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  • Alistair Braidwood

Just William (and Christopher): The Scots Whay Hae! Podcast Welcomes Billy Letford…

The latest podcast is one we’ve been promising for some time, but I’ll think you’ll agree it was worth the wait. We first spoke to Billy Letford about being a guest way back at the Margins Festival in February of 2012, and we have finally worn him down, with Ali, Chris and Ian catching up with him just before he recently departed for India (the reasons for which you can hear for yourself). Right from the off, Billy charms and disarms as he takes us through his life as a poet, before the chat widens out to talk about the role poetry plays in everyone’s life.

Topics include grannies, the rules of golf, Roger McGough, nonsense poetry, Lionel Ritchie, and ‘The Bevvy’ as Billy takes us from Stirling to Iraq, and back, with many unusual stops along the way, before Ali bangs on once more about the importance of hearing the language which surrounds you in literature. But don’t be put off by that. What you will hear is almost an hour of chat with one of Scotland’s best poets, as well as a couple of readings, and if there is anything better than that it escapes me at the moment.

If you are new to these podcasts, perhaps brought here by the recent Stevenson readings, then this is the kind of thing we do; that is, talk to the people we admire who are shaping Scotland’s cultural landscape today. There are over 35 of these now, including interviews with writers Louise Welsh, Alan Bissett, Ewan Morrison, James Robertson and Karen Campbell among others, as well as specials on literary journals, Robert Burns, Scottish albums, and Irvine Welsh. There are also a number of podcasts featuring live music as well as chat. There’s even an hour long video about Sir Walter Scott, if that floats your boat. Like Scott’s novels it requires patience as it takes an age to load, but we think it’s worth it.

You can listen to them all, and subscribe, at iTunes.

Or listen below:

If you haven’t yet got a copy of Billy’s collection Bevel I highly recommend it as it

works as well on the page as it does from the poet’s mouth. During the podcast there are references made to American poet Jack Gilbert and also Billy’s work with Reel Festivals. We promised to give further information about both, and are delighted to do so here.

We are already lining up some interesting guests for the new year, but, before all that, the next podcast will be our annual roundup of all the best stuff from the year, which is always a great night of argument, debate and conversation, for us at least.

See you then…


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