Yesterday the Scottish Poetry Library got double kindling.

Gerry Cambridge and Helena Nelson

Yesterday the Scottish Poetry Library got double kindling.

How fascinating that you can publish two collections of poetry, scrutinizing every page of each, yet not till you hear the two poets read, do you realize each of them has a poem (each of them has chosen to read a poem) in which ‘kindling’ is seminal.

Gerry Cambridge and Helena Nelson
Gerry Cambridge and I signing the ‘special editions’



The kindling in Gerry Cambrldge’s poem ‘Notes for Lighting a Fire’ is very different from the process referred to in Peter Gilmour’s ‘Kindling’. But how lovely it was to hear one poet read after the other and suddenly hear that connection.



All in all, this book launch was a splendid event. My sister, who was forced into duty as official camera person, took on this role with reluctance. ‘I’m useless at taking photographs,’ she said.

‘Just point and click,’ I said.


Gilmour and Cambridge launch event (blurred)


So Lou took a great many photographs. Most of them resemble medieval wall paintings in Italian churches, where the actual features have been destroyed by the depradations of hoodlums or time. So those people who felt anxious about being snapped need have no fear. Few of them are recognizable…




Many copies of the books have been sold. Many more are in the post. As ever, the staff of SPL were wonderful, welcoming and warm. The venue is second to none: literary history unfolds before your eyes. The people who came along, bought copies and mingled — the readers and friends — were amazing. I am too tired to say more. . . .


More pictures follow. First some of the recognisable audience, then Peter Gilmour reading, and finally Gerry.

Gilmour and Cambridge launch reading












Peter Gilmour reading from 'Taking Account'















Gerry Cambridge reading from Notes for Kindling a Fire
Gerry Cambridge

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