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The launch! Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Posted by carryapoem in Events.
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Yesterday, amid a sea of poem props, bucks fizz, semi-bare naked ladies and saxophonists, we launched 13,000 Carry a Poem anthologies and 28,000 poetry pocket cards upon Edinburgh in the delectable Reference Room at the Edinburgh Central Library. It was lovely to see so many people in attendance: contributors to the book from all walks of life, events partners and all the people who have worked together to make the One Book One Edinburgh city-wide read possible.

After A Few Words from EUCL’s Ali Bowden, chair of their board Sir Alexander Crombie, Councillor Deirdre Brock and Edinburgh Makar Ron Butlin’s rendition of his carried poem, Hugh MacDiarmid’s magical ‘The Bonnie Broukit Bairn’, we had a jolly time encouraging people to write down the poems they carry with them: our photographer Chris Scott snapped many of them in poetical action, and you can have a nosy over at our Carry a Poem Flickr stream.

Project manager Claudia donned purple, with a red hat that didn’t go but still sort of suited her in homage to Jenny Joseph. Hugh had his poem on scrap paper in his pocket, Stuart brought his in his head, and Anna had Edna St Vincent Millay’s ‘First Fig’ emblazoned on her back:

My candle burns at both ends;
It will not last the night;
But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends–
It gives a lovely light!

We interviewed people about the poems they carry – you’ll be able to hear those responses on the Scottish Poetry Library’s podcast on Friday. The books and pocket cards are now available from the Scottish Poetry Library, the Edinburgh City Libraries and events partner venues. But be quick – they’re already zooming out the doors.

Feedback for the combination of great poems, stories and Emily Isles’ design has been thrillingly marvellous so far: over on Twitter, @HCALibrarian said ‘Got my free “Carry a Poem” book today from Newington Library. Marvellous! Many thanks to www.carryapoem.com‘, while @Rachel_Rowley said ‘got my book + some great cards to carry too. Thanks for the warm welcome at SPL last night.’ We’d love to hear what you think, so please do let us know!

If you’re not in the neighbourhood, fear not: you can read the book online for the month of February in the Read! section of this site and of course keep yourselves updated by following our antics on Facebook, Twitter and Flickr.

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