A new literary festival will honour Perth poet William Soutar.
The first ever Soutar Festival of Words will happen in Perth this month, with a series of best-selling authors to speak at the three-day event.
Alex Gray, Bernard MacLaverty, Ajay Close and Douglas Skelton are joining the lineup of authors for the inaugural festival which will be hosted by Culture Perth and Kinross on the final weekend of the month.
The festival will celebrate the beauty of the Scots language, Gaelic and contemporary Scottish culture at venues and outdoor locations across Soutar’s home city, from the AK Bell Library and St John’s Kirk to Perth Museum and Art Gallery.
The Soutar Festival of Words will host more than 20 events, including author talks, the Perthshire poetry slam, children’s events, music and opportunities for local people to gain an insight into the world of creative writing.
There will also be the opportunity to explore the local area on literary walking tours including the Corbenic Poetry Path, a poetry walk in Buckie Braes and a chance to visit places mentioned in Walter Scott’s 1828 novel, The Fair Maid of Perth.
On Friday, April 26 the festival will open at Perth Museum and Art Gallery with crime writers Denzil Meyrick, Neil Broadfoot and Douglas Skelton in conversation about setting the scene in crime writing and beyond.
At the AK Bell Library the same night, Professor Kirsteen McCue will present the annual Soutar Lecture, looking at how Soutar’s experience and theories of ‘Dreams’ played their part in his growing stature as a published poet.
Award-winning author Alex Gray will host a creative writing workshop at the AK Bell Library the following day and at Perth Museum and Art Gallery, illustrator Kate Leiper will create and develop characters in a workshop for children and adults.
Publishers Tippermuir Books, Red Squirrel Press and Big Dog Books will be on hand to help and inspire budding authors and writers Susi Briggs, Bernard MacLaverty and Ajay Close will all speak on Saturday.
The Festival will draw to a close on Sunday evening with a special performance of Perth Chamber choir Chansons in St John’s Kirk.
Chansons will be celebrating their 40th anniversary on Sunday, April 28, with a specially commissioned suite of songs to words by William Soutar from Edinburgh composer Tom Cunningham.