Indy & Radical Bookfair

Posted by to The Blog on October 23rd


(Organised by Word Power Books, this alternative book festival will feature talks, film screenings and a huge array of books on sale.)

Out of the Blue Drill Hall, 36 Dalmeny Street, Edinburgh


Wednesday 26th October


7pm Carol Gilligan opens the book fair

Named by Time Magazine as one of the 25 most influential Americans, Carol launches her new book Joining the Resistance offering analysis of key questions about gender and human development.

8:30pm Liz Lochhead

Regarded as one of Scotland’s most popular dramatists, Liz Lochhead reads from her new collection of poetry, A Choosing.

Exhibition: The beginning of…The end of?

Photographs by Craig MacLean. A series of ongoing documentary photographs on the changing political shape of the nation.


Thursday 27th


10.30am School event: Creative Writing Workshop with Mary T. Turner


2.30pm Sylvia Pankhurst: Everything is Possible (FILM: 90 mins)

This documentary traces Sylvia Pankhurst’s ideas, campaigns &
political life. The film is packed with facts from primary sources, rare images from museums & archives, interviews with historians & compelling testimony from Sylvia’s son Richard Pankhurst and wife Rita.

6pm Tommy Sheridan: Lessons From the Wreckage

Tommy Sheridan achieved something quite remarkable for socialist politics but he threw it all away. Was it because he was an egotist, delusional and arrogant, or because he was stitched up by an unholy alliance of the state, News International and former comrades? Gregor Gall discusses these ideas when he launches his new book, Tommy Sheridan: From Hero to Zero?

7.30pm Gardens of the Royal Mile

Jean Bareham launches her book on these hidden gardens & discusses their history, and new research on the children’s gardens created in early twentieth-century slums.

8.30pm How Can Land be Returned to the People?

“Local government” is a non sequitur being neither local nor providing much in the way of genuine governance. Drawing on experiences from Norway, Sweden and France, and their rich traditions of local control of land and natural resources, Andy Wightman, author of The Poor Had No Lawyers, explores a different future for local democracy in Scotland.


Friday 28th


10.30am School event – see Thursday 27th


2pm A Haiku in my Pocket: A writing & handmade book workshop with Dorothy Baird and Kirsty O’Connor
Capture the beauty of a single moment in your own words. Learn about haiku with Dorothy Baird. Easy to learn, it’s endlessly fascinating to play with and develop and is a perfect form for the hand-made book. In the second half of this workshop with Kirsty O’Connor you will learn to make a little concertina folded book with pockets to tuck your haiku in! No experience required, materials and equipment supplied.

3.30pm Suicide: The Hidden Killer

Two people a day die by suicide in Scotland. The workshop will discuss some of the common misconceptions about suicide and what written- materials could help to increase awareness of the problem and improve our responses to people in extreme distress.

4pm Specialist resources session

An opportunity for teachers, youth workers, librarians and resource workers to discuss their resource needs with members of Word Power Books’ staff.

6.30pm Three Middle-Eastern shorts

The Confession, A Palestinian Poet in Beirut and Road to
Roxana Vilk, who made these 3 beautiful new films on loca- tion in Lebanon in 2011, will introduce them.

7.30pm The Steel Garden

Come celebrate the launch of Word Power Books’ latest publication, The Steel Garden, a poetry collection by Lorna J. Waite inspired by the Ayrshire steelworks.


Saturday 29th


10.30am Remembered Remedies

Anne Barker provides a fascinating insight into the ways plants have featured in Scottish life for generations.

11.30am George Orwell: The Socialist Who Loved Nature (talk by Norman Bissell)
George Orwell was one of our finest political writers who wrote it as he saw it in his essays, novels and memoirs. Yet in his diaries he wrote about the weather, bird life, walking and fishing. He was a socialist who loved nature. In this talk, Norman Bissell, who has been researching Orwell’s life for a feature film script he is writing, will reveal the unknown Orwell and discuss his continuing significance today.

1pm James Kelman and the Art of Commitment

Mitch Miller and Johnny Rodger trace the history and details of James Kelman’s political writing and activism. The authors will also show film footage and play some of Kelman’s work that has been put to music.

2.30pm Framing Muslims

Peter Morey and Amina Yaqin discuss their book and look at the way Muslims are depicted (and depict themselves) across a range of areas in political, legal, public and media discourses.

4pm Radical Gardening

George McKay travels an alternative route, through history and across landscape, linking propagation with propaganda. From window box
to veggie box, from political plot to flower power, he uncovers and celebrates moments, movements, gestures, of a people’s approach to gardens and gardening. George McKay has been Professor of Cultural Studies at the University of Salford since 2005.

6pm Sylvia Pankhurst: Everything is Possible (FILM: 90 minutes) see Thursday 27th

7.30pm An evening of readings, music and comedy

Guests include Alistair Findlay whose work includes Dancing with Big Eunice and performed extracts from the new book by David Torrance Great Scottish Speeches, plus gaelic singers and other surprises. Bar and cafe open until late.


Sunday 30th


10.45am Stitch a Book: A Handmade Book Workshop

Learn to make books using the pamphlet stitch technique. We will sew a soft cover notebook with a wrap around jacket and endpapers chosen from a lovely range of papers.

11am Radical Scotland

Gerry Hassan discusses the issues raised in his book and is then joined by contributors to his new edited collection ImagiNation:
Stories of Scotland’s Future
who will read from their work.

12.15pm A Rose Loupt Oot

A Rose Loupt Oot celebrates the historic work-in at Upper Clyde Shipbuilders in the early 1970s bringing together, for the first time, songs written during the UCS work-in, as well as poems looking back on the campaign. Chaired by editor David Betteridge, writers and singers include Alistair Findlay, Gerda Stevenson, Aonghas MacNeacail, Jimmie Macgregor and Ewan McVicar.

1:30pm Notes from the New Age of Dissent

In the space of a year, Laurie Penny has become one of the most prominent voices of the new left. In this talk Laurie explains what motivates the new generation of activists and thinkers that bring creativity and energy to the fight against capitalism and exploitation.

2.45pm Janice Galloway: All Made Up

In the second volume of her memoirs, the prize-winning author Janice Galloway reveals how the awkward child introduced in This is Not About Me evolved through her teenage years, living with her stoical mother and domineering older sister.

4pm Counterpower: Making Change Happen

Change can and does happen. But why is it that some campaigns succeed while others fail? In his new book activist Tim Gee seeks to get to the root of how change happens by taking an in-depth look at the strategies and tactics that have contributed to the success (or otherwise) of some of the most prominent movements for change.

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