COASTWORD 2017 Dunbar @CoastWordFest #Day2

Dunbar Harbour ©Kelly Lacey

CoastWord Festival Day 2 

We arrived For Day 2 at the Dunmuir Hotel, Dunbar. Joanne from PortobelloBookBlog and I claimed our familiar front row seats, today would be a smorgasbord of poetry, written word and song.

First up was Magi Gibson with local poets Melissa Goodbourne, Jo Gibson, Pen Reid and Ruth Gilchrist.  First up I need to say that I was unaware of how brave poets were. They open their very soul to us through their words and thoughts. So naked and raw, for us to reflect and judge. Telling us how this made them feel or think. It’s beautiful and I was really educated over the whole of the CoastWord festival, it was very enlightening for me.  The hearts of the ladies poems were varied from loss, parents, hysterectomies, slate roofs and even fruit.  Pen Reid had music to accompany her set with Emma on violin. Which was hauntingly beautiful and atmospheric.  My favourite poem from the hour came from Magi Gibson.

My Mother’s Funeral

January. Twelve below. Cold seeps through our coats.
We shuffle, cough, crack quiet graveside jokes
to keep our grief at bay, our breath ballooning white
before our mouths like misty lungs, as if we’re trying
to say, we are the living, we persist.

And then the minister comes, cantillates his dust-to-dust,
and we stand solemnly, prepared to trust
your soul to God, when a blackbird in a frost-encrusted
tree bursts into song. And I remember you, not dead,
not lying in a frozen grave, but in the garden you so loved,
planting, pruning, weeding. Whistling like a bird.

The minister lifts his hands, intones, now let us pray.
From the tree the blackbird flies away.

©Ruth Gilchrist By Kelly Lacey
©Jo Gibson By Kelly Lacey
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©Pen Reid By Kelly Lacey
©Magi Gibson By Kelly Lacey

An Audience with Chris Brookmyre, hosted by Nigel Bird was next on today’s agenda.

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©Nigel Bird & Chris Brookmyre By Kelly Lacey

Nigel Bird started by saying he had previously been in a reading slump, but after picking up three of Chris Brookmyres books he felt he had a literary enema.  Chris Brookmyre was very engaging and funny.  I learned all about how hackers use fun social media games to infiltrate our safety. We’ve all played the ‘What’s your porn star name’ game, right? Well, the answers to the two questions, asked in the game are the most used security questions used by companies to protect us.  I had never thought about that. So it goes to show when we are at our most relaxed, chatting with our friends on Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat, clicking share me links that if you don’t you will grow warts and webbed feet, we are in fact vulnerable and that’s exactly the time to be more vigilant and ask why am I doing this.  Chris read from his new novel Want You Gone. I was impressed by Chris’s down to earth nature and his humour.

Janice Galloway, Marjorie Gill, Nadine Aisha and Hannah Lavery had an hour filled with short stories and poems.  From Racism, Sexism, Names, Belonging and Oak Tables all being varied themes.  At the core for most were the sense of not fitting into society’s mould.  It was an empowering hour, Marjorie Gill has a beautiful, warm voice that is like a warm blanket on a chilly night. Its tone makes you relax and feel like nothing could ever be wrong in the world.


Joanne and I had a wee break before the night times entertainment began, we chose to dine at The Dunmuir Hotel, and I am so glad we did.  We both chose the Steak & Ale Pie with Chunky Chips. We followed this up with some glorious desserts, Joanne has the deconstructed cranachan which has tiny real flowers that you could eat (Joanne was very kind and just could not bring herself to eat them)  and I chose the sticky toffee pudding with salted caramel ice cream and treacle sauce. It was all scrumptious and we will definitely be back!

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On Saturday CoastWord Night we had a full three hours of music and performances from Jenny Lindsay, Scott Tyrrell, Faith Eliott, Colin McGuire, Richard Klein and Karen Dietz and Emile Robson.  All hosted by Carey Douglas and Graham Cairns, aka Ant and Dec.

It was a varied night of entertainment, poetry and music. My favourite performance of the night was by Scott Tyrrell. I had tears of laughter on my face from his fantastically funny poetry.  I really enjoyed Karen Dietz and Richard Klein as they took as on a journey of song through American Short Stories. They are perfect together, both unique with their own talents but together they blend with ease.

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©Graham Cairns By Kelly Lacey
©Faith Eliott By Kelly Lacey
©Emilie Robson By Kelly Lacey

A terrific evening, if you would like to know more about all the artists please visit CoastWord Festival 2017

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©Dunbar By Kelly Lacey

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