Aberdeen anthology and Frank Gardner launch Word Festival

Aberdeen anthology and Frank Gardner launch Word Festival

The launch of a new poetry anthology celebrating the Granite City and an appearance by BBC Security correspondent Frank Gardner will kick off this year’s Word Festival.

Silver: An Aberdeen Anthology – compiled by Word Artistic Director Alan Spence and English lecturer Hazel Hutchison – includes 12th century Viking verse, poems by literary heavyweights Lord Bryon and Thomas Hardy, as well as new work by local writers. 

Its launch will be closely followed by an event with BBC Security correspondent Frank Gardner, who nearly lost his life at the hands of Islamist gunmen in Saudi Arabia in 2004.

Gardner, who will talk about his latest memoir, Far Horizons, is one of over 60 authors appearing over the Word weekend (May 15-17). Around 11,000 visitors are expected to attend the festival, which takes place at the University of Aberdeen and at venues across the city.

Silver will be launched at 11am at the Talisman Theatre, King's College and is published by Polygon.

Dr Hutchison said: 'This has been a really exciting project for both Alan and myself. Most people have no idea how much has been written about Aberdeen through the ages.

"We've been thrilled and inspired by the range and quality of work that we've found during our research for the book. Our only problem has been knowing what to leave out.

"Hopefully this collection will let people experience more of the city's rich cultural heritage – not just from the past, but also in the present."

As well as featuring other well-known poets such as Seamus Heaney, Iain Crichton Smith and George Mackay Brown, the new book also includes centuries-old verse about Aberdeen.

Dr Hutchison explained: "I think perhaps the best find we made was a little bit of verse in Old Norse dating back to 1153. It's four lines from the saga Morkinskinna by the Icelandic poet Einarr Skulason, and is about Prince Eysteinn's raid on Aberdeen, which was known to the Norsemen as Apardion."

For more information on the Word Festival line-up visit www.abdn.ac.uk/word/ or call the Word Team on 01224 273 874.