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A live broadcast between two of Scotland’s most technologically agile arts venues

Friday 1 March, 6pm, Mareel Shetland & Inspace Edinburgh

On Friday 1 March at 6pm, Screen 2 in Mareel will play host to the Shetland end of a poetry reading which will take place simultaneously in both Lerwick and Edinburgh. The reading will feature two of the country’s most acclaimed poets, Kathleen Jamie and Jen Hadfield. The event is run by The Scottish Poetry Library, Shetland Arts and Inspace.

Jen Hadfield will read in Shetland and be broadcast to Edinburgh, while Kathleen Jamie will read in Edinburgh and be broadcast to Shetland. We'll also discuss whether technology and nature can support one another, how contemporary poetry responds to modern landscapes (rolling hills dotted with wind farms, for instance) and link up with live feeds from Scotland's wilderness.

Jen and Kathleen]

Jen Hadfield & Kathleen Jamie

Kathleen Jamie is a poet, essayist and travel writer, one of a remarkable clutch of Scottish writers picked out in 1994 as the ‘new generation poets’ – it was a marketing ploy at the time but turns out to have been a very prescient selection. She became Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Stirling in 2011. Her most recent collection of poetry, Overhaul, was shortlisted for this year’s TS Eliot prize, and she received an Eric Gregory award, at the age of nineteen. Her other eight collections of poetry include The Queen of Sheba, Mr & Mrs Scotland are Dead, Jizzen, and The Tree House which between them have garnered three TS Eliot Award nominations, two Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prizes, and two Forward Poetry Prizes.

Jen Hadfield has also received an Eric Gregory award for the completed manuscript of her first collection, Almanacs, and a Dewar award. Her second collection, Nigh No Place, (Bloodaxe) was nominated for the Forward Prize and won the 2008 TS Eliot poetry prize – she is still the youngest poet to have won this award.  A resident of Shetland, Jen is increasingly recognized as a nature poet is greatly inspired by the landscape, ecology and culture of her adopted home. Since 2008, Jen has been much in demand, both on the Poetry reading circuit, as creative writing tutor and not least as a reader of Residence in 2011, with Shetland Library, which was part of the Creative Futures Readers in Residence programme, funded by Creative Scotland and developed and administered by Shetland Arts.

Shetland Arts’ Literature Development Officer, Donald Anderson said: “This is an exciting event, not least because it features two poets of the highest quality with immense reputations. It is also exciting because we are able to run a literature event simultaneously in two places at once, thanks to the technology we now have available to us in Mareel. The implications of this are massive in terms of running literature events jointly with other venues and with literature organizations such as the Scottish Poetry Library, the Book Festival Scotland network and so on.”

He added that as the event was being staged in Screen 2 which has a relatively small capacity, anybody interested in coming along should get their ticket at the soonest opportunity. Tickets to attend the Mareel event are available via Shetland Box Office in Mareel & Islesburgh, over the phone on 01595 745 555, or online here.

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