On Saturday night, the Shore Poets celebrated Stewart Conn's 70th birthday at the Counting House in Edinburgh. The evening, which was open to the public and more or less sold out with various bodies from the poetry world, involved readings from a number of poets whom Stewart admires and counts among his friends, including Anne Stevenson, Anna Crowe, Andrew Greig, Tom Pow and James Robertson and several Shore poets.
It's hard to believe that Stewart (the Shore Poets' honourary president of several years' standing) is as old as 70; his zest for life would be enviable in a man of any age. The celebrations were a fitting reflection of that joie de vivre and Stewart's fundamentally warm, generous character.
The Shore Poets have marked the occasion not only with the birthday bash, but with a pamphlet, There's a Poem to be made. The pamphlet, available in a numbered limited edition of 300, contains poems from Saturday's participants, Shore poets past and present, and a few other fine contempoary Scottish poets. It's not mentioned on the Shore Poets website yet, but I'm sure it will be soon.