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Rory Bremner carries his in his head.  Lorraine Kelly pins hers to her jacket.  How do you carry yours? In your wallet?  In your pocket?  On your Ipod? We want you to share how you carry a poem – or find a new poem to carry this February.

The free Carry a Poem book shows how Scots from all walks of life carry poems with them, and reveals the stories behind the poetry choices.  The book is being distributed all across the city, through arts and leisure centres, libraries, cafes, and primary and secondary schools.

You’ll be amazed how much poetry you carry with you without even knowing it.  If you don’t have a particular verse in mind – don’t worry – be inspired by the stories and poems in the book, on the website or at an event, and discover a new poem to carry with you.

Carry a Poem Campaign

Carry a Poem is a joint venture between Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature Trust, the Scottish Poetry Library and City of Edinburgh public libraries, but it couldn’t happen without the help of dozens of partners across the Scottish capital.

One Book – One Edinburgh Campaigns

The One Book-One Edinburgh citywide reading campaigns aim to bring residents together to read the same book at the same time in Edinburgh, a UNESCO City of Literature. A range of new editions of the chosen book are developed in a variety of formats for all ages and reading levels and given away in their thousands across schools, libraries, art and leisure centres, book groups and community groups to celebrate and encourage reading.   The campaign brings together partners to offer a busy programme of events and activities throughout the city each February.

The first One Book – One Edinburgh citywide reading campaign, co-ordinated by the Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature Trust, took place in 2007 when thousands of free copies of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Kidnapped were distributed across Edinburgh. As well as a paperback edition of the original text, four editions of a sensational graphic novel by Alan Grant, and illustrated by Cam Kennedy were also made available – the original story, a Scots edition, a Gaelic edition and a modern text version.  Every primary and high school in the city participated in the campaign.

In 2008, another Stevenson classic – Strange Case of Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde – was selected and a special new paperback edition was developed and supported by a graphic novel by Grant and Kennedy. In 2009 The City of Literature Trust participated in The Lost World Read 2009, the largest collaborative reading campaign in the UK, and worked with Glasgow, Bristol and a number of other cities and library authorities.

Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature

Edinburgh is the world’s first UNESCO City of Literature, a permanent title celebrating our city built on books. The Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature Trust charity was set up to promote literary Edinburgh and develop literary partnerships, and in 2007 created and ran the first One Book – One Edinburgh campaign, the highly successful annual citywide read. Carry a Poem is the fourth such campaign from the City of Literature Trust.

Scottish Poetry Library

The Scottish Poetry Library is an independent library open and accessible to all. It is based in an award-winning building in Edinburgh and houses a collection of Scottish and international poetry in books and magazines, on tape and CD, together with a substantial children’s section. It also holds collections across Scotland, from Shetland to the Borders. The Scottish Poetry Library receives foundation funding from the Scottish Arts Council.

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