‘Let us do or die!’

Burns Night: Poetry of Scotland

“It was her best, and she was vauntie,” says Robert Burns of a witch with an unusually small shirt in the poem “Tam o’ Shanter.” Witches in tiny shirts? How can you not love Burns? Don’t let the stuffy “Bard of Ayrshire” moniker fool you—he’s a one-man party, which is why we celebrate on January 25 of each year with a ritual and reading. This year’s kilt-lifting rager will happen at 7:30 p.m. at The Book Collector (1008 24th Street), where, believe it or not, Arturo Mantecon will read Burns in Spanish, and Rebecca Morrison will present a variety of Scottish poetry. An open-mic will follow the featured readers. Haggis will not be consumed, but a can of it will be passed around so you can poke at it and stuff, says host Richard Hansen. The last time I checked, Scotch wasn’t a “light refreshment,” but Hansen says it is, and what he says goes (the thrawn bastard!). Note: A dram is only awarded to those who attempt a Burns poem. “You have to earn your Scotch,” Hansen says. Oh, we will, Hansen. We will.