Review: Paisley Book Festival – Imogen Stirling’s Big Night In

Award winning poet and Paisley Book Festival’s first Writer-in-Residence, Imogen Stirling, brought us a wonderfully cosy night of poetry and music to our homes. At times, it felt a little like we were back in normal times, down at the pub or local small venue. 

Poet Iona Lee, brought her storytelling, folk style poetry, and talked about her newest collection published by Speculative Books. She performed poems which were written and inspired by moments throughout the past year, and a trip to the isle of Iona in 2019. Her beautiful performance made for memories of days gone by, and hope for days that will soon come again, of evening events with friends all around. 

Next to the stage, or well…you know, to the laptop screen, was writer Dean Atta, who also performed poems from his latest book. From the BAME, LGBTQI+ community, he brings poems reflecting his experiences facing the challenges that are unfortunately still commonly seen by many people from these communities. Discussing society’s views on the process of coming out and much more, it was a touching and real look at the world from a voice we need to hear more of. 

Closing the show was the wonderful music stylings of Emme Woods who created a lovely chilled atmosphere with her guitar playing and angelic voice. I was truly brought back to times experiencing music in a bustling small venue. She made us all feel right at home, in our own homes… you know what I mean. 

The night was filled with chilled poems and music, and even though it took place over Zoom, it felt like we were all watching as a community together.

Imogen presented a fantastically curated night, a highlight of my Paisley Book Festival experience so far. 

The Paisley Book Festival runs till 27th February


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