POWER‽

Congratulations to our pals at 404 INK, who won the Saltire Society’s Emerging Publishers of the Year for 2017 last night. We’re sure you’ll all agree that it’s hugely well deserved.

Meala-naidheachd, 404 Ink!
Countdown to the National Trust for Scotland plaque starts here…

And congratulations to us for having the opportunity to host the launch of 404 Ink Issue 2: POWER in Edinburgh this coming Friday, 8 December. The mag includes work by Interrobang veterans, pals, and known associates Andrew Blair, Ever Dundas, Rebecca Raeburn, Ross McCleary, and Stuart Kenny, so we can’t wait to encourage people to get it in their hands.

Danger of levitation‽
Thanks to Flint & Pitch’s Cameron Foster, it looks great, too.

Even better, the launch event features performances from Ross, the incomparable Kaite Welsh, Siobhan Shields, and the fabulous Helen McClory – author of Mayhem & Death, coming March 2018 from 404.

We’re also promised wonderful music and more shenanigans, so get your tickets now, follow 404 INK on Twitter @404Ink, and STAY TUNED!!!

The launch party for 404 INK’s Issue 3: POWER takes place this Friday, 8 December from 7pm at Summerhall. Get your tix here while you can.

SaveSave

‽ Interrogation – The Butler

It’s less than a week till the most exquisitely tasteful event of the festive season – THE AMBASSADOR’S RECEPTION!

But how does one put together such a function? Today, we’re going all Lifestyles of the Rich Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous as The Butler of the great event talks with Andrew Blair.

Possibly not, sir
He was very happy to take a few minutes away from the preparations

‽:  The Ambassador’s Receptions are noted for their host’s exquisite taste. How do you spoil the guests at one of these famed functions?  

TB:  Care and affection. Creating a calming and welcoming environment, where all guests can flourish.

Then we play The Resistance and yell ‘SPY!’ at each other until someone falls over.

You're Michelle Of The Resistance Dubois, right?
The game of secret identities, deduction, and deception

‽:  If you were a chocolate confection, what chocolate confection would you be?

TB: Right, so first you need a baguette. You cut the end off and put it to one side. Get a big one and cut both ends off if you’re cooking for two. With the middle bit, make whatever savoury sandwiches you want with the big bit, and once you’ve enjoyed that, you tear out the bread from inside the baguette end, then get a packet of Lindt and take out one of every kind, put them inside the baguette end, stuff the bread back in, then microwave it for 20 seconds (800W). Congratulations. You’ve now had a delightful savoury sandwich and finished off the meal with a bespoke, handmade pain au chocolat.

I’m aware this doesn’t technically answer the question.

‽:  The holiday season approaches. Can you give us an example of a seasonal advert that makes you want to rush out and conspicuously consume/throw up*? (*Delete as applicable)

TB:  The Coke advert. It’s like a fucking Judas Goat.

Judas Goat. Like a Jesus Lizard, but scarier
Don’t get in the truck, kid. It’s bad for your teeth.

‽:   From James Last to Demis Roussos to Rene and Renata, continental Europe is famed for its contribution to popular music. What’s your favourite Europop?

TB:  I just heard this in a film called My Life as a Courgette, which you should watch if you like heartwarming animations about overcoming trauma.

‽:  We’re beginning to get the impression that modern butling isn’t what we expected at all. 

Finally, The Ambassador’s Reception will be filled with luminaries from the worlds of politics, diplomacy, and art. Who are you hoping will turn up?

TB:  The person who is reading this..

That’s YOU. Come to THE AMBASSADOR’S RECEPTION and find out what it is to be lavished with care and affection in a calming and welcoming environment absolutely free of death and murder. There certainly won’t be any intriguing murders to solve as part of an immersive theatrical whodunnit.
____________________

THE AMBASSADOR’S RECEPTION will take place in one°below at six°north on 24 November at 7:30pm. Space for this exclusive event is limited and tickets are going fast, so book your place now.

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

‽ Interrogation – Mauricio Bustos Rivas

It’s only twelve days until the most exclusive, high-end event of the year – THE AMBASSADOR’S RECEPTION!

