The first Golden Thread reading took place yesterday in the church hall of St John's, on the corner of Princes Street and Lothian Road, Edinburgh. This is the first time we have read in the hall and we were not sure how it was going to work, for during the Festival the hall also serves as a café. Were the readers going to be competing with the sounds of clinking cutlery and cups rattling in saucers? It turned out that the audience were wonderful. They bought teas and coffees before the reading began, they listened intently, and you could have heard a pin drop. Only once, there was the sound of a plate being dropped onto another one, in the kitchen.
Tessa Ransford, Willie Hershaw and Walter Perrie read from their new collections. Their books, and those of all the Golden Thread poets reading this year, can be found in the Cornerstone Bookshop, just underneath St John's.