Polly Atkin

shadow dispatches

Month: March, 2014

And the mountains, the mountains are dancing.

After a few hibernatory months, Spring demands action.

Here are details of three events I’m taking part in during April in Lancashire and Cumbria:

On April 10th 2014 I’ll be reading at April Poets, along with Yvonne Reddick, Mark Carson, and Ron Baker, with music from Jonathan Tansley.

On April 26th 2014 I’ll be reading at the Brewery Arts Centre in Kendal as part of the Quiet Compere tour of the North. Other readers on this night are Kim Moore, Sarah Miller, Geraldine Green, Josephine Dickinson, Susan Deer Cloud, Mark Mace Smith, Nick Pemberton, and Marvin Cheeseman. Ann Wilson will guest host, supporting organiser and Quiet Compere, Sarah L Dixon. It starts at 7.45, and tickets are £5/£2 concessions.

On April 30th I’ll be one of many poets (20 definitely in, last count!) taking part in the launch of Heavenly Bodies, an anthology of stellar poems, one for each of the constellations. 7.30 at the Judges Lodgings, China Street, Lancaster. Free entry.


On Transparency and Self-Reflection

This week I went back up to Dumfries to see my window poem, which has just been installed in the upper landing of the Globe Inn, next to the Burns Room with its historical etchings.

'Forecast' at the Globe Inn, Dumfries

I love the way the text is mediated by the transparency and reflective qualities of the glass.


Next door, Hugh Bryden showed us Burns’ original etchings (and those of some followers) in the thick, antique glass.


Burns seems to have had quite a penchant for writing on glass of all kinds. He was given a diamond stylus by James Cunninghamme, the Earl of Glencairn, and used it to make his mark on windows across Scotland, and several glasses. Some of these etchings got him in trouble at the time, either for their content, or for the vandalistic nature of the act.

In Dumfries’ Burns’ House Museum, his signature in an upstairs window is encased by a brass plaque, presumably to stop tourists from adding their own monikers, as they have on the adjoining panes.


(I call this ‘Self Portrait in Burns’ Signature’)


I’m putting a diamond stylus on my Birthday and Christmas lists but not expecting much.