In case that all sounds a bit highfalutin, we thought we should introduce you to a few of the A-listers who’ll be there. But first, here’s an INTERROBANG‽ Interrogation with the bodyguard to the establishment, Mauricio Bustos Rivas.

Bodyguard not pictured
The Bodyguard With A Body To Die For

It’s Mauricio’s job to be inconspicuous, so he’s asked us to use a stock photo. And his words are spoken by  INTERROBANG‽ co-host Ricky Monahan Brown. They’re very… interesting…?

‽:  The Ambassador’s Receptions are noted for their host’s exquisite taste. How would you spoil the guests at one of your parties?  

MBR:  I’d probably tell them a few interesting stories about the history of diplomacy. Mother says my stories are always interesting. For example, did you know that some of the earliest known diplomatic records were letters written between the Egyptian pharaohs and the Amurru rulers of Canaan during the 14th century BC. Fascinating, right?

Maybe that's *too* interesting
We tried to warn you

‽:  If you were a chocolate confection, what chocolate confection would you be?

MBR:  Well, they used to say that if Graeme Souness was chocolate, he’d eat himself. And I am the The Bodyguard With A Body To Die For, so I should pick something I ‘d like to eat. A Clif energy bar, I think. That would be sensible.

‽:  The holiday season approaches. Can you give us an example of a seasonal advert that makes you want to rush out and conspicuously consume/throw up*? (*Delete as applicable)

MBR:  My body’s a temple, so I wouldn’t want to conspicuously consume. I do love those John Lewis adverts, though. The covers they do of those classic songs are great!

I'd skip a track to Grounds For Divorce, kid
My ears! For the love of god, make it stop!!

‽:   From James Last to Demis Roussos to Rene and Renata, continental Europe is famed for its contribution to popular music. What’s your favourite Europop?

MBR: Oh, that’s easy. James Last’s Mornings at Seven. It’s Mother’s favourite.

‽: Music for die ersten Stunned des Tales, right enough. Finally, The Ambassador’s Reception will be filled with luminaries from the worlds of politics, diplomacy, and art. Who are you hoping will turn up?

MBR: I can’t really talk about the guest list. But from the world of art, I’d love to meet Phil Collins.

Thanks to Mauricio for those riveting answers to our INTERROBANG‽ Interrogation. We’re sure that when you come to THE AMBASSADOR’S RECEPTION you’ll be in safe hands, and there won’t be any intriguing murders to solve as part of an immersive theatrical whodunnit.
____________________

THE AMBASSADOR’S RECEPTION will take place in one°below at six°north on 24 November at 7:30pm. Space for this exclusive event is limited and tickets are sure to go fast, so book your place now.

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

We’re Ba-ack!

The nights are drawing in, and that can mean only one thing.

Backstreet's back‽
Don’t go down to six°north’s cellar!

Yep. INTERROBANG‽ have recovered from our first birthday celebrations and we’re back with  brand new show! We’re teaming up with Poetry AF to create something a bit different. And it’ll be like nothing you’ve ever seen before… Continue reading “We’re Ba-ack!”

5Qs with Nat Raha

At the end of this week, INTERROBANG‽ will be co-hosting and -producing an evening of trans and non-binary performance organised through LGBT Youth Scotland and Beyond Gender as part of Scottish PEN’s Many Voices project that aims to amplify voices that are silenced and marginalised.

As well as the talented young people who have participated in the I Write, I Rise workshops and the US-based writer, speaker, activist, teacher and poet Eli Clare, the evening will feature the poet and trans / queer activist Nat Raha.

Nat’s poetry includes the books [of sirens / body & faultlines], countersonnets, mute exterior intimate and Octet. She’s performed and published her work internationally, and is undertaking a PhD in Creative & Critical Writing at the University of Sussex.

Poet and trans / queer activist Nat Raha
Nat Raha

So it goes almost without saying that we’re delighted Nat has taken a bit of time to answer some questions relating to the night, and share some thoughts.

‽:  You’re going to be sharing some words with us at the I Write, I Rise event, part of Scottish PEN’s Many Voices project. How did you become part of I Write, I Rise?

