The Festival Verb
Ian McMillan peers into the pop-up tent of 'festival' language with Murray Lachlan Young, Hollie McNish, Louise Welsh, William Letford, and Peter Mackay.
Ian McMillan peers into the pop-up tent that is 'festival' writing with Murray Lachlan Young - he introduces new fiction from Louise Welsh, new poetry from William Letford and Hollie McNish joins the programme to explore, in conversation with Dr Peter Mackay, the kind of festive language and rituals associated with Scots Gaelic literature.
Ian is also joined by Professor Sarah Churchwell to unpick the language of the great American novelist Philip Roth - who died this week - and to celebrate not only the meaning, but the sound and texture of Roth's sentences. Roth's best-known novels include the darkly comic 'Portnoy's Complaint' and the Pulitzer Prize winning 'American Pastoral'.
Murray Lachlan Young
The poet Murray Lachlan Young is the veteran of many a festival, and for our festival themed Verb he performs his poetry taking in all aspects of the festival experience, from the Portaloo to the glamping pod. You can catch Murray at the Port Eliot Festival in Cornwall in July.
The poet and academic Dr Peter Mackay, from the University of St Andrews, lets us into the language-world of Scots Gaelic, and its poems of festival, ritual and time. Ian’s regular side-kick, the poet Hollie McNish draws comparisons between the Gaelic poetry Peter has brought to the studio and Jamaican dancehall music and 90s chart pop.
Especially for our festival themed programme, we’ve commissioned brand new poetry from William Letford. His poem explores the language of festival food and strangeness of eating at a festival. William’s collection ‘Dirt’ is out now from Carcanet.
The writer, critic and academic Professor Sarah Churchwell celebrates the language of the great American novelist Philip Roth who died this week. Sarah’s new book is “Behold, America: A History of America First and the American Dream” (Bloomsbury)
The novelist Louise Welsh is the Honorary President of the Ullapool Book Festival, and she’s written us a sketch of the build-up to a music festival, paying attention to backstage staff, and to all the different tribes that come together to celebrate.