Hooray! Today Aye Write kicks off until Saturday 20 April. There’s so much choice that I hardly know where to start. Where else can you go from ballet shows to disco moves while tackling sacred subjects like football and whisky?
Ballet dreams and bedsits
Darcy Bussell the epitome of my girlhood ballerina dream lets you peer into classic performances of Swan Lake and The Nutcracker Suite, while one half of Everything but the Girl – Tracey Thorn – reveals memories of dodgy bedsits and her pop career in Bedsit Disco Queen. And I can’t wait to reunite with the disco queen whose music saw me through my teen years.
And there’s a serious side to the festival too with Amnesty International hosting an Aye Write author’s event, reminding us of the writers who are not free to express their ideas and opinions. Come along, hear the words of people who are at the forefront of action for human rights and explore the issues of freedom of expression.
Something for the fam
Not just readings and talks, Aye Writer also offers up lots of performance events for both kids and adults. For instance, you can check out award-winning novelist and stage performer Alan Bissett as he delves into the world of storytelling with a high energy form of ‘stand-up literature’.
And if you want to unleash your creativity, join one of the spectacular creative writing workshops on offer.
Events range from free to £12 – so not to be missed! So go on, explore talks and readings with great Scottish authors like Denise Mina, Jackie Kay, Alasdair Gray, Louise Welch- to name only a few. But quick it’s selling out fast.
I charge across the city after work – arriving out of breath at the Mitchell Library where I follow the vibrant stripes of Aye Write for Pauline Black’s talk.
This vivacious woman is lead singer of the ska band Selecta, originally formed in 1979. But tonight isn’t about music. Tonight she’s talking about her powerful autobiography, Black by Design, charting her life in three stages:
- Early childhood as Pauline Vickers – who at the age of four finds out she’s adopted.
- The construction of her identity. She changes her name to Pauline Black, recognising her ethnicity – something that her adopted white parents alarmingly refused to acknowledge.
- Discovering her birth mother – and her original name Belinda Magnus
With its high ceilings and stain glassed windows, the Main Hall is like being in someone’s front room – the stage is equally welcoming with two armchairs for poet and novelist Jackie Kay (who I’m just as thrilled to hear) and Pauline.
Right there – living in the moment
We gather in and Pauline brings us into her fascinating life, sharing extracts from her book that remarkably is both shocking and humorous. She speaks in a way that takes us there with her in the moment.
Fascinating – not to be missed
This is what Aye Write is about – a magical opportunity to eavesdrop on fascinating discussions, get the lowdown on latest books and insights into unusual subjects. This festival is not to be missed and is only on for a few more days – so check out the latest programme. Whether it’s experiencing ’12 minutes of love’ through tango or hearing about trekking across the Antarctic , there’s truly something for everyone.
So snap up tickets while they’re still there for the taking – you’ll be glad you did.