Our first visitor - Jane Yolen!

Recently we had our first visitor to the flat - the lovely and prolific author Jane Yolen! Jane spends half the year in St. Andrews and she had been invited down to do a poetry reading at the Outhouse (a pub just up the street from us) by the Shore Poets society.
     My life in Edinburgh has a lot more poetry than it did in the states. I don't know if it's because it's a bigger deal here (which I suspect it is), or if it's just where I happen to be creatively (might be that too). At any rate, traditional and performance poets are big here.
     As proof, the venue was completely packed - standing room only. If we hadn't come in with Jane, I'm not sure we would have had a place to sit!
     There were four poets throughout the evening. Other than Jane there was also Maoilios Caimbeul (yes, that's Gaelic), Vicki Feaver and Marjorie Lotfi Gill (who read some wrenching poems about leaving Iran as a child). Their readings were interspersed with interludes by the Poetics, a mandolin and guitar orchestra playing traditional Scottish ballads. Jane read a lovely range of her poetry from serious to political to funny to serious again. I've heard her read before and she really is so good - an absolute delight to listen to. The audience loved her.
As for the flat - it accommodated Jane beautifully! Being a two bedroom, one bath flat, we're set up ideally for one guest for a short stay. (There's not much storage space in the guest room.) So this was a perfect trial run.
     The itinerary went as such. Fellow poet, Christine De Luca picked Jane up from Waverly Station in her car, then we all met for an early dinner at Treacle on Broughton Street. From there we went to the reading, then home to our flat. In the morning we had a lovely breakfast at the Broughton Street Deli. Jane and I talked shop for a good, long time - how wonderful! And she really got a (literal) taste of our wonderful neighborhood. Afterwards we had a leisurely walk to the train station and saw her off on the train which was waiting right on time.
     I meant to get a pic of the two of us, but forgot. We were so wrapped up in sharing this passion for books, I didn't think about it. At any rate, it was a lovely visit and will, I hope, be one of many!
     By the way - Jane writes a poem a day, which you can sign up to receive in your in-box. CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP!


Mutsmag said...

That sounds fantastic. I'd love to be in a room with both of you. I've heard Jane Yolen speak twice and of course I'm a huge fan of her books. The first time I drove down to Clemson from Virginia to hear her speak and that weekend conference (which also included Barry Moser) was so memorable that I still talk about it to my students and I have the poster hanging in my office.

Glenda Rogers said...

What a treat!! I agree with Tina, I'd love to be in a room with the both of you.

Jane Yolen said...

I thank the two of you again for your graciousness. And Sherpa-ness.

Will be back in Scotland come June.


Elizabeth O. Dulemba said...

We look forward to it Jane! Tina, Glenda, best head on over then! :)

Christine said...

It was my pleasure to meet Jane and both you and your husband, Elizabeth!
Jane went down well at the Stanza Poetry festival too.