Living the Breath

glend02pic1.jpg Sitting on the steps outside the Scottish Poetry Library, with visitors to the Small Press Fair milling past, Duncan Glen expressed his exhilaration at a day spent in conversation with old friends and new contacts, the uniting spirit being a love of poetry and writing. On his stall were examples of Akros publications and his magazine Zed 2 O.

A veteran of small press publishing, he produced fifty-one issues of Akros magazine, starting in 1965, and over 250 pamphlets under the Akros imprint, providing a fascinating cross-section of almost a half-century of Scottish literary life. The publication this year of Glen’s own Collected Poems 1965-2005 does not represent a full stop in his output.

In our audio interview, he explains that he is now writing fewer poems, no doubt because he has produced so many and doesn’t want to return to well-explored themes. But new inspiration still arises and he rejects the idea that poets necessarily have a limited, even short, creative span, citing George Bruce who kept being ‘surprised’ by new work right into his nineties. For Glen, poetry is ‘living the breath’.


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