NR: I’ve been leading the I Write, I Rise creative writing workshops in Leith, working with a group of talented and open-minded (creatively!) trans and non-binary youth, between the ages of 17-24. I was lucky to be chosen by Scottish PEN to undertake this work!

‽:  What does the phrase I Write, I Rise mean to you?

Maya Angelou, Still I Rise

NR:  The phrase, of course, builds from Maya Angelou’s Still I Rise. For me, writing – writing poetry and essays – has been key to expressing, documenting, advancing, reflecting, sharing, and building my thoughts and feelings, alongside those of the communities and collectives I’ve been a part of. To Rise from the words we find and put to paper, together, is to build our lives, our being. The two verbs work together: we ascend through our expression.

‽:  The I Write, I Rise workshops and event were produced in association with LGBT Youth Scotland. Are there any LGBTQ writers who are particularly important to you?

NR:  My relationship to poetry and literature has primarily been through LGBT writers of the 20th Century and contemporary – Frank O’Hara and Virginia Woolf were first loves. I’ve been fortunate to be surrounded by and spurred on by queer and trans writers since I started writing poetry seriously – namely Mendoza aka Linus Slug, Sophie Robinson and Verity Spott, each of whom works through questions of identity, voice, language and queer desire in extraordinary ways.

Linus Slug: Type Specimen, Contraband Books
Linus Slug

In the past year, I’ve been fortunate to be connected to a number of trans writers based in North America, who have written through much that’s been on my mind the past 10+ years – in particular, Trish Salah and micha cárdenas articulations of trans/transfeminine desire through formal (re)invention have been important to me. Their work feels like a literary affirmation of what I was trying to do myself five years ago in my countersonnets.

Queer and transfeminine Vietnamese American poet and teaching artist Chrysanthemum Tran
Chrysanthemum Tran

During the I Write, I Rise workshops, I brought to the group work by trans, genderqueer and non-binary writers that I felt was fresh and exciting – including the work of Spott, Slug, cárdenas, TC Tolbert, Chrysanthemum Tran, alongside the epic Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry anthology edited by TC Tolbert and Trace Peterson.

‽:  Can you tell us a song or a piece of music that might resonate with what you’ll be sharing with us –or that will inspire you – on 9th September?

NR:  A teen inspiration for me: Roses in the Hospital by Manic Street Preachers.

‽:  The Manics seem to strike a chord with a number of the writers we work with! Finally, without giving away too many spoilers, what else can you tell us about what you’re going to be sharing with us at the event?

NR:  My most recent poems are of trans resistance, desire, strikes against bourgeois cis-normativity, escape from dailiness, and the Firth of Forth.

Thanks to Nat for sharing these thoughts and a shed load of art to check out!  If you find that little preview as exciting as we do, you can hear more from Nat and the young people of I Write, I Rise at the Scottish Poetry Library on 9 September at 6pm. Register for a free ticket here – but note, tickets are limited. 

Mr, Mrs, and Kevin Bridges
Come and build some bridges with us!

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

5Qs with Eli Clare

INTERROBANG‽ are very happy to be co-hosting and -producing an evening of trans and non-binary performance organised through LGBT Youth Scotland and Beyond Gender as part of Scottish PEN’s Many Voices project that aims to amplify voices that are silenced and marginalised.

As well as the talented young people who have participated in the I Write, I Rise workshops with Nat Raha, the evening will feature the US-based writer, speaker, activist, teacher and poet Eli Clare.

Eli weaves hope, critical analysis, and compassionate storytelling together in his work on disability and queerness, insisting on the twine of race, class, gender, sexuality, and disability.

Eli Clare: writer, speaker, teacher, activist, and poet
Eli Clare

What’s more, Eli’s been kind enough to answer some questions relating to the night, and share some thoughts.

‽:  You’re going to be sharing some words with us at the I Write, I Rise event, part of Scottish PEN’s Many Voices project. How did you become part of I Write, I Rise

EC:  As a white disabled trans and queer writer-activist, it’s quite an honor to be invited by PEN to participate in I Write, I Rise.

‽:  What does the phrase I Write, I Rise mean to you?

EC:  My work as a poet and essayist is fundamentally about community, survival, resistance, and dreams. Art, including writing, can help us rise individually and collectively, move us toward justice, and shape our visions of liberation.

