Friday, 29 July 2011

WANTED: One calm yet enthusiastic and very waggy-tailed Collie dog

The World According to Bertie
Do you live in Edinburgh and have a Border Collie who isn’t likely to be fazed by stagelights, laughter, clapping, the roar of the greasepaint, the smell of the crowd, etc.? If you do, Andy Jordan Productions is holding auditions to find just such a dog to play Cyril the Border Collie in the World Premiere of The World According to Bertie (a 44 Scotland Street Novel by Alexander McCall Smith).
Cyril by Iain McIntosh
Illustrator of the 44 Scotland Street series
The ‘real’ Cyril is the gold-toothed pet of Angus Lordie, resident artist of 44 Scotland Street and much-loved by Bertie, even though – or perhaps partly because – Cyril bit his awful hothouse mother Irene. But then, she did call Cyril “bad and smelly”.

‘The World According to Bertie’ will have two performances a night, and the successful Cyril will be onstage for two five-minute appearances at approximately 8.20pm and 9.45pm from 3rd to 29th August (not 15). Auditions will take place between 4 and 6 p.m. on Sunday 31st July in Adam House, Chambers Street, Edinburgh. If you’d and your dog would be interested in audition please contact Louis Hartshorn in advance -

In return, Cyril will receive a six months supply (4 Adult 12kg bags) of Barking Heads dog food courtesy of Fergusons Pet Supplies Ltd of Tranent. Cyril’s owner will also receive a number of free tickets to the show.

Good luck! And don’t forget to look out for the latest instalment in the adventures of Bertie, Cyril and all the other residents of 44 Scotland Street, Bertie Plays the Blues out soon.

Friday, 15 July 2011

World Premier - The World According to Bertie

Edinburgh’s perennial six-year-old Bertie Pollock is about to make his stage debut! Andy Jordan Productions, in association with CU@WE.BDY, will be presenting the world premiere production of The World According to Bertie as part of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Adapted from Alexander McCall Smith’s bestselling novel by Lydia Bruce and Sandy Burns, it’s sure to be a hilarious and touching night out. The World According to Bertie will be performed at CVenues – CSoCo, Studio 2a, beginning on Thursday 4th August and running until Monday 29th August at 7.20pm and 9.00pm daily. For information and to book tickets go to

And just in time for the latest instalment of goings on at 44 Scotland Street, Bertie Plays the Blues and some wonderful events with Alexander McCall Smith at the Edinburgh International Book Festival.

We love We Love This Book

For booksellers and publishers, in fact anyone involved in the book trade today, The Bookseller has been an essential magazine for many years and has developed into a wide-ranging and informative web site for the industry. Now, The Bookseller turns its expertise and insider knowledge to providing information on the latest books and must-read authors for the general public with the publication of We Love This Book.

Published as a quarterly magazine - available on subscription or free through selected specialist bookshops and libraries - it's packed with news, reviews and features on all the latest titles. A web site is also being launched and is running a beta version at the moment. Polygon is delighted that Sam Meekings' amazing novel The Book of Crows is featured on the site with a free extract for you to read at

Keep your eyes open for copies of We Love This Book!

Monday, 11 July 2011

Jane McKie Shortlisted for 2011 Edinburgh Morgan International Prize

Polygon is absolutely thrilled to announce that Jane McKie has been shortlisted for the 2011 Edwin Morgan International Poetry Prize for her poem Leper Window, St Mary the Virgin.

Jane McKie
One of the judges, Vicki Feaver, said of it, “I think it was Coleridge who defined poetry as 'the best words in the best order'. This short and beautifully constructed poem follows that definition perfectly. Each stanza leads the reader a little further on a vivid sensual and historical journey from a world where leprosy is no longer a scourge to a world where its sufferers went on pilgrimages in search of healing.”

Jane’s poem is one of five – all by female poets – shortlisted for the £5, 000 prize which attracted over 2000 poems from 900 poets from around the world. The winner will be announced on 17th August at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, whose director Nick Barley said the shortlist "reflects the high quality of contemporary poetry".

The complete shortlist, which can be read here, is:
Four Sisters: Sargent's The Daughters of Edward D Boit by Jane Yeh
Leper Window by Jane McKie
Loving Medusa by Gillian Andrews
Ossuary by Lydia MacPherson
Remains by Sarah Jackson

When the Sun Turns Green
by Jane McKie
Congratulations to Jane, and everyone on the shortlist, from everyone at Polygon.
Jane’s collection When the Sun Turns Green was published by Polygon in 2009.

Friday, 1 July 2011

Scots Makar Tells MSPs to “close the gap”

Liz Lochhead, Scots Makar
Liz Lochhead, Scots Makar (Scotland’s ‘Poet Laureate’) joined The Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh, First Minister Rt Hon Alex Salmond and MSPs for the opening of the fourth session of the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh this morning.

Following in the poetic footsteps of the first Scots Makar, her good friend Edwin Morgan, OBE, Liz read a poem which was commissioned from her for the opening ceremony. And like Edwin, she pulled no punches in what the Parliament and its MSPs should be and do, ending one verse with, “But close the gap between what we say and what we do”.

The full text of Liz’s poem “Open” can be read on the Scottish Parliament website, here.

Polygon publishes three collections of poetry by Liz Lochhead – The Colour of Black and White, Dreaming Frankenstein and True Confessions and New Cliches. A new collection of her selected work, The Choosing, will be published in September.