All items: Ron Butlin

Fifty years after taking part in his first poetry reading as a schoolboy, Brian McCabe reflects on what reading his work aloud means to him, and how communicating directly with an audience in this way has helped to shape his writing.

In ‘Writing vs Life: On Balance’, we talk to a number of RLF writers about the challenges of balancing writing against other aspects of their lives, how to stay grounded, and whether it’s ok for artists to be selfish.

When advances dwindle and rejections become legion - each more hurtful than the last - I remember McCullers, Proust, Balzac and the many others who fought the good fight.

The RLF takes an inside look at how writers navigate the shoals of literary genre, and how they really see themselves — despite what those book blurbs might say.

Ron Butlin speaks with Kona Macphee about how he came to be a such a diverse writer, his differing experiences of writing in Scots and English, and the importance of music.

Writers are not often told ‘the fewer words the better’, nor expected to consider the relative weighting of vowels to consonants in their sentences. Nor are they often given their own theatre, carriage and desktop piano — like Wagner. But writing an opera libretto, as Ron Butlin reveals, can be wildly different from other kinds of writing.

Ron Butlin explains the role of the Edinburgh Makar, describing how he came to the job and his varied experiences as a civic poet in the Athens of the North.

Gerry Cambridge speaks with Kona Macphee about his route into writing, living simply and the pleasures of editorship.