Seeing Things visit to Edinburgh Book Festival, Ghada Karmi & Kate Tempest

This is Seeing Things group member, Louisina Currie’s, first forray into the world of blogging! Here she writes about her trip to Edinburgh Book Festival in August of this year…


On the 19th August as part of Seeing Things group we had tickets for the Edinburgh Book Festival and it was a double bill which was fantastic!

Ghada Karmi is a Palestinian author, doctor, academic and political activist and she would be talking about her book Return. Our next event would be Kate Tempest – poet, spoken word artist and performer. I knew very little about her work before­­­­ but listening to her on the radio the previous week I knew she would definitely rock the stage as they say.

On arrival at the Glasgow Woman’s Library we were told that a bus was coming to take us to the event and brings us back. . This was definitely not what l expected and we were all tickled pink with our lovely carriage and driver Ian. It didn’t stop there our arrival in Edinburgh we were met by two of the events organizers who took us to our reception tent for tea/coffee and goodies. Boy did we feel special especially when we were escorted to our reserved seat for the talk with Ghada Karmi.

Ghada Karmi read certain paragraphs from her book about her journey from a child who had to leave Palestine with her family never to return and the problems she has had with her identity. The journey she had over the years which included humour, tragedy and a great insight into the life of the Palestinians right of Return. A definite good read and we all got a goody bag with her book and Ghada signed our book after the talk.

We had a break after the first event and this gave us time to walk about the Festival, which had café’s, bookshops and even a bit of sunshine came out. We lost Mary Alice [another member of the Seeing Things group] for a while who decided the bookshop was more exciting for her rather than sitting at the café. We found her with her new books in hand and it was time to move on from the “celebrity tent”, as we were calling it by now, to our next event.

The Kate Tempest event was packed and again we were escorted to our reserved seat – it was just fantastic and had a great view of the whole stage. Kate was introduced and she came on the stage burst into her rapping verse of poems and never stopped for nearly an hour, and l mean never stopped. How she remembered everything was just amazing! She was electric, had everyone their feet at the end with rapturous applauding which was really deserved. An amazing young artist with a lot to say, and in her poetic way, to make you sit up and listen. It was a great end to the day!

Time to go home and our carriage was waiting – so we all hopped on the bus to either sleep or read. l met new buddies from the Seeing Things group so as you can imagine l was chatting all the way home. A memorable day out with Seeing Things!

Special thanks to our lovely hosts and, Claire Urquhart and Marjorie Gill, for organising for Seeing Things to attend!

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