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Video: Golden Hour Toronto

We had a great time at the Toronto Golden Hour. Here’s Chloe Charles with ‘Business’.

The Golden Hour in Toronto

Edinburgh’s literary and musical cabaret comes to Toronto!

Poets read. Musicians play. The audience is incited to revolution – or a stiff drink.

The line up as follows:

Electrifying; Damian’s poetry is rock ‘n’ roll.
“I say let’s keep wasting our lives and burn
our trash as we go”

Award-winning, Edinburgh-dwelling bearded poet. He’ll make you swoon.
“We were fucking
our way up the tower and God saw us coming”

Crafter of surreal short stories featuring Jesus clones & mermaids. This is imagination.
“I was born library, where my parents read from opening until closing every day, where they met, where I assume they first coupled.”

A banjo. Some poems. Do we need to say more?
I got so fat they called a crane. Everyone was nice about it, but I was too fat to care.

The guitarist from Zeus will blow you away with his shiny solo act.

Ottawa-based folk rockers with lush harmonies and blazing lyrics. Violin, sex & rock’n’roll.

This hypnotizing songstress will leave you spellbound – just try to resist.

Plus another special musical guest…

1409 Bloor Street West, Apt A
Doors open at 8pm. Show starts at 9pm sharp!


I Chose to Listen…

Behold our new, free ebook!

Published in association with Reel Festivals, I Chose to Listen features brand new English and Arabic poetry translations from collaboration and performance with the Reel Festivals poets.

You can download it for free here.

Contributing poets include Golan Haji and Rasha Omran from Syria, Yehya Jaber and Mazen Maarouf from Lebanon, and Tom Pow, Emily Ballou, William Letford and Ryan Van Winkle from Scotland, along with beautiful Arabic Calligraphy by Everitte Barbee and cover by Jason Morton.

We hope you enjoy this book as a record of a very memorable festival.

The Last Golden Hour: Update

Here it is: the times for the last ever monthly Golden Hour at The Forest. Stay for the day and dance till the end. Or pop in for just an hour. Or stay out of our way. Whatever. We don’t care, this is the end. All times are subject to change, technical difficulties will be regular and you should expect and enjoy surprises. We’ll also have a poster exhibition and a chance to buy some of your favourite GH posters. See you there. Or not.

1.15 - Tom Pow
1.30 – Good music from Lake & Vanessa
1.50 – Reel Festivals Film from Roxanna Pope
2.10William Letford — poems from up high
2.25Toby Mottershead — blues and booze from the Black Diamond Conductor. Hoot hoot!
2.45 – film
3.00Emily Ballou — Prize-winning poet and ace in the hole.
3.15Billy Liar — acoustic punk glory
3.25Luke Williams & Natasha Soobramanien
A Sonic Reading for Luke’s highly praised first novel — The Echo Chamber
4.20Ericka Duffy — master of all.
4.35Cardboard Orchestra — live improvised electro from another room
5.10 – film
5.30Anna Crowe — powerful poems with a gentle voice.
6.00Robin Grey — guitar, violin, accordion, love, barefeet, joy, music, happiness.
6.40 – film
7.00Kirstin Innes — stories that wham, pow, bang.
7.15Jen and the Gents — Poppy loveliness which warms all the cold bits.
7.30 – film
DJ Dolphin boy — kicks into your eardrums
8.00John Glenday — poems like crazy shining diamonds
8.20 - Little Big Band — crooning toones! — an easy listening mash-up.
8.40 – cartoon
8.55Alan Bisset — His stories are all right. His hair is perfect.
9.10The Ghost of Joseph Seal — yes, haunting.
9.30 – cartoon
10.00Jane Flett — seamstress of most fetching stories and poems.
10.10 - Jonny Berliner — Joyous songs about crustaceans, exhaustion, and glucose.
11.30 Paper Cinema — A cast of hand-drawn marionettes are magically brought to life. This is what happens at the accidental meeting of inkblots, photocopies, cardboard, angle-poise lamps, the occasional table, video technology, a laptop and a banana box.
00.00Jason Morton — Or is he? Stories or Disaster. We never know.
00.15Jed Milroy and Hailey Beavis — bring us up and break us down. Shake it till you make it.
(the end)

The Last Golden Hour!

24 August 2011 @ the Forest – 1pm – 3am — the LAST GOLDEN HOUR!

That’s right. After this marathon event, we’re going to all rest up and think about new ways to do what we love– mixing poetry, stories, cartoons, music, drunkeness and dancing. In the meantime — you’ll have this massive event to remember us by.

