Unbound 2011: What’s On

Experimenting with Richard Wiseman – Sunday 14 August
Psychologist and best-selling author of Paranormality: Why We See What Isn’t There, Richard Wiseman invites you to take part in a series of increasingly weird and wonderful psychic experiments. Are you able to read another person’s mind? Predict the future? Bend metal with the power of your mind? Sceptics and believers are invited to come along and have a fun time exploring the more mysterious side of the human psyche.

McHigh – a Gutter evening of stimulant based writing – Monday 15 August 
Published by Freight, the Glasgow based literary magazine Gutter continues to champion new Scottish writing with unnerving energy and ambition! After last year’s night of Scottish erotic writing, McSex, our friends at Gutter are searching again for further literary intoxication and stimulation. McHigh will stagger and lurch its way around the bars and boozers, dens and galleries of the literary landscape. Amongst those messing with your minds will be Alan Bissett, author of Death of a Ladies Man and the forthcoming Pack Men, as well as the remarkable American writer and paediatrician, Chris Adrian, author of The Children’s Hospital and The Great Night.

Kristin Hersh – Tuesday 16 August 
A very special and intimate evening of words and music with Kristin Hersh. American singer-songwriter, Kristin Hersh founded (aged 14!) the iconic alt-rock band, Throwing Muses. Since then she has continued to record and perform both through her second band, the punk-tinged 50 Foot Wave, and as a solo artist. Her memoir, Paradoxical Undressing, is startling, poignant and funny, capturing the highs and lows of one singularly eventful year in the life of an intensely creative teenager with a budding musical career, a diagnosis of schizophrenia and a baby on the way.

The Paris Review Presents New American Writing – Wednesday 17 August 
A pioneer of new literature from 1953, The Paris Review has introduced many important writers to the readers of today; writing by Philip Roth, V.S. Naipaul and Jack Kerouac can be found on the pages of many of the earliest editions. Editor Lorin Stein discusses the history and success of the magazine with three of the most exciting, innovative American writers at work today: Pulitzer Prize winning author of A Visit from the Goon Squad Jennifer Egan, essayist and staff writer for The New York Times Magazine John Jeremiah Sullivan as well as Donald Antrim, regular contributor to The New Yorker and author of The Verificationist.

The Golden Hour – Thursday 18 August
The Golden Hour is many things. Part reading, part gig, part party, part disaster. This free monthly event, originating from Edinburgh’s Forest Café, has travelled the Highlands, England and Europe playing to sold out crowds in sweaty venues from Berlin to Applecross. And now this literary cavalcade returns to Unbound’s infamous Spiegeltent with a killer line-up of rakish words and eclectic music all in a beautiful space. This year’s epic features Joe Dunthorne author of the indie-hit Submarine, the American cult-hero Kelly Link and Scotland’s most charismatic roofing poet – William Letford. But wait – there’s more! Music from the acoustic punk Billy Liar, hip-hop from Mikel Krumins former front-man of the legendary Abdominal Showmen plus the show-stopping, barn-burning Earl Grey and the Loose Leaves. Rest up.

DUMMY JIM: A Monumental Effort – Friday 19 August 
In May 1951 a profoundly deaf man called James Duthie (fondly known as Dummy Jim) set off on his bike from Cairnbulg, rural Aberdeenshire, and cycled all the way to the Arctic Circle: a three month, three thousand mile long journey managed on a budget of just £12. Duthie’s little-known journal I Cycled in the Artic Circle came to the attention of artist film maker Matt Hulse in 2000 and with help from a growing band of supporters has since inspired an award-winning website, a soundtrack album, live concerts, a feature film, tea towels, bespoke preserves and an artist’s book project – a work-in-progress, to be explored at Unbound.

With Duthie’s unique journal placed firmly at its heart, this promises to be a rich evening of live music, film, readings, interactive instruments, puppetry and elaborate knitwear, hosted by Matt Hulse and ‘Dummy Jim’ actor Samuel Dore, including performances from The One Ensemble and Sarah Kenchington. This event will be BSL interpreted.

The Sleepers Shebang – Saturday 20 August
Independent Melbourne-based publishing house Sleepers is renowned for promoting the best of new Australian writing through, amongst other things, their wonderful annual anthology, the Sleepers Almanac and their Sleeper Salon nights. Co-founder and editor, Louise Swinn is joined by an antipodean cast including Kalinda Ashton and Steven Amsterdam to celebrate their love of words, music and film. With trivia, games and giveaways! Just don’t mention Dexter from Press Gang

Alasdair Roberts Robin Robertson– Sunday 21 August 
Prize-winning London-based poet Robin Robertson and acclaimed Glasgow-based folk artist Alasdair Roberts present work-in-progress from their collaborative song cycle about St Kilda. Having enjoyed the process of working together on The Leaving for the 2007 Ballads of the Book album, the poet and the musician have decided to take on a bigger project. This is a rare opportunity to hear some of these songs for the very first time and to enjoy solo performances of their own work with accompaniment from Rafe Fitzpatrick on fiddle and Stevie Jones on bass.

