Professor Alan Riach of University of Glasgow to give tutored reading of seminal work by Hugh MacDiarmid – A Drunk Man Looks at A Thistle
Free event on Saturday 1 December 2012, 2.30pm Station Hotel Dumfries
The Dumfries branch of the Saltire Society is hosting a tutored reading by Alan Riach, Professor of Scottish Literature at the University of Glasgow, on Hugh MacDiarmid's long poem, A Drunk Man Looks at the Thistle, which is the key text on Scottish Identity in a modern world - a very topical subject. Yet the poem has proven difficult and off-putting for many readers since it was first published in 1926. In this public talk, Alan Riach aims to give an accessible, informal introduction to the poem’s lyrical high-points, philosophical challenges, difficult questions and passages of sheer beauty and piercing sweetness. MacDiarmid is like Beethoven, it's as if you know that all the notes are absolutely in the right place but you have to do a bit of work to hear them. This talk will offer a guide to the whole poem, its context, its ambition, its influence on modern Scotland with readings of some of the most moving and satirical sections. If you've never encountered the greatest poet of modern Scotland before, this might be the place to start.
Professor Riach visited Langholm in August for the opening of the exhibition of drawings by Sandy Moffat for the famous picture “Poets Pub” which depicts Hugh MacDiarmid amongst other notable Scottish poets. He read at the award of the Andrew Fletcher of Saltoun award to John Manson by the Saltire Society for his contribution to the cultural life of Scotland over decades. It was at this event he agreed to come and speak to the local branch and elucidate this important poem by Hugh MacDiarmid.
This talk has been organised by the Dumfries & district branch of the Saltire Society. It is free of charge to attend and everyone interested is welcome. The talk will be held in the Pullman Room at the Station Hotel at 2.30pm on Saturday 1st December 2012 and will finish by 4.00pm.
Please contact Susan Garnsworthy, Convenor 01387 860610 or Iain Rogers, Secretary 07780542751 if you wish to know more or are interested in attending.