far off places coverMagazine Showcase: Far Off Places. Far Off Places, the magazine of written whimsy, was launched in November 2013. Since then five issues have been released, apps developed and podcasts recorded. Dressed in Halloween costumes for the occasion, editors Annie Rutherford, Ceris Aston and Bethany Wolfe will talk about their experiences of creating a literary magazine. Contributors will also be there to haunt the audience with their words. Fancy dress encouraged. 6.30pm, Scottish Poetry Library, 5 Crichton’s Close, Canongate. Tickets are £5/£4 and can be booked via eventbrite.

Wordplay: The Installation as Empty Set. Wordplay: ‘a creative generator for participants to encourage fresh perspectives on writing in and around contemporary art’ – gallery-based writing sessions inspired by GENERATION. ‘The artist who makes an installation prepares a stage for the audience to wander and onto which to project its own meaning. This session will look at the installation as empty stage and as instructions for a drama to take place within’. 5.30-6.45pm, Royal Scottish Academy, The Mound. Free: to book a place call 0131 624 6410 or email education@nationalgalleries.org. For more information click here. Part of GENERATION By Night.

alina bzhezhinskaAlina Bzhezhinska: acclaimed harpist Bzhezhinska will be joined by a special guest for a programme on the theme of love; Bach, Debussy and traditional songs. 6-6.30pm, Scottish National Gallery. Free and unticketed.

Through Border Eyes – John Buchan’s Guide to Walter Scott. Why is Scott the great unread? Let John Buchan be your guide to the delights and perils of the ‘Wizard of the North’. In the 200th anniversary year of WaverleyDonald Smith invites you to look again at Scott through Buchan’s eyes. 2-3pm, National Library of Scotland, George IV Bridge. Free tickets may be booked via the NLS website or by calling 0131 623 3734. Part of Once Upon A Place: Scottish International Storytelling Festival 2014.

Scott’s Singing Muse: Minstrelsy of the Scottish Borders. All of Sir Walter Scott’s later achievements are foreshadowed by his first major work – a monumental collection of Borders songs and legends.  Re-published this year, for the first time with the music and full background, the Minstrelsy is a kist of treasures and curiosities. General editor Sigrid Rieuwerts unveils this groundbreaking publication. 3.30-4.30pm, National Library of Scotland, George IV Bridge. Free tickets may be booked via the NLS website or by calling 0131 623 3734. Part of Once Upon A Place: Scottish International Storytelling Festival 2014.

Commonwealth Stories of World War One: Scottish-Canadian storyteller Phyllis Davison evokes the many experiences and connections of ‘the war to end war.’ 2-3pm, Museum of Edinburgh, Canongate. Free: part of Once Upon A Place: Scottish International Storytelling Festival 2014.

Portskerra International Storytelling Festival.  Want to get out of the city this weekend? Portskerra is between Thurso and Tongue, and this is the most northerly storytelling festival on mainland Scotland. This year the festival focuses on place and intergenerational community, featuring storytellers from home and abroad, a traditional ceilidh called by Clapshot, and a Hallows Eve Silent Movie Night. ‘An intimate festival, edged by glorious fishing and surfing beaches.’ Today until Sunday 2nd November. For more information see www.portskerrastorytellingfestival.weebly.com. In conjunction with Once Upon A Place: Scottish International Storytelling Festival 2014

the importance of beinghe Importance of Being: an evening with John Cairney. John Cairney will take you on a spiritual journey that is part autobiography and part a study and consideration of theology. He explores four stages of life: birth, infancy, maturity and old age/death – and the traumas we face in each, emphasising the importance of recognising the gift we have simply in living and how crucial it is to appreciate each moment of our lives.  6pm, National Library of Scotland, George IV Bridge. Free but booking is required via the NLS website or by calling 0131 623 3734.

Gaelic Songs and Rhymes. For children and babies. 10.30am, Blackhall Library, 56 Hillhouse Road.

Chrystal Macmillan Lecture 2014 – Ladies in the Lords: Women’s Representation. In 1958 the Life Peeerages Act enabled women (without an hereditary title) to sit in the Lords for the first time. Today there are 189 women in the House. The Lord Speaker Baroness D’Souza will discuss with Baroness Goldie, Life Peer, the role of women in the House of Lords past and present, and the impact those Members have on political life. Chaired by Professor Fiona Mackay, School of Social and Political Science. 5.30-7.15pm, followed by a drinks reception and an exhibition about Chrystal Macmillan until 8pm,  Meadows Lecture Theatre, William Robertson Wing, Doorway 4, Medical School (Old Medical School), University of Edinburgh. Free tickets should be booked via eventbrite, which also has directions to the venue.

Blackwell’s Edinburgh Presents Leith Through Time: an informal drinks reception launching this new book by Jack Gillon and Fraser Parkinson. Leith Through Time features a fascinating selection of photographs tracing some of the many ways in which Leith and its surroundings have changed and developed over the last century. Meet the authors, enjoy a glass of wine and peruse some wonderful stills and film of Leith. 6.30pm, Blackwell’s, South Bridge. For more information contact Roanna Brannigan on 0131 622 8220 or email stationery.edinburgh@blackwell.co.uk

jasper christiansen posterFound Drawings by Jesper Christiansen: one of the most recognised modern artists in Denmark, Christiansen (1955-) was a professor at the Royal Danish Academy for Fine Arts 2002-2008. Most of the works in this show formed part of his critically acclaimed exhibition GO BACK at the museums Brandst and Holstebro Kuntsmuseum in Denmark, and Christiansen also designed the poster for this new show.  Opening and artist’s talk at 6pm today (booking essential: RSVP to event1@dancult.co.uk), then 10am-4pm, Monday to Thursday until 2nd December 2014, Danish Cultural Institute, Doune Terrace.

Learning Chinese in Diasporic Communities: book launch and lecture. Marking the publication of John Benjamins‘ book, co-editor Xiao Lan Curdt-Christiansen will talk on Learning Chinese in Diasporic Communities: Does it Matter? 6-7pm, Moray House School of Education, Room G43, Paterson’s Land, Holyrood Road. Free places may be reserved by emailing jo.law@ed.ac.uk. Organised jointly by the Confucius Institute for Scotland and CERES, the Centre for Education for Racial Equality in Scotland.

Ecumenical Friends of St Cuthbert’s: Forum – What Do We Stand For? United Together In Our Differences.  All warmly welcome: bring your own packed lunch, tea and coffee provided. 12.30pm, St Cuthbert’s Parish Church Hall, Lothian Road, £1.50 per person. Organised by Edinburgh City Centre Churches TOGETHER.

Thursday Club: a weekly programme of music, talks and demonstrations. Open to all, new members and visitors very welcome. This week: Dorie Wilkie talks on The Great Tapestry of Scotland. For more information contact Florence Smith on 0131 663 1234. 2pm, Mayfield Salisbury Church Hall, 18 West Mayfield, EH9 1TQ.

Dugs ‘n’ Pubs Halloween Party: prizes for the best dressed dug, special Halloween cupcakes and dug beer! 7pm, Cafe Tartine, 72 Commercial Street, Leith.

dugs and pubs at cafe tartine