lithuania, Nigeria, and Switzerland. This year we had a plaintive contributor who wrote that she’d definitely have joined us if it hadn’t been for 3,000 miles of ocean between her and us. In all seriousness, could or should we manage a ‘hybrid’ online/face to face launch in 2025? That seems a long way off, but as I say time passes quickly …

Copies of Issue 17 are available from our online shop and from our vendors.

Photos from the launch coming shortly . . . watch this space.

Here is a full list of the readers and artists at our launch. Our thanks to all of them, as well as to those unable to join us.


Kim Crowder – Missives, Missiles, and Moves

Tabitha Gibb – Quite the Journey

Alison Green – The Droont Quine plus The Unmaking of Loneliness, by EM Strang

Karen Macfarlane – While I’m Being Born

Nicola Furrie Murphy – Blue Egg

Gillian Shearer – The Mynah Bird

Don J Taylor – The Sneck

Judith Taylor – Hill of Rubislaw

Niah Thomas (young poet) – The Double Headed Farm


Jean Gillespie – Net

 Nicola Furrie Murphy – Black Swan

Neil Russell – Travels with Kate 1: Incident at the Abbey

Charley Sim – Ulysses; The Ploughman; and The Giant and Me

Ruth Simpson – Magic Carpet Sunday Morning

Team members

Eleanor Fordyce – Scream If You Want Tae Go Faster, by Laura Fyfe

Claire Martin – Loch Lade and Fur Coats, by Elaine Morrison

Judith Taylor – Rewilding by Nathan Castle and Leaving by Dorit Green (both young poets)

Roger White – The Young-Laplace Equation, by Craig Aitchison


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