Dark Mountain in Edinburgh

As you’ll have no doubt gathered by now, I’ve been somewhat involved in Dark Mountain activities over the last 18 months or so. Many people ask what the Dark Mountain project actually is, which is a reasonable enough question, and one that those involved keep asking themselves at regular intervals. My response is usually something along the lines of:

The Dark Mountain project is a broad set of creative responses to the ongoing collapse of civilisation-as-we-know-it.

The cover of Dark Mountain 2, by Rima
The cover of Dark Mountain 2, by Rima

That’s usually enough to get most conversations started in interesting directions, or to end them, as necessary. It’s not entirely accurate, as it’s also a constantly morphing entity of many-dimensional complexity (being composed of humans and particularly creative humans at that) and is more like something that a crossroads and a conversation might’ve come up with if they wanted to give an activist and an artist some kind of energetic shadow-child. Spin your own definition at a workshop near you, soon. Or read the manifesto.

Now, as you may also know, I used to live in Edinburgh, for a long time and many a year (almost twenty years all told, in and around Edinburgh’s gravitational pull, to be slightly less imprecise.) And, when I did, I was wont to occasionally tell a story or read a poem or two at the very, very excellent Forest Café, first when it was off the end of the Grassmarket and then when it was up by Bristo Square. It’s a place to visit if you’re ever in Edinburgh – if you live in Edinburgh, you’ll know it well, I’m sure. From my first shy dabblings in performance poetry through disastrously ponderous tellings of the Death of Baldur to times of total madness during the 2005 G8 and Jack Swiftian revels during festival fringes, the Forest is strong in my memories of Edinburgh.

The Forest Cafe

So, the fact that Dark Mountain are having the Edinburgh launch of their third book (in which I have a couple of pieces, namely Sometimes a Wild God and Nettle-Eater, if that had somehow escaped your notice…) at the Forest Café fills my heart with gladness.

Dark Mountain 3, cover by Mattias Jones
Dark Mountain 3, cover by Mattias Jones


It’s this Friday, at 8pm, and it’s free to get in, of course. If you follow the link below, you’ll find all the details. There’ll be fine words, fine music and very fine folk. Say hello to Paul and Em and Dougie for me. Go along, sing and dance and buy a copy of each of the books and find out what Dark Mountain’s all about. Then tell me, in case I’ve got it all wrong. Enjoy.

Dark Mountain book launch evening: Edinburgh

The third event in our nationwide book tour! An evening of readings, music, meetings and conversation.

Featuring readings from Dark Mountain writers, including Em Strang, Paul Kingsnorth and Thomas Keyes. Music from Mairi Campbell and Hailey Beavis. Food and drink on sale. Good vibes, good conversations and a chance to buy the new book. Entry free.


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