tell it slant

Poetry Bookshop

tell it slant events!

We are delighted to tell you that events are starting up again at last tell it slant after the pandemic. We are so grateful to continue to be hosted in our regular space at 134 Renfrew Street by the lovely Locavore local food network. On 27th May, our own Carla Woodburn will be launching her book Carla! in Locavore’s outside space. Safe and covid-secure. Come and join us! Christie Williamson will be hosting. Find out more about the event at:


Tell it slant 3rd birthday celebrations!

Tell it slant has had a makeover for its 3rd birthday! The party will be on the 27th of January, with spoken word poetry and song – details below or go to the facebook event at:

TIS 2017-01-11.jpg

Read and print the poster here: tis-2017-01-27.

Oh frabjous day!

STOP PRESS!!! Tell it slant poetry bookshop has been saved for Glasgow at the 11th hour by Basil Blackwell, musician, social entrepreneur and events organiser, a favourite face and sound at many a Project Cafe Open Mic!

Basil will be taking over the shop from Ellen and Anna in the new year. The goodbye party is cancelled! There will be a celebration party instead in the Project Cafe on the 27th of January, just in time for Burns’ birthday…

More about Basil below. Please take the time to make him feel welcome. He will be sharing his plans for the shop shortly. Poets and publishers can contact him through the shop email:

Basil Blackwell was born in Dumbarton and schooled in Helensburgh and Glasgow. He avoided university and college whilst there and after busking round Europe for 4 years ended up with a mobile workshop in the North of Scotland. After returning to Glasgow in the 90s he worked in fruit,veg and flower retailing before changing tack and working in IT support for 14 years before returning to his senses. He currently works in community engagement and is still a keen musician.

Welcome to the Tell it slant community, Basil!


Tell it slant is moving!


Sad news. After three very good years in the wonderful Project Cafe in Glasgow, Tell it Slant is going to follow its founder down South. Ellen McAteer, who set up Tell it Slant in December 2013 with her husband Mat Loryman, moved her family to Suffolk for the Aldeburgh Poetry Festival last year, and seems set to stay. Meanwhile the bookshop, beautifully managed by Kathrine Sowerby and then Anna Tall, has circled back to her management for a third time, so she’s decided to pack it up and take it with her. Poets, artists and publishers who have work on sale or return can contact Anna or Ellen on about picking their work up within the next two months if they don’t want it to leave Scotland. Yes, don’t worry – there will be plenty of time to say goodbye, we are not leaving till after Christmas! There will be a 3rd birthday/goodbye Glasgow party for TIS in December. Meanwhile, stay tuned for TiS’s next adventure – what will it be? A bookshop of its own, another poetry cafe, or a mobile poetry library? Perhaps a residency at the new Poetry in Aldeburgh for 2017? Who can say?

Our heartfelt thanks go the the magical team at The Project Cafe for three years of supportive partnership. We will miss you! Good luck to Anna in her Masters Degree too. To all the poets of Scotland, there’s a hand, my trusty fiere! Au revoir.

Away from home…


‘Today I sat in the window in the Project Cafe and wrote.  Or more accurately, pulled together some notes I’d written on a previous visit, and edited them into a poem.  The poem might change yet.  I tend to edit and edit.  But it is a beginning.  Sitting in the cafe gave me the momentum I needed to keep writing in between staring into space and sipping delicious coffee.  And the talk around me forced me to focus on what I was writing and hold the poem to its shape.  It’s a beginning.  And appropriately, for a beginning poem, the poem is about an egg.  A dragon egg.’

So wrote our latest writer-in-residence Liz Basset as she began her residency. The dragon egg has hatched into a whole pamphlet, now available on the tell it slant shelves!

New poet in residence

Working quietly away in tell it slant you might come across our latest poet in residence, Clydebuilt poet Liz Bassett. A mentee of Gerry Loose, Liz writes poems about skies and elephants and the occasional ship. In her poems people fall asleep under their duvet and wake up under lines of migrating geese, and in love. Her poems have been placed in the Bridport competition, short listed for the Plough Prize, and been published by The Red Wheelbarrow, Agenda Broadsheet, White Leaf Review, The Guardian Poetry Workshop, and in the anthologies My Mother Threw Knives (Second Light Publications), Solitaire (Templar Poetry)and New Poets from Britain and America (White Leaf Press). She is a reviewer for Sphinx (HappenStance Press). Her pamphlet ‘How to Wire a Life for Love’ is available from Knucker Press. We are very much looking forward to seeing what inspiration free tea and coffee in The Project Cafe, amongst shelves of poetry in tell it slant, can bring!

liz bassett

Galloway In Glasgow

Friday 11th September from 7pm: two poets from Dumfries and Galloway launch new books: Hugh McMillan’s ‘Not Actually Being in Dumfries’ (Luath Press), selected poems from over thirty years of writing, and ‘Border Lines’ (Indigo Dreams), poems drawn from Stuart A Paterson’s life in Galloway and his first collection in eighteen years. Both shine a lyrical and sharp light onto life in an often neglected part of Scotland. Entertainment is guaranteed from two of Scotland’s most accomplished and underrated poets. Free entry.

TIS BOrder POets

More info here:

Book Launch: The Raven’s Song

Ravens Song Nalini PaulJoin Nalini Paul at tell it slant this Thursday for the launch of The Raven’s Song, poems inspired by raven and crow myths from Orkney, Shetland and Canada; beautifully illustrated by Catherine Hiley. Hear some poems, meet the artist, and buy a book!

Thursday from 7.30pm at TIS within the Project Cafe, 134 Renfrew St, Glasgow, G3 6ST. Bring your own bottle, £3 corkage.

Joanna Monks – Tell It Slant’s spring poet in residence


Below is a Guest blog by Joanna Monks, our Spring poet in residence at Tell It Slant, Come and see her exhibition, on now!

“I immediately loved the idea of a residency in Tell It Slant. The surroundings of The Project Café provides the warm bustle of a café sought by many as a workspace (don’t you always see someone at a coffee shop hunched over a laptop, or surrounded by books). Amidst the warmth, music and smell of food there is also an atmosphere of creativity, experimentation and activity, a multifunctional space for a broad community. Tucked in the corner, in the bright window, Tell It Slant has bookshelves filled with poetry, worlds and images, laments and accounts, a hubbub of voices. I have been fortunate to spend three months of dedicated writing within this space.

“Until the end of June, you can find segments of the work I have been developing during the residency around the café. There are cardboard coasters printed with excerpts of some of my writing. Like a porthole they are small glimpses, passing images. If you sit in the bookshop, find the disc player and listen to a spoken story The day the ground disappeared, a collaborative piece by myself and Catherine Hotchkiss. Look out at the sunny/ clouded/ rainy/ cold/ muggy/ windy day outside, and on the window you can see a larger excerpt of the text from which the coasters are taken.

“My thanks to Kathrine Sowerby, Ellen McAteer, Anna Lomas, Catherine Hotchkiss and everyone at Project Café for all your support.” Joanna Monks June 2015

Launch of Jim Carruth’s Killochries

10666057_375160339359470_6421869424696602359_nJoin Glasgow’s current poet laureate for the launch of his stunning collection, Killochries, published by Freight Books.


Killochries is a stunning verse novella, tracking the relationship of two very different men working a remote sheep farm over the course of twelve months. As the winter breaks, so does their silence, drawing them closer through tragedy and the young man’s burgeoning understanding of this rural life.