A poetry anthology published in memory of and in tribute to the late Adrian Mitchell (aka the “shadow poet laureate”), who died in December 2008, will be launched at Shetland Library on Tuesday.
Mr Mitchell’s memorable performance at the Wordplay festival in Shetland a few months before his death and his month-long stint as writer in residence with Shetland Arts were to be his last major engagements.
Adrian: Scotland Remembers Adrian Mitchell is published by Markings and edited by John Hudson and Chrys Salt. It features contributions from some of Scotland’s major poets, including Liz Lochead, Jackie Kay, Bill Herbert. Kevin MacNeil and Edwin Morgan also contribute introductions as well as poetry.
The anthology also features work by people who knew Mr Mitchell, including Sir Paul McCartney.
John Hudson is Shetland Arts’ writer in residence for November and, along with others, will take part in readings from the anthology. He will also talk about the book and how it came to be.
From a Shetland point of view, Kevin MacNeil’s introduction is particularly poignant, given that it is largely drawn from his introduction of Mr Mitchell to the large audience at Wordplay 2008.
Mr Hudson said: “I feel honoured to be following in the footsteps of Adrian Mitchell in taking up the post of writer in residence in Shetland. Adrian was a mate of mine and a fabulous writer.
“When he died I was left shocked and deeply saddened. I immediately set about putting together a published tribute from Scottish writers among whom Shetland Arts’ own Donald Anderson features.
“It’s particularly fitting that we are launching the anthology here in Shetland so swiftly after our debut at the Scottish Poetry Library in Edinburgh and in my own home, Galloway, where Adrian was our special guest in 2007.
“I hope those who knew, met or respected the work of Adrian Mitchell will be able to attend this special event.”
Tuesday’s event, organised by Shetland Arts and Shetland Library in association with Markings Publishing, is free. Copies of the anthology will be available to buy at the event. Doors are open at 7pm and the launch begins at 7.30pm.