Everyone in Edinburgh loves a book festival. There was one in Portobello at the weekend and there’s another just around the corner in the Old Town. Peggy Hughes (who Twitter users might know better as the Scottish Poetry Library’s @ByLeavesWeLive) was kind enough to write me a guest post about it.
The West Port Book Festival has reached the merry maturity of its fourth year, with another programme of cracking collaborations, tall tales, award-winners, stars of the future, dead people, open mics, and of course cakes. This year we’re popping up in October – Thursday 13th – Sunday 16th to be precise. We have flirted with running in different months (August for starters and seconds and June for thirds) and find that variety is the spice of life.
We have lost a few of our sterling venues from previous years. The Lot, the Roxy ArtHouse and the Illicit Still (scene of the cause of a monstrous festival-wide hangover in year 3) are all sorely missed, while the Owl & Lion Gallery has risen like a phoenix from the ashes and resurrected itself as the Owl & Lion Bindery, further up the hill in the West Port. We’ve got a new bookshop on the block in Pulp Fiction and are comforted by the never-changing Blue Blazer and its energy-restoring ham and cheese toasties. Some things change, but the ideas and vision behind the West Port Book Festival remain.