National Poetry Day at GOMA Sept 28th

On 28th Sept at GoMA from 2.30 pm – 6 pm, a selection of writers will read or perform their work. There will also be a final feature performance from the Federation’s Makar Andy Jackson. He will also be presenting in celebration of National Poetry Day, the Patchwork Poem introduced by the Federation’s Executive Convenor Anne Connolly.


Bring a poem along on National Poetry Day.
**For a reading slot, prior booking is essential – contact now**

Comperes for the afternoon are
Finola Scott, Gayle Smith, Carla Woodburn and
Rose Ann Fraser Ritchie

Featuring: Federation of Writers (Scotland) Makar Andy Jackson

Read more about Andy here:

Tribute: Last Monday at Rio

Although it marks the end of a celebrated Glasgow institution we are delighted to feature this farewell tribute to Last Monday at Rio and its performers from its founder, the master of the spoken word and former Federation Makar, Robin Cairns. There can be few on the Glasgow poetry scene who have not been entertained (and often had their complacencies rightly challenged) by Robin’s legendary performances as various characters as well as himself. Read on – the good news is that though Rio has sadly gone, the Last Mondays have not!

Last Monday at Rio

I’ve known the owners of The Rio Café since deep in the last century – when one of them wandered into the shop where I worked and asked me to do a poster for his band. I did, we became pals and admired each other’s careers as he ditched music to build a powerful business empire and I combined scuffling about at the bottom end of the print industry with scribbling down my tuppenceworth and offering it to the world. When he opened The Rio Café ten years ago he asked me to put on a spoken word night.

Operating monthly we’ve given mic time to over a thousand individuals, provided a stage for 120 headline poets and allowed the many who come along just to listen a glimpse of literature out loud.

I’m fairly proud of the way the Rio poets don’t fall into one category. We ranged from 18 to 80 with a mash-up of styles, from dreamily lyrical to foghorn demotic. I’ve tried to be encouraging to almost everyone who comes along (not so keen on those unable to contain their self-love). I value quality of writing above any particular ideology expressed – which has led me to put on stage a fair number of people whose opinions and take on life I consider to be fatuous. In turn though I have had my hard and rocky soul softened by close exposure to other viewpoints many times.

Glasgow has a ripe history of ragged half-coherent notions erupting from odd corners of society. As Scots many of us are “brought up to shut up” and even now there are still vast numbers in our city who have yet to try “self-expression”. As a gatekeeper of Free Speech I feel it is my job to keep the door jammed open.

Last Monday at Rio finishes on Monday 27 March 2017 – but the Last Monday wagon keeps on rolling. The inaugural “Last Monday At Waterstones” starts on Monday April 24 – 7pm in the new café bar on the top floor of Waterstones in Sauchiehall Street. See youse there! (see under Opportunities below).

© Robin Cairns 2017

Word Factory and Tinsel Tales and inauguration of Makar for 2016-2017

Thursday 15 December 2.00-6.00pm GoMA Library Queen Street Glasgow

Time to start booking your slot for our annual Tinsel Tales open mic event. The first part of the afternoon (2pm-3pm) will feature a performance by the Word Factory hosted by a festively waistcoated Marc Sherland.

Open mic slots (Five minutes each, please time your work beforehand) are available between 3.30 and 5.15pm. Please email me at to book a slot, or take pot luck on the day (but it helps us a lot if you book beforehand). General theme is the festive season (and its unfestive aspects!), midwinter etc. Both prose and poetry welcome provided you keep in the time limits.

As announced in the last issue that Andy Jackson will be the Federation Makar for 2016-2017, Tinsel Tales event on Thursday 15 December at GoMA Library. The inauguration of Andy as Makar will be at 5.30pm when following Elizabeth Rimmer, who has been such an inspirational and dedicated Makar for the FWS this year, will hand over the Makar shield and Andy will give an inaugural reading. Don’t miss it!

Nov 22nd Autumn Speakeasy, CCA Glasgow

Join us for a taste of Scotland’s new and emerging writers and the best of new literature in action hosted by writer and musician, Linda Jackson. This is not an evening to be missed! We will be listening to and discussing music and writers in a relaxing atmosphere as we toast the written word with music and readings in English, Gaelic, and Scots. We’ll be celebrating the original spirit of the Speakeasy. So from prose to slam poetry – anything goes!

Linda Jackson will be hosting our Speakeasy to listen to, discuss, and enjoy writing inspired by music. We have a cool saxophonist, some guitar expertise, and an interview ‘Spotlight On’ with Federation writer, Finola Scott, who will be showcasing her work.

At 7pm, CCA,  350 Sauchiehall Street, G2 3JD Glasgow