In conversation with Nick Coleman and Professor Raymond MacDonald

Edinburgh City Libraries actively seek to raise awareness of diversity and inclusion in the public arena by participating in various Awareness Weeks throughout the year.

We are honoured to highlight Deaf Awareness Week by hosting an ‘in conversation’ with two highly prominent professionals, whose life and work experiences have enabled them to talk so personally, interestingly and eloquently, that by watching this video you feel like you are all in the room together!

Nick Coleman is a qualified psychotherapist after 30 years spent as a writer and editor on broadsheet newspapers (chiefly Independent and Independent on Sunday) after starting out as a music journalist for NME and Time Out. He has written over the years for The Times, Daily Telegraph, Guardian, New Statesman, US Vogue, GQ etcHe is the author of three books: The Train in the Night: A Story of Music and Loss; Pillow Man (a novel); and Voices: How a great singer change your life (all Vintage/Cape).

Professor Raymond MacDonald – ​after completing his PhD in Psychology at the University of Glasgow, investigating therapeutic applications of music, Raymond worked as Artistic Director for a music company, Sounds of Progress, specialising in working with people who have special needs.  He joined the School of Music in 2012 having worked at Glasgow Caledonian University previously. Between 2012 and 2013 he was Director of Postgraduate Studies and was Head of The School of Music between 2013 and 2016.  As well as working as a saxophonist and composer he is also a Chartered Health Psychologist and has published over 70 papers and co-edited five texts.

We’re delighted to host ‘Coming through it together’ – a conversation around music and deafness between Nick Coleman and Professor Raymond MacDonald.

Choose to challenge – Panel discussion event for International Women’s Day

“A challenged world is an alert world and from challenge comes change.
So let’s all choose to challenge.”

Stockbridge Library will host a Panel Discussion for International Women’s Day on 8 March at 6pm on their Facebook page.

Local author and poet Claire Askew will be in discussion with writers Stella Hervey Birrell, Helen Sedgwick and Theresa Muñoz. They will talking about this year’s International Women’s Day theme ‘Choose to Challenge’.

Portrait of Claire Askew
Claire Askew

Claire Askew’s books include the poetry collection This changes things (Bloodaxe, 2016), the multi-award-winning novel All The Hidden Truths (Hodder, 2018), and the creative writing guide Novelista (John Murray, 2020), among others.  She is a former Jessie Kesson Fellow and was Writer in Residence at the University of Edinburgh from 2017 to 2019.  Her next book is the novel A Matter of Time, forthcoming from Hodder in September 2021.

Portrait of Stella Hervey Birrell

Stella Hervey Birrell is an award-winning novelist poet whose debut poetry pamphlet, Parent. Worshipper. Carrion. sold out in a week. She co-parents one trans and one enby child: neither of which would award her for her efforts. She blogs at #atinylife140, tweets as @atinylife140, posts cat pictures on Instagram as stella_hb and can be found on Facebook as StellaHerveyBirrell.

Portrait of Helen Sedgwick

Helen Sedgwick is the author of The Comet Seekers (Harvill Secker, 2016) and The Growing Season (2017). The first of her Burrowhead Mysteries trilogy, When the Dead Come Calling, was published in 2020, with the second, Where the Missing Gather, due in 2021. She lives in the highlands with her three-year-old daughter and five chickens.

Portrait of Theresa Muñoz
Theresa Muñoz

Theresa Muñoz is a Canadian-born poet living in Edinburgh. She is a Research Associate at the Newcastle Centre for Literary Arts at Newcastle University, where she teaches Creative Writing. She has one collection, Settle and has been nominated/shortlisted for a number of prizes. In 2020 she received a Creative Scotland Award to write one of the first poetry sequences on inter-racial couples, entitled ‘Mixed Feelings’.  

Meet the author – an evening with Monique Roffey

An exclusive Edinburgh Libraries online event, celebrating the power of women and writing on International Women’s Day.

Monique Roffey

Join us to celebrate this year’s International Women’s Day with award-winning author Monique Roffey.

Monique Roffey will be reading from and talking about her Costa Book Award winning novel The Mermaid of Black Conch, published by Peepal Tree Press. The judges called The Mermaid of Black Conch, ‘a story of rare imagination and exciting scale – an adventure and a fable, a glorious myth that tells a far bigger story.’

This will be an unmissable treat to celebrate the power of women and writing!

This event will take place online via Zoom starting at 7.30 pm on Monday 8 March 2021.

For more information about the event and to book your free ticket please go to Eventbrite.

A selection of Monique Roffey titles, including The Mermaid of Black Conch are available to borrow as ebook or eaudiobook and print for Edinburgh Libraries members. 

Live Q and A with Lavender Menace

We’re delighted to be hosting a live Question & Answer session with Sigrid Nielsen and Bob Orr, the founders of Lavender Menace Book Shop, on Wednesday 24 February at 6.30pm.

Send us your questions in advance by email to informationdigital@edinburgh.gov.uk or on Twitter using the hashtag #lavenderquestion

Join us for the live online Q & A event by registering for your free ticket at bit.ly/lavenderquestion

Sigrid and Bob have also produced a fantastic short film about their recently set up Lavender Menace Queer Books Archive where they talk about some of the titles from the archive by authors who remain ‘Unsung’ to today’s readership.

Watch Unsung: The queer books that tell our story and then let us know what question you’d like to ask them.

The UK’s most borrowed ebook author comes to Edinburgh Libraries!

Gillian Galbraith

We were delighted to see the recent news that Edinburgh-based author Gillian Galbraith was the most loaned ebook author in the UK during the recent lockdown period. This was a remarkable achievement as Gillian beat the likes of Lee Child and Michelle Obama to the top spot.

At 7.30pm on Thursday 19 November we will be welcoming Gillian to talk about her writing, libraries and this fantastic achievement in an online event hosted on Zoom.

An evening with Gillian Galbraith
Gillian, who is author of the Alice Rice series, topped the UK library ebook lending charts with her novel, Blood in the Water. This gripping novel is the first instalment of the Alice Rice mystery series, in which smart and capable detective Alice races against time and an implacable killer to solve a series of grisly murders amongst the professional elite of Edinburgh’s well-to-do New Town.

Join Gillian Galbraith during Book Week Scotland for an event celebrating the power of books and libraries during difficult times. She will be discussing her much-loved protagonist Alice Rice as well as her latest book, a departure from the Alice Rice series, The End of the Line. Chaired by fellow crime writer Alex Gray, whose novel A Small Weeping  was the 4th most loaned adult ebook during the pandemic.

An unmissable treat to liven up a cold November evening!

Book your free ticket via the Edinburgh Reads Eventbrite page.

This event will be part of Edinburgh Libraries’ Book Week Scotland programme, in partnership with Birlinn publishers and supported by Scottish Book Trust.