Soutar Festival line-up revealed

  • Published: March 21st 2022
Culture Perth & Kinross -

The latest edition of the Soutar Festival of Words launches today with a programme that will prove to be a real page-turner. With Scots Makar Kathleen Jamie, the Witches of Scotland – Zoe Venditozzi and Claire Mitchell, and Chris Brookmyre, among the line-up, the festival is back to celebrate the diversity of Scots language, literature and culture inspired by Perth poet and writer William Soutar.

Taking place from Friday 22 to Sunday 24 April, the festival brings together an exciting line-up of authors, playwrights, musicians, poets and performers at over 30 events. This year the festival will hit the road, with events taking place at Culture Perth and Kinross Libraries and Museums across the region, and other venues including the beautiful Innerpeffray Library near Crieff.

Included in the programme will be the opportunity to explore the local area on literary walking tours, including the Corbenic Poetry Path, and a chance to discover where Soutar got the inspiration for his poems.

Helen Smout, Chief Executive of Culture Perth and Kinross, said, “I’m delighted we’re able to unveil the final line-up for the Soutar Festival of Words 2022. We are thrilled to be able to work with so many writers, poets and artists to bring to Perthshire the very best in Scots language and culture, and it’s great to be able to share this with you today. We’re excited to be partnering up with other organisations and venues across Perth and Kinross for the first time too, to bring the festival to as many people and corners of the region as possible. After such a challenging couple of years for cultural activity and in a world with so much turmoil and pain, this Festival is a beacon of light, joy and celebration of the power of language and culture to unite, uplift and heal. I hope people will join us in person and online to share a little bit of that joy.”

Highlights for the 2022 festival include an evening with one of the UK’s top-selling crime writers, Chris Brookmyre, discussing his latest books, The Cut and She Knows, at Perth Museum and Art Gallery; Scottish Makar and 2012 Costa Poetry award winner Kathleen Jamie who will discuss Scots language with TV presenter and newspaper columnist Ally Heather; the Witches of Scotland – Zoe Venditozzi and Claire Mitchell – will talk about their ongoing campaign seeking justice, a legal pardon, an apology and a national monument for the thousands of people – primarily women – who were convicted of witchcraft and executed between 1563 and 1736 in Scotland; writer, researcher and presenter Dr Valentina Bold will consider how Scottish traditional culture informed and inspired Soutar’s poetry: from language and bairn rhymes to stories and songs; and author Linda Cracknell will discuss the inspiration for her latest novel The Other Side of the Stone, that reflects the lives connected to a Perthshire woollen mill over 200 years.

Also featuring in this year’s line-up will be a performance by the Scots Opera Project of operatic arias, duets and scenes in the Scots Language, carefully woven together by classical song settings of William Soutar’s poetry. This unique concert will be performed by Soprano Colleen Nicoll, Mezzo-Soprano Ulrike Wutscher and Tenor David Douglas; Liverpool born poet, performer, biographer and dramatist Phil Bowen will present a set of 16 poems written in response to the paintings by the four Scottish Colourists – J.D. Fergusson, F.C.B. Cadell, S.J. Peploe and G.L. Hunter; and Brian Holton will present Hard Roads an Cauld Hairst Winds, a collection of Scots translations of poetry by Li Bai and Du Fu, two of the most renowned poets of Ancient China, at Innerpeffray Library, the very first lending library in Scotland.

Coinciding with Scotland’s Year of Stories, the Soutar Festival of Words will also offer a series of creative workshops. Author Caro Ramsay will help new, or novice writers develop their work from initial thoughts to readiness for publication. The Raise the Roof project will run a workshop at Perth Museum and Art Gallery on finding the hidden stories of women from across Perth and Kinross.

Full details of the festival programme and details of how to get tickets can be found on the Culture Perth and Kinross website

The Soutar Festival of Words will run from 22nd to 24th April 2022. The Soutar Festival of Words 2022 has been made possible with support from Perth and Kinross Council, The Friends of William Soutar, and The Forteviot Charitable Trust.

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