Ian Hamilton Finlay, The Present Order (1983).
With acknowledgements to Wild Hawthorn Press and the Little Sparta Trust

Poetry, Culture, and Politics in the "Scottish Sixties"

17 March 2016, 6.30-8 pm, free.
The Scottish Poetry Library, 5 Crichton's Close, Canongate, EH8 8DT

The Last few years have seen new levels of interest in the art, literature, and culture of the “Scottish Sixties”. The Sixties in Scotland, as elsewhere, were a period of creative ferment and upheaval, when the still-dominant voices of the Scottish Renaissance were challenged by a new generation of writers with different attitudes to themes such as nationalism, revolutionary politics, and the Scottish language. At the final event in our series, Eleanor Bell, co-editor of The Scottish Sixties (2013), will focus on challenges to cultural nationalism in Scottish literary magazines of the 1960s-70s. Corey Gibson, author of The Voice of the People: Hamish Henderson and Scottish Cultural Politics (2015), will focus on the conflicting creative and political connotations of the “anonymous” voice in Henderson’s poetry.

Book tickets through the Scottish Poetry Library Eventbrite page
Speaker Abstracts and Biographies
Eleanor Bell
"Rejecting the Knitted Claymore: the challenge to cultural nationalism in Scottish literary magazines of the 1960s and  early 1970s"
The purpose of this paper is to examine the role of poets as cultural critics as depicted through various literary and cultural magazines of the period. Central to this paper is poet Alan Jackson’s long essay “The Knitted Claymore”, though the work of various poets will be also discussed, including Edwin Morgan and Ian Hamilton Finlay.
Biographical Note
Eleanor Bell is author of Questioning Scotland: Literature, Culture, Postmodernism (2004) and co-editor of Scotland in Theory: Reflections on Literature and Culture (2004). Her recent work focuses on Scottish literary culture of the 1960s, on which she has published two edited collections: International Writers' Conference Revisited: Edinburgh 1962 (2012) and The Scottish Sixties: Reading, Rebellion, Revolution? (2013)
Corey Gibson
"The Politics of 'Alias MacAlias'"
This talk will examine Hamish Henderson's theorization of the anonym in Scottish literature. In particular, it will focus on the tension that arises in the revolutionary political potential and the reactionary romantic mystifications that can be so easily projected onto the cipher of 'Anon.' As a folklorist, poet, and political agitator, Henderson was committed to a vision of the 'commonweal', but as an acolyte of MacDiarmid's he was enthralled and troubled by the logic of the political and poetical vanguard.
Biographical Note
Corey Gibson is a lecturer in English Literature at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. He was awarded his PhD from the University of Edinburgh in 2012 and he is the author of The Voice of the People: Hamish Henderson and Scottish Cultural Politics (EUP 2015). In 2012 he was awarded the Ross Roy Medal for his research in Scottish literary studies. And in 2013-14 he was a Scottish Studies Scholar at UC Berkeley on the US-UK Fulbright Commission programme.

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