Last September I returned to University for the first time since gaining my degree in teaching twenty years ago. This time I was joining the MLitt course in Creative Writing at the University of Stirling, and to say I was excited would be a slight understatement.
The first year passed by far too quickly, and to mark the end of the year we were challenged with putting on an evening of live literature.
For me, the best thing about the evening was the warmth and appreciation we all showed for each other's writing. What a great way to end the year!
I've got a busy summer of writing projects ahead of me, but I can't wait to start all over again next September...
On the opening day of this year's Edinburgh Fringe, the writer and graphic artist and poet Lesley Traynor was challenged to produce a piece of art work that interpreted the first day of the festival.
Her intention? To photograph female poets that use fierce words to smash glass ceilings, blast barriers.
Our challenge? Bring a word that has empowered you. Bring a piece of poetry that speaks your truth.
Before I even got there I was excited. But I hadn't realised just how incredible the event was to be...
Just before 3pm, a group of female poets gathered in the cobbled street outside the Scottish Poetry Library and we were soon creating friendships and bonds. And as the church bells up and down the Royal Mile marked 3 o'clock, Lesley kicked the event off with a piece of her own work.
And her word?
One after another, the women bounded up to the front of the circle. They shouted their poems for passers by, and for the whole world to hear. Unashamed. Unrestricted. Unaccustomed to such freedom to express exactly what they wanted to say. The atmosphere was electric.
The poems were honest and powerful. The fierce words were cheered.
SPIRIT SISTERHOOD EQUALITY FIESTY
QUEEN MIRROR TRANSFORMATION
COCK-A-DOODLE-DO DERANGED POETESS
JOY J.F.D.I [Just Fucking Do It!] VOICE
Emma Mooney is a writer of Scottish contemporary fiction and is the author of A Beautiful Game. and Wings to Fly.