Featuring (make yourself comfortable): Tom PowJonny Berliner, William Letford, Emily BallouRobin GreyAnna CroweEricka DuffyKirstin InnesJohn GlendayThe Little Big BandAlan BissettThe Ghost of Joseph SealWaxPaper CinemaJason Morton and Dolphin Boy + much more including films byRoxana Pope and some special Reel Festivals gubbins.

You will want to buy a hamburger.


Golden Hour at the Book Festival

Thursday 18 August — The Golden Hour at the Edinburgh International Book Festival — Spiegeltent, Charlotte Square, 9-11pm — FREE!

The Golden Hour is many things. Part reading, part gig, part party, part disaster.

This free monthly event originating from Edinburgh’s Forest Café, has travelled the Highlands, England and Europe playing to sold out crowds in sweaty venues from Berlin to Applecross.

And now this literary cavalcade return to Unbound’s infamous Spiegeltent with a killer line-up of rakish words and eclectic music all in a beautiful space.

Featuring Joe Dunthorne, Kelly Link and William Letford, there’s music from the acoustic punk Billy Liar, hip-hop from Mikel Krumins (former front-man of the legendary Abdominal Showmen) plus the show-stopping, barn-burning Earl Grey and the Loose Leaves.

Rest up with an open mind at The Golden Hour.

Live and Kicking in the Spiegeltent!

July 20, 2011 – The Golden Hour

The Forest’s fabulous free literary/musical cabaret approaches once more, this month to bring you:

Degna Stone – The new Newcastle poet rocks up and rocks on!

Amy Burns – A little American Class.

Luke Williams – original, inconceivable, brilliant says Ali Smith.

Portnawak & The Woo – gypsy folk hop, psychedelic tribal dance music and organic punk…with the added element of Woo!

BenOfficial – electro art performance for which you are all woefully unprepared!

BYOB! enjoy! x

Big Ups! June and Beyond

Big Ups!

Cassandra Passarelli’s story The Black Christ of Esquipulas is now online with the quarterly literary magazine Adirondack Review – an older story of Cassandra’s told in three voices – ‘very chipin‘.

Our Broken Voice is a new Subtlemob event for Edinburgh Film Festival by artist Duncan Speakman – It’s like walking through a film/Experienced on headphones/Played out by you. Intrigued? Click da link to find out how it works.

Kirsten Irving‘s pamphlet What To Do is out from the Happenstance Press: full of characters in trouble and refusing resolution, this is ‘something else’. Partake in a sample poem here.


– Thursday 16 June – 6pm – Waterstones, Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow

Valve is a fresh, edgy and vivid new literary journal compiled by Strathclyde University’s Creative Writing students, anticipated by acclaimed Scottish novelists such as Alan Bissett and Louise Welsh, who will be speaking at its launch along with a selection of extracts from its contributors. Get along to celebrate some of Scotland’s bright new literary talent.

–Thursday 16 June – 6-8pm – Word of Mouth Cafe, Albert Street

Zorras: A poetry-music-video-weirdness fusion. With megaphones, breakdancing youth and an arts discussion. Free!

– Saturday 18 June – 7-10pm – Canongate Kirkyard

Inky Fingers presents A Midsummer Night’s Scream – a night of words to make you howl in terror and pleasure! Bring wine, and your favourite ghost story, and wear black.

– Wednesday 22 June – 8pm – The Forest (free, free, byobee)

The Golden Hour cometh once more. Performing this month:

Tracey Emerson – the short-story doctor is in!

Richie McCaffrey – young poems with a familial lustre.

Gavin Bowd – widely published founder of the StAnza poetry fest.

BenOfficial – electro art performance for which you are woefully unprepared.

Doug Johnstone – acoustic and solo and acoustic and alone.

Jade and the Jacks – pure and relentless funky fun. You will hot up.


– Tuesday 28th June – 8-11pm – The Forest

Inky Fingers welcomes Jane McKie, Alan Bissett and you for its big monthly, free, anything-goes open mic night. Email to sign up for a spot.

– Thursday 18th August – 9pm – Free

The Golden Hour returns to Unbound’s infamous  Spiegltent with a killer line-up of rakish words and eclectic music all in a beautiful space. This year’s epic features Joe Dunthorne, Kelly Link and William Letford and music from Billy Liar, Mikel Krumins amd Earl Grey and the Loose Leaves. Rest up. More to come.


– In August, Inky Fingers will be running a week-long spoken-word minifest at the Forest. Writers, performers, poets, storytellers, spoken word artistes, linguistic experimenters and everyone who cares about putting words in a beautiful order – programming spaces are still available. Full details of how to apply here.

– Also in August, the City of Literature Trust is looking for new and emerging local writers to read their work as part of Story Shop at the Edinburgh International Book Festival. For more information and application stuff, look here – the deadline is June 27th.


