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  • Writer's pictureJohn Dempster

Bridging the Gap

We had a very successful joint event with Edinburgh Literary Salon last night – an on-line Open Mic on Zoom, jointly chaired by Paul Shanks Chair of HighlandLIT, and Jamie Sutherland, from Edinburgh Literary Salon. 34 people were present, and 13 people read, six from the Edinburgh Group, the others from the Highlands.

The general theme was ‘bridging the gap’ – very appropriate, as it signified both bringing together the Highland and Central Belt, and bringing people, otherwise isolated by the coronavirus, into the one virtual space.

We heard a wide range of work – poetry and prose. It was an entertaining, and moving evening and each of us went away with some precious, powerful new phrases or images lodged in our minds. I found it valuable to encounter writers I hadn’t heard of before, and I will be looking out for their works.

The readings alternated between folk from the Highlands and from Edinburgh. For the record, those who read were Jamie Sutherland, Graham Bullen, Elisa Fernandez-Arias, Anne-Mary Paterson, Richard (‘Spike’) Munro, Merryn Glover; Mark Phimister, Paul Shanks, Gerry McNeil, Joanne Bell, Hazel McMillan, Finola Scott, Malcolm Timperley.

About all, it was simply an opportunity to spend time together with some very lovely people. It was a great event, and one we should do again sometime.

And some of us even wore Christmas gear as we’d been invited to…..!

Thank you to everyone who was involved in setting this up: to Jamie and Paul for chairing, and for the kind words with which they blessed each contributor; to John Stoddart from Edinburgh; to Cathy from Inverness for her hard work mastering the arcana of Zoom.

And thanks to you all for coming along to make it such a great evening.


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