David Vernon Donnison
19.01.1926 – 28.04.2018
David has published two books with PlaySpace and there’s a third one on the way. Sadly, he died a few weeks ago. With support from some of his friends I aim to edit and publish his last book: Living Our Dying. Here are my last words to David:
Dear David oh dear David what will be my last words to you? Thank you for being such a good friend – so generous so kind. I’ll miss our many conversations in many different places – Holyrood Crescent, Bank Street, Cranworth Street, Botanic Gardens, Waitrose, Easdale Island, River Kelvin, Mitchell Library, Plot 60 Kirklee Allotment, Skelmorlie castle, the old manse at Ardintinny, Iona, and the Ubiquitous Chip. Listen again David: thank you for being so kind and generous bringing years of your vegetable waste to my compost heap.
I will miss your welcome every time we met , every time we parted – that knowing smile and your warm hand in my hand, eyes closed so you could listen more carefully to whatever was being said – just the two of us and in groups and in public places.
I will say it again David, so it sinks into your bones: thank you for being such a good friend – so generous so kind. After you are gone I will continue speaking to you through poetry. And as long as I live, you will be present in my poems as your poems are already present in me. I will write a little poem about your chiming antique clock – winding it whenever I visited your house when you were away, I could write a haiku about the avocado tree remembering when you first grew the pip more than 20 years ago, and the old school house on Easdale – all those letters forwarded to you and Kay over Christmas-Easter-Summer when you were out of town. I will write about your well-crafted poetry – how you wrote about everything, how much you cared about the world; how I came to know your parents through their journals you edited, how I learned to Speak to Power through your book about mental health advocacy. And perhaps I’ll write a short story about how a man of 86 kayaked from Easdale to Mull and back. But more than anything David I will write about how you’ve aged so well, taught me how to become more and more creative the older I get, creative right to your last breath.
David’s poetry pamphlet – The Path That Leads to the Whole Wide World is now available and donations in memory of David to Trees for Life
Autumn Voices – book launch
Edited by Robin Lloyd-Jones, (PlaySpace Publications, £12.99) – £12.00 at launch.
Scottish writers over 70 talk about creativity in later life. There will be readings by the writers in the book, drawn from: Sheena Blackhall, Larry Butler, Jenni Calder, A,C.Clarke, Stewart Conn, Douglas Dunn, Sally Evans, Vicki Feaver, Lee Gershuny, Alasdair Gray, Diana Hendry, Richard Holloway, James Kelman. Carl MacDougall, Bernard MacLaverty, Robin Lloyd-Jones, Alison Prince, Pauline Prior-Pitt, John Purser, Sheila Templeton.
Thursday 21st June 2018
18:00 – 19:30
Blackwells Bookshop, 53-62 South Bridge, Edinburgh, EH1 1YS This is a free event – Space is limited so please book here with Eventbrite
Thursday 28th June 2018 Waterstones, 351-355 Byres Road, Glasgow G12 8AU 19:30 – 21:00 This is a free event – Space is limited so please book here with Eventbrite ALL WELCOME, BRING FRIENDS & PARTNERS
The 21 writers interviewed represent a total of over 150 years of creative work since passing the age of 70. These mature autumn voices speak to us from a point where experience is at its maximum, perspective at its broadest and mastery of craft at its peak. We have much to learn from them.
An Anthology selected from Morag Anderson’s Journals
‘People don’t grow old when they stop growing.
When they stop growing, they become old’
Morag Anderson attended the Maggie’s Centre writing group longer than anyone else – over ten years through several recurring cancers. Writing was one of the ways of she managed her illness, expressed her feelings of despair, of pleasure and pain, sometimes joy and gratitude. As Anne Frank wrote in 1944:
‘I can shake off everything if I write. My sorrows disappear. My courage is reborn.’
Once, Morag wrote, that doors will always be there to frighten you. Read more. . . .the anthology will be launched in mid June 2018, a year after her memorial at the House of an Art Lover.