• John Dempster

An evening of 'Blether'


I always enjoy the Open Mic nights at HighlandLIT, but yesterday evening’s event, in the newly-refurbished room at the Waterside Hotel was truly magnificent. This is Book Week Scotland (18th-24th November) and we took the Book Week theme ‘Blether’ as our theme for the evening.

Chair Paul Shanks had an introductory dialogue with the audience during which we blethered about blether – about the revelatory role of dialogue in fiction and drama, and the problems which can reduce the effectiveness of a piece of dialogue. As an example of good practice we looked at an intriguing piece of dialogue from Wayne Price’s 2012 novel Furnace.

And then we listened to people – a fascinating mix of colourful characters - reading from their work. I thought what we heard was outstanding – a range of well-written and well-read work in poetry and prose. We were so gripped by one story that when Jayne rang the bell to indicate that the five minutes was up, it seemed that the story had just begun. There would have been an audience revolt if Timski hadn’t been graciously granted two more minutes to reach the end, and leave us with those mysterious two sets of footprints in the snow disappearing into the mist towards the summit of Craig Dunain…

It’s a real privilege to listen to work of such quality. Thank you so much everyone who took part, and everyone who came along to listen


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