‽:  The I Write, I Rise workshops and event were produced in association with LGBT Youth Scotland. Are there any LGBTQ writers who are particularly important to you?

EC:  I came of age as a U.S. poet and an activist in the mid-1980s reading and studying lesbian feminist writers—Audre Lorde, Adrienne Rich, Gloria Anzaldúa, Beth Brant, Cherríe Moraga, Judy Grahn, Paula Gunn Allen, and Pat Parker to name a few—who combined genres with abandon, insisted on the personal and the political, and knew race, class, gender, sexuality,
imperialism, and capitalism to be deeply intertwined.

Women are powerful and dangerous
Audre Lorde

Their work resisted so many constraints and borders. My work is indebted to these writers, many of them women of color.

‽:  Can you tell us a song or a piece of music that might resonate with what you’ll be sharing with us –or that will inspire you – on 9th September?

EC:  Mary Chapin Carpenter’s Why Walk When You Can Fly and Isreal Kamakawiwo’ole’s Somewhere Over the Rainbow.

‽:  Finally, without giving away too many spoilers, what else can you tell us about what you’re going to be sharing with us at the event?

EC:  I will be reading about gawking and disability, resistance and gender, history and love.

Thanks to Eli for sharing some inspiring words, sounds, thoughts and dreams. You can hear more from Eli and the young people of I Write, I Rise at the Scottish Poetry Library on 9 September at 6pm. Register for a free ticket here – but note, tickets are limited. 

SaveSave

SaveSave

I Write, I Rise

INTERROBANG‽ are very happy to announce that we are taking on a co-hosting and -production role in an evening of trans and non-binary performance organised through LGBT Youth Scotland and Beyond Gender as part of Scottish PEN’s Many Voices project that aims to amplify voices that are silenced and marginalised.

As well as young people who have taken part in the I Write, I Rise workshops with Nat Raha, the evening with feature US-based writer, speaker, activist, teacher and poet Eli Clare.

We’re proud that the INTERROBANG‽ audience is recognised throughout Scotland and beyond for its generosity and supportiveness, so if you’d like to join us at the Scottish Poetry Library at 6pm on 9 September, please head over to the Eventbrite page to register.

Your pals,

INTERROBANG‽

SaveSave

The ‽ Interrogation – Martin Geraghty

It’s Monday – BOO! But according to Facebook, it only four days till Friday and the Edinburgh launch of Chris McQueer’s brilliant short story collection HINGS at the Biscuit Factory – YAY!

The latest performer to submit to the INTERROBANG‽ Interrogation is Martin Geraghty. He’s a man of fine taste.

If you’ve seen Martin as an open mic-er at our pals Inky Fingers, then you’ll know why he’s a great match-up for the HINGS launch.

If you haven’t, well – read on…

‽:  We reckon Chris has assembled just about the best spoken word/live lit/poetry line-up  that anyone can see this year for the Edinburgh HINGS launch event. We’re super-chuffed to be hosting it. How did you come to be on the bill?

MG:  I STARTED WRITING JUST OVER A YEAR AGO. I WAS WRITING A NOVEL WHICH WAS QUITE HEAVY AT POINTS, LATE ONE NIGHT, NEEDING A BREAK FROM WRITING I WENT ONLINE, I STUMBLED ACROSS CHRIS READING SHIFTSWAP AT INTERROBANG, I WAS BLOWN AWAY. I WENT TO BED BUT HIS STORY GETTING SWIRLING IN MY MIND.

Yeah. That’ll do it, right enough.

IDEAS FOR SHORT STORIES SWIRLED IN MY MIND, UNABLE TO SLEEP I GOT UP AND WROTE MY FIRST SHORT STORY. TWO WEEKS LATER, I READ THE STORY AT INKY FINGERS. I WROTE ANOTHER STORY & WENT BACK TO INKY FINGERS THE FOLLOWING MONTH, CHRIS WAS HEADLINING THE EVENT. I READ MY SHORT STORY & CHRIS CONTACTED ME AFTERWARDS SAYING HOW MUCH HE LOVED THE STORY. HE LATER ASKED ME TO READ IT AT HIS LAUNCH NIGHT.