Literary Death Match – Monday 22 August
Achieving cult status around the world from Beijing to San Francisco, and landing a literary punch here in Charlotte Square for one night only! The Literary Death Match sends four writers against one another with only words as their weapon, all in the hunt to win the LDM crown. These writers will have to dazzle a panel of all-star judges and most importantly, you, the audience, with their most exciting, insightful, funny, moving writing. The top two go on to the evening’s finale, a death-defying battle of literary ridiculousness… There can be only one winner! Join host and referee, Literary Death Match founder, Todd Zuniga.

ELECTRIC LIT ORCHESTRA – Tuesday 23 August 
Why should the story stop when the band comes on? This local ‘spoken word performance collective’ are modern day champions of the often overlooked Scottish literary tradition – the fantastique. Edinburgh collective Writers’ Bloc presents an evening of new fiction about, and set to, music. Expect hidden nightclubs and soul trades, celestial harmonies and ram raids.

Cargo Special Delivery – Wednesday 24 August 
Glasgow’s Cargo Publishing are back at Unbound with a Special Delivery. New writing, music and special guests are all in the parcel. Anneliese Mackintosh delivers the funny and sparky writing that made her a favourite on Radio 4; Allan Wilson is shipping in with his brilliant new book Wasted in Love; Tracey S. Rosenberg posts up with her acclaimed historical fiction with The Girl In The Bunker. Rahul Bhattacharya is the special guest, in via air mail, to chat diamond hunting, cricket and India while Aidan Moffat is dropping in to play some music. And a very special guest as yet to be announced will be pushing the envelope. Postman and Cargo MD will be hosting and trying to avoid any more mail based puns.

Five Dials – Thursday 25 August
A new way of reading and sharing literature, Five Dials is an online, PDF formatted, downloadable and easily shared literary magazine. Produced by London publisher Hamish Hamilton and based around the theme of dialogue, the evening promises reading from some very special guests. The latest edition of the magazine, The Parenting Issue is available for download at www.fivedials.com/fivedials Hosted by editor, Craig Taylor, the evening will be a mixture of readings and music – we’re wondering how they will beat last year when we had trombones, a man reading with a box on his head and that unique Five Dials song!

Words Per Minute – Friday 26 August
Occurring every second Sunday of every month under the Arches; Sunday afternoon in Glasgow becomes Friday night in Edinburgh, with Words Per Minute and their fabulous concoction of spoken word, music, film and theatre. Join your hosts, Kirstin Innes, Kirsty Logan and Helen Sedgwick for an evening of special treats where all performers get 10 minutes to impress the audience – no matter how famous they are. Expect some familiar faces at WPM at Unbound including novelist, playwright and dazzling performer, Alan Bissett and American author Adam Levin.

James Yorkston with The Pictish Trail and Lisa O’Neil – Saturday 27 August 
James Yorkston will be appearing in the main programme talking about his brilliant behind-the-scenes account of a musician’s life, It’s Lovely To Be Here: The Touring Diaries Of A Scottish Gent, but tonight, we are delighted that he will revert to the day job playing music in the Speigeltent. And what’s more he has invited some friends along too! James will be joined by his fellow Fence Collective artist, The Pictish Trail and a special guest from Dublin, Lisa O’Neill.

Love’s Rebellious Joy: A Party For Paul Reekie – Sunday 28 August
When Paul Reekie died in 2010, it robbed Scotland of its most maverick man of letters. Now friends and fellow travelers get together for a very special speak-easy shindig to celebrate the life and work of the poet, scholar and man of letters. Compered by actor Tam Dean Burn and with former Boots For Dancing vocalist Dave Carson manning the decks, the night will feature readings by veterans of Children of Albion Rovers, the book that captured the spirit of Kevin Williamson’s 1990s lit-zine Rebel Inc, and redefined Scottish literature forever with the publication of amongst others, Reekie’s novella, Submission. Irvine Welsh, Gordon Legge and Laura Hird, plus Rebel Inc editor Kevin Williamson will appear in a night of music and words that will also feature a once-in-a-lifetime collaboration between post-punk existential crooner Vic Godard of the Subway Sect and Edinburgh’s own strung-out guitar thieves led by former Fire Engine Davy Henderson, The Sexual Objects, with Pop Group guitarist Gareth Sagar guest-starring.

Des Dillon – Monday 29 August
Des Dillon is a poet, short story writer, novelist and dramatist writing for radio, stage, television and film. Well known for his novel Me and Ma Gal, which was chosen by a poll of readers for World Book Day 2003 as ‘summing up the zeitgeist’ of Scotland, his latest novel is An Experiment in Compassion. Des has achieved remarkable success with the adaptation of his novels for theatre, including Six Black Candles which has toured internationally, and Singin’ I’m no a Billy, He’s a Tim, which is probably the most performed play in Scotland of the last five years. His relationship between the written word and the stage has developed further through his acclaimed stand up comedy show. He brings all this together for a special show for us. The perfect way to finish our Unbound programme.

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