This year we have Michael Pederson author of Boyfriends and Alycia Pirmohamed author of Another Way to Split Water on board as guest curators of the Paisley Book Festival.


ReMemoir Me?

— the magical, morose and magnificent world of memoir.

Having just unfurled my first memoir-esque tome, after a decade of performing and publishing poetry, I’m fascinated by what propels the decision to write ‘the big life book’ — switching genres, narratives, personas, and, in some respects, allegiances.

My events will showcase a gaggle of truly enthralling writers that are already established within poetry and yet are now making, or have made, the leap into memoir. The strand features memoirs newly published alongside work soon to be hatching and those very much still in the making. Together let’s shine the spotlight on the life, lustre and living that fuels it all.

Michael Pedersen is a prize-winning Scottish poet, author, scribbler, stitcher. His third collection of poetry, The Cat Prince & Other Poems, launches with Corsair/Little Brown in summer 2023. His prose debut, Boy Friends, was published by Faber & Faber in 2022 to rave-reviews both in the UK and North America. He won a Robert Louis Stevenson Fellowship, the John Mather’s Trust Rising Star of Literature Award, and was a finalist for the 2018 Writer of the Year at The Herald Scottish Culture Awards. With work anthologised by Pan MacMillan and Canongate Books, and fans that range from Stephen Fry and Shirley Manson to Kae Tempest and Irvine Welsh, Pedersen also co-founded the infamous Neu! Reekie! literary production house.


Shifting nature.

These events explore the various themes, styles, and forms associated with nature poetry today. A field that is and has always been shifting, nature writing offers us a way to continuously examine our impact on the nonhuman world.

Whether innovating or experimenting with poetic traditions, explicitly referring to the climate crisis and associated griefs, or evaluating one’s own ancestral, present, or future relationship with land and landscapes, this strand revolves around the ecological.

Specifically challenging a generalised approach, and acknowledging subjective experience and context, these poets, in different ways, offer complex and dynamic perspectives on the natural world, the nature poem, and the nature poet.

Alycia Pirmohamed is a Canadian-born poet based in Scotland. She is the author of Another Way to Split Water, as well as the pamphlets Hinge and Faces that Fled the Wind, and the collaborative essay Second Memory, which was co-authored with Pratyusha. She is the recipient of several awards, including the 2019 CBC Poetry Prize and the 2020 Edwin Morgan Poetry Award.