May 28, 2011 – The Golden Hour

Saturday 28 May – 4-7pm – The Longhouse

Knockengorroch, Carsphairn, Castle Douglas, DG7 3TJ

The Golden Hour rolls into the legendary Knock Longhouse, bringing you spoken words and acoustic music in a cozy, woody and warm space.


Emily Ballou — Prize-winning poet and ace in the hole.

Ewan Morrison — lets his malls out.

Ryan Van Winkle — Long stories, short poems.

Jason Morton — here comes the ‘Michigan High Five’

Ericka Duffy –  check the nose on this hot new prose.

Hailey Beavis – angel-voiced mama getting devilish on 6 strings.

Sophie Cooke — the novelist and poet brings the bright light!

+ special guests from the muddy madness.

See you in the fields!!!!

Forest DIY Artisan’s Handbook


‘How to…Make a Krasholed Kaleidoscope’
Adam and Johanna Bedřich

‘How to…French Knit a Winter Neck-warmer’
Ailsa Mair Hughes

‘How to…Be Pretty Creative’

‘How to…Play Football with words’

‘How to…Make a Woolly Pom-pom’
Barbara Ittner

‘How to…Make a Cajon’
Ben Collins

‘How to…Setup Community Growing Spaces’
Caroline Kemp

‘How to…Make Seed Bombs’
Cornelia Altgård

‘How to…Create Music Together’
Danny Mullins

‘How to…Make Something Happen’
Dougald Hine

‘How to…Make a Sled Kite’
Julia White

‘How to…Create an Image’
Laura Davis

‘How to…Make Origami Balloon Lanterns’
Lena Takamori

‘How to…Write a song’
Lewis Mullen

‘How to…Make A Tussy Mussy’
Linda Elliot

‘How to…Make Your Own Vegetable Orchestra’
Lizzie Hurst

‘How to…Make Fabulous sourdough’
Manolia Vougioukalou

‘How to…Make Simple Lanterns’
Natasha Russell

‘How to… Make an Ember Bowl’
Natasha Russell

‘How to…Play with Words’
Pete Vere Simmons

‘How to…Become a storyteller’
Pete Vere Simmons

‘How to…Build Your Own Compost Bin’
ReMade in Edinburgh

‘How to…Learn some basic Qi Gong’
Rob Alsop

‘How to…Take Digital Photography for blind photographers’
Rosita Mckenzie

‘How to…Embrace the Creative Confusion’
Samantha Hayhurst

‘How to…Make Natural paints’
Sarah Bush

‘How to…Compose using Oumopo techniques’
Will Golding

Forest Publications is pleased to endorse the new Forest DIY Artisan’s Handbook, now available in the ForPub store. Please support the Forest by picking up a copy today!

This is a Collaborative Do-It-Yourself Handbook of Arts, Crafts and other activities made for and by those that use or support the Forest Cafe.

This book is about sharing the process of doing things. It is about celebrating the diverse range of unique arts, crafts and skills people have and ‘how to’ go about trying these out yourself. It is about disseminating this knowledge and encouraging others to, too. There are 28 different ‘how to’ guides contributed from a wide range of Forest folk and friends that make up the book, ranging from ‘How to Make a Cajon’ to ‘How to setup community growing spaces’.

The title ‘Leabhar Mòr Aos Dána’ means roughly ‘The Great Book of the People of the Arts’ (the bards, the poets, the druids, the musicians, the law-givers) in Gaelic. It is something like the literary collection of the works, arts and crafts of a particular age or generation of creators. We hope this collection acts as something like the great handbook of people of the arts connected with the Forest. We hope it might inspire further ‘How to’ Handbooks and a menu of arts and crafts activities along these lines in the Forest Cafe.

There was no pre-ordained structure or specific focus so whatever was received has been included and was contributed out of the kindness of those who wanted to support the ‘Save the Forest’ fundraising campaign in different ways. It is a handbook to use, to pass on, to delve into on Wednesdays, to cut up, edit and re-paste together, to drink tea with or to add your own and scribble all over.

For now, you can order a hard copy, but we hope to be able to have people download them in future to save on paper and printing which all helps give more money to support the Forest fundraising campaign.


Click to see it full-size




Product details

  • Title: A Forest DIY Artisan’s Handbook - Special Limited-Print project (75copies)
  • Author: Multiple authors
  • Pamphlet: 54 pages
  • Publisher: Forest Publications (April 2011)
  • Cover: Will Golding
  • Language: English
  • Amount: £6 + P&P (All proceeds go directly to the ‘Save the Forest’ fundraising campaign)

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