Media release: Vital, post-Brexit debate at Scotlandsfest 2017

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Luath Press publishes political and current affairs books by key opinion formers (as well as all things Scottish)

 21-25 August, Venue 40, Quaker Meeting House, 7 Victoria Street, Edinburgh EH1 2JL

SCOTLANDSFEST 2017 gathers leading commentators, academics and journalists for a week-long series of talks, discussions and debates.

There will be vital, post-Brexit debate as well as poetry inspired by Scotland’s relationship with the Indian subcontinent from:

Lesley Riddoch, Neil Findlay, Gerry Hassan, Simon Barrow, Alan Riach, Richard Demarco, Donald Smith, Anne Pia, Magi Gibson, Rab Wilson, Bashabi Fraser, Stuart McHardy, Hugh McMillan, Owen Dudley Edwards, Russell Gunson and Alistair Findlay.

Full details of all the events, as well as tickets, can be found at

Monday 21 August 2017

1.45pm-3pm: Arts and the Nation: International Perspectives

In a swiftly-changing political landscape, what is the role of the arts in Scotland? Sandy Moffat and Alan Riach, authors of Arts and the Nation, in conversation with artist, Richard Demarco.

3.30pm-4.45pm: Money for Nothing? The Nuts and Bolts of Basic Income

Scotland is preparing to take control of part of its welfare system for the first time and an universal basic income scheme is one approach on the table. But is it really workable? Annie Miller, author of A Basic Income Handbook, outlines the potential benefits for us all.

5.15pm-6.30pm: Jacobite Women in Historical Fiction

From Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series to his own new historical romance, Flora McIvor, author and storyteller, Donald Smith, takes a look at the rising trend in Jacobite historical fiction, and its potential resonance for the present day.

Tuesday 22 August 2017

1.45pm-3pm: Women Writing Scotland

Finding a voice and making it heard – the experience of three Scottish writers. Conversation and poems. With Anne PiaMagi Gibson and Bashabi Fraser.

3.30pm-4.45pm: Show and Tell

Magi Gibson packs political punch into many of the poems in her latest collection, Washing Hugh MacDiarmid’s Socks, while Greg Moodie takes the visual route to satiric political commentary in his regular contributions to The National. They discuss the medium and the message.

5.15pm-6.30pm: Hope for the Many

MSP, Neil Findlay, author of the forthcoming Socialism and Hope, in which he envisions a society transformed through a revitalised labour movement, in conversation with poet, Alistair Findlay, editor of Lenin’s Gramophone, an anthology of socialist poems.

Wednesday 23 August 2017

1.45pm-3pm: Bite the Brexit Bullet?

Gerry Hassan and Russell Gunson, editors of Scotland, the UK and Brexit, debate the inevitability or otherwise of Brexit and ask what’s next for Scotland and the rest of the UK.

3.30pm-4.45pm: Messages from History

Leading historian, Owen Dudley Edwards, whose forthcoming book, Nations and Nationalism, looks to the past to inform visions of the future, discusses what might be on the horizon for Scotland.

5.15pm-6.30pm: Writing Place and People

Sharing their understanding of what it takes to write about place and people, in fact and fiction, three writers with very different experiences of home and belonging – Bashabi FraserHugh McMillan and Anne Pia.

Thursday 24 August 2017

1.45pm-3pm: Myth and Legend in Edinburgh’s Wild Spaces

Go behind the public face of the city to encounter its wild and mysterious heart with Stuart McHardy and Donald Smith, authors of Calton Hill and Arthur’s Seat, books in the Journeys and Evocations series.

3.30pm-4.45pm: Is the Honeymoon Over? SNP Government Ten Years On

A timely, sharp-eyed review of the SNP’s first decade in power with Gerry Hassan and Simon Barrow, editors of A Nation Changed?.

5.15pm-6.30pm: Scotland: The Wey Forrit

Can we break free from Westminster and the Brexit bourroch? A guid keek at the way ahead for the nation with Stuart McHardy, author of the sparky polemic in Scots, The Wey Forrit.

Friday 25 August 2017

1.45pm-3pm: Nature Cure Workshop

Most of us know that the modern world is making us sick, but what can we do about it? With naturopath, Joanna Thomson, author of Live Well Eat Well Be Well, who advocates healthy living, mindfulness and clean eating as the antidote to the stresses of life.

3.30pm-4.45pm: Let’s take Back Control

Is a Brexit bypass possible? What can we learn from our Nordic neighbours? Lesley Riddoch, author of Blossom and McSmorgasbord, challenges you to rethink your views on Brexit and Independence.

5.15pm-6.30pm: Writing Wrongs

Poet and whistleblower, Rab Wilson, author of Zero Hours, discusses taking on the state to achieve social justice – with Daniel Donaldson of Legal Spark, the Social Enterprise law firm, specialising in challenging government decisions through the courts.

Tickets £5 per event (£3 concession), day passes £10 (£7 concession), week passes £30 (£25 concession).


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