Beautiful, blind, poetic bananas. Or something.

DorkyDad and I went on a date night!

We started off with some edible awesomeness at Fishers in Leith, before taking in the full spectrum of the Edinburgh poetry scene in just two events.

First up was the launch of Emily Dodd’s book, which took place on the fab Leith Agency boat on The Shore. Banana Me Beautiful, published by Chipmunka Press, is a collection of artwork, photography and poetry from three different stages of Emily’s life – Innocent (Age 9-11), Lost and Found (Age 15-17), Alive (Age 25-28) – it’s a very personal collection, which is both moving and funny, and although Emily’s extensive experience of working with children was in evidence during her readings (lots of audience participation!), the appeal of the book is by no means limited to kiddy readers.

The boat seemed to be crammed with half of Edinburgh’s blogging and Twitter community (highly appropriate given Emily’s work as an EdinBuzz Social Media surgeon), along with representatives from the Scottish Poetry Library, Edinburgh City of Literature, Edinburgh Spotlight and the Edinburgh Evening News. It was great to finally put some faces to familiar names.

Sara Sheridan and Juliet Wilson (Crafty Green Poet) both read some of Emily’s poems, as did DorkyDad, (who really got into the spirit of things with his starling impersonation… ahem). Drew Murphy provided music, and the excellent Rachel Everitt had some of her illustrations on display. Thanks to Emily for a really fun evening, and to her parents for providing the wine! I hope the book does really well.

We had to scoot off before the Q&A and signing in order to get to poetry event no 2 – Blind Poetics – where unfortunately we’d missed Jenny Lindsay’s set (boo hiss), but were still in time to see Annie Phetamine, Harlequinade, Fiona Lindsay (who, disappointingly, was not barefoot) and Matthew Macdonald. I’d heard a lot of good things about Annie, and she totally blew me away; Edinburgh could do with a few more feisty, pink haired, pregnant poets. It was also my first time seeing Harlequinade read solo rather than with the Chemical Poets, and I really enjoyed his performance. I can’t wait for the festival to start, when Blind Poetics will be taking place weekly.

It’s awesome that Edinburgh can accommodate two great poetry events on one night – one on a boat where people sit and eat banana cake, and one in a pub where folk sit and drink pints – and doubly awesome that DorkyDad and I could go to them both. Thanks for babysitting, DorkyGranny… bring on the next date night.

If you want to read some other perspectives on the Banana Me Beautiful launch, it has been covered today by 12 Books in 12 Months, Helen Caldwell, Crafty Green Poet, and Emily herself.