‽:  A picture question – have you seen all the awesome HINGS photoshops on Twitter? If you haven’t, you can check them out here. Which one’s your favourite?

MG:

‽:  Funky! Hot Chocolate’s Errol Brown/Interrobang’s Ricky Brown. Coincidence‽ We think not! Is there a particular story of Chris’s that you’re hoping to hear in the flesh at The Biscuit Factory on Friday? And if so, why that one?

MG:  THE SHED. I’VE JUST READ IT THIS MORNING. ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT

Sam's aff her heid on eccies, min.
“I know, right? Levels. They’re having a right fucking rave-up in there, by the way.”

‽:  The HINGS launch is going to be a bit of a party, so we’d like to play some walk-on music for you. Care to nominate a HINGS-y tune?

MG: PREDICTABLE AS HECK BUT IT’S GOT TO BE ALL THESE HINGS THAT I’VE DONE: THE KILLERS

‽:  We’d probably have picked All The Hings She Said, so you’re alright. Finally, without giving away too many spoilers, what can you tell us about what you’re going to be sharing with us on Friday?

MJ:  I SHALL BE READING A STORY ABOUT A WEE MAN CALLED CAMMY AND HIS OBSERVATIONS ABOUT HOW OUR TOWN CENTRE STREETS ARE NOW BEING DOMINATED BY CERTAIN TYPES OF BUSINESSES.

Well, colour us intrigued!  Thanks to Martin for indulging the Interrobang Interrogation!  By the way, we’re hoping to have a wee Shiftswap-shaped surprise for you on Friday…. 

Already got your copy of HINGS from 404 INK or a good bookshop near you? Then book a free ticket for the launch via Eventbrite.

Not got a copy of HINGS? Book a £3 ticket, also via Eventbrite, and enjoy a discounted £5 copy of Chris’s awesome debut.

The Interrobang Interrogation – Leyla Josephine

If you haven’t guessed already, we’re super excited to be hosting the Edinburgh launch of Chris McQueer’s brilliant short story collection HINGS on Friday at 7pm at the Biscuit Factory. And we’re not the only ones – spoken word and performance artist is looking forward to being part of the night, too. She tells us a little bit about why in her INTERROBANG‽ Interrogation…

That's a given
“…and let me totally kill it at the HINGS launch…”

Leyla Josephine is an award-winning performance artist and writer from Glasgow, Scotland. She has been featured on BBC Social, the BBC Radio 6 Music Festival, Huffington Post, Upworthy, Gutter, The High Flight, the Prague Fringe and The Guardian. We don’t have room for all of her other awesomeness here, but you can read more here.

And here’s how she answered our questions:

‽:  We reckon Chris has assembled just about the best spoken word/live lit/poetry line-up  that anyone can see this year for the Edinburgh HINGS launch event. We’re super-chuffed to be hosting it. How did you come to be on the bill?

LJ:  I met Chris at The High Flight. I literally was pishing myself with laughter. He also enjoyed my set, I’ve got a couple of poems which are similar vibes to his stuff so I think that’s why he asked me. I’m buzzing to be asked.

I SAID, WE'VE BEEN LISTENING TO SUPER INUIT REALLY LOUD!
Chris McQueer and Leyla Josephine meet on The High Life. Eh? Oh.

‽:  A picture question – have you seen all the awesome HINGS photoshops on Twitter? If you haven’t, you can check them out here. Which one’s your favourite? LJ: Haha omg, definitely Jack and Rose on the Titanic.

‽:  Ha! That’s definitely a HING!  Is there a particular story of Chris’s that you’re hoping to hear in the flesh at The Biscuit Factory on Friday? And if so, why that one?

LJ:  I can’t wait to hear about The Forge tatt again. Or Knees. But also the ones I haven’t heard yet!  My maw was with me the night I saw him perform and she goes on about him all the time. I think she’s a bigger fan of him than she is for me!

‽:  Knees definitely seems to be a favourite! The HINGS launch is going to be a bit of a party, so we’d like to play some walk-on music for you. Care to nominate a HINGS-y tune?

LJ: Can I please have this? Might need to start it kinda in the middle cause it’s a long way until  the chorus.

