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Janette Ayachi is our new Digital Poet in Residence

After a close-fought competition, and my it was hard sifting down to a single winner, deliberations are over and we’re delighted to announce that Janette Ayachi will be our next Digital Poet in Residence.

Janette is an Edinburgh-based poet who enticed us early with her idea for a residency, ‘The Poet’s Ego: Writers Who Love Writers’, an examination of love, self-love, desire, lies, ego and identity.

Can seduction really be an affair of language as Shakespeare proclaims, or does it just get too melodramatic and draining, all those muse-stimulated odes; love poems, adjective-burdened discussions, character studies, and one might add, idea-stealing? When writers date writers, is it all beverage sipping, scribbling and looks of lust in book-filled rooms? Where on earth does the sex appeal of poetry come from?

During her residency Janette will be picking apart the poetry power couples of history (Mary & Percy, Allen & Peter, Sylvia & Ted) looking at when it works and when love and poetry all goes wrong, when desire overpowers into overdose, inspiration becomes competitive, plagiarism is feared, and jealousy (the poet’s strongest sensibility) kicks itself into action ‘like a hurricane on its heels’. Janette will also be musing over love letters, over-sharing, narcissism, ekphrasis, memorisation, and leading a workshop based on a game of Exquisite Corpse.

Feeling allured? Maybe we should sit somewhere more comfortable, treat ourselves to that drink we promised?? It all starts this Monday 24 August 2015.



Janette Ayachi is a Scottish-Algerian poet living in Edinburgh. She has been published in over fifty literary journals and anthologies, including New Writing Scotland, Gutter, The Istanbul Review, Magma, Oxford Poetry, Be the First to Like This: New Scottish Poetry (Vagabond Voices, 2014), Out There: Anthology of LGBT Writers (Freight, Glasgow, 2014) and The Best British Poetry 2015 (Salt). She has been short-listed for Write Queer London as well as a Lancelot Andrewes Award judged by Carol Ann Duffy. She is the winner of the Barbara Burford prize from The Young Enigma Awards 2014. Her film-poem collaboration On Meeting a Fox was part of the official selection for the Visible Verse Festival in Vancouver in 2013. She is the author of the poetry pamphlets Pauses at Zebra Crossings (Original Plus Press, 2012) and A Choir of Ghosts (Calderwood Press, 2013). She edits the online arts journal The Undertow Review and performs her poetry across the U.K. (Photograph by Michael Black)



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