‽:  That should get the party started! A bit more danceable than the Ricky Interrobang version, obviously. Finally, without giving away too many spoilers, what can you tell us about what you’re going to be sharing with us on Friday?

LJ:  I’m currently working on my new fringe show Hopeless, so there will be some brand new stuff that’s never been shared before. You can also expect poems about Vienetta, washing your face, feeling depressed and travel pillows.

Awesome – we can’t wait! Thanks to Leyla Josephine for getting in the spirit!

Do poems about Vienetta sound right up your street? Already got your copy of HINGS from 404 INK or a good bookshop near you? Then book a free ticket for the launch via Eventbrite.

Not got a copy of HINGS? Book a £3 ticket, also via Eventbrite, and enjoy a discounted £5 copy of Chris’s awesome debut. Viennetta not included.

Ain't no party like a Viennetta party! SaveSave SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

The Interrobang Interrogation – Ross McCleary (HINGS)

For the Edinburgh launch of his brilliant short story collection HINGS on Friday at 7pm at the Biscuit Factory, Chris McQueer has assembled a bunch of his favourite writers and spoken word performers. And we’ve subjected them to the INTERROBANG‽ Interrogation so you can learn a little bit about them before the big night…

If you’ve ever seen Chris and Ross McCleary interact on Twitter, then you’ll know that we’re in for something a bit – Well, read on….

Or shoulders. Or head. Whatever.
Ross up to his shoulders in art

Ross McCleary is from Edinburgh. He has had work published recently by Five2One and Constellations. He is an editor of the spoken word podcast Lies, Dreaming – which has a new call for submissions out – helps run Inky Fingers, and is obsessed with Flat Earth memes and the Edinburgh Watch twitter account.  His novella, Portrait of the Artist as a Viable Alternative to Death, is published by Maudlin House.

Saboteur Award nominated Portrait of the Artist as a Viable Alternative to Death And here’s how he answered our questions:

‽:  We reckon Chris has assembled just about the best spoken word/live lit/poetry line-up  that anyone can see this year for the Edinburgh HINGS launch event. We’re super-chuffed to be hosting it. How did you come to be on the bill?

RMcC:  How I got here, how I was selected, and what I choose to interpret as the reasoning for these decisions cannot be shared. What I will say is this. I get a head. I am shoulders above everyone else. All other information is provided on a knee to know basis and you, dear audience, do not knee to know. Suffice to say, though, I toe the line.

Mmm, spare ribs... 🤤
Wait – can you say that again, slower?

‽:  A picture question – have you seen all the awesome HINGS photoshops on Twitter? If you haven’t, you can check them out here. Which one’s your favourite?

RMcC:  The Rafiki / Lion King one is wonderful.

‽:  Innit? Sarabi looks a little nonplussed, though. Guess you’d expect a queen to be classist…. Is there a particular story of Chris’s that you’re hoping to hear in the flesh at The Biscuit Factory on Friday? And if so, why that one?

RMcC:  Chris is a head of the pack, as we all know, and he’s shouldering his way into the Scottish literary scene whether people think they knee to read his work or not. That’s the way it toes. And if you open yours eyes and ears, and think of the way that the mouth moves and the nose twitches at the bodily nature of Chris’ work, you’ll figure out exactly what I’m doing well in advance. You don’t knee any more clues than that I shouldn’t think.

‽:  The HINGS launch is going to be a bit of a party, so we’d like to play some walk-on music for you. Care to nominate a HINGS-y tune?

RMcC:  On Bended Knee by Boys II Men.

‽:  We’ll hold you to that. OMG. So much dramz. Finally, without giving away to many spoilers, what can you tell us about what you’re going to be sharing with us on Friday?

RMcC:  I am a member of the order of knights who say knee.

Thanks to Ross for… whatever that was‽

Want to find out more? Already got your copy of HINGS from 404 INK or a good bookshop near you? Then book a free ticket for the launch via Eventbrite. Not got a copy of HINGS? Book a £3 ticket, also via Eventbrite, and enjoy a discounted £5 copy of Chris’s awesome debut.

ekki-ekki-ekki-pitang-zoom-boing!' SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSaveSaveSave