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What is the campaign all about?
Carry a Poem is the choice for the fourth One Book – One Edinburgh reading campaign, designed to get the whole city reading together.  Past campaigns concentrated on Kidnapped, Strange Case of Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde and The Lost World, and were run by the Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature Trust. You can find out more at www.cityofliterature.com.

When does it start?
The books are launched on 1st February 2010, and events take place all through the month.  Members of the public will officially be able to pick up their books from libraries from 10am on Monday1st February.

Where do I get my free book?
Every year, our free books fly out of libraries, cafes and schools across the city.  Try your local library on 1st February for a copy, or come along to a Carry a Poem event – but be warned, as the books are very popular and disappear quickly. Once they’re gone, they’re gone!

I didn’t get a free book – where else can I read the poems?
Don’t worry – because we want to make Carry a Poem as accessible as possible, we will post most of the content for you to read online. We will also send stock copies to the public libraries, the Scottish Poetry Library and arrange for large print copies to go out via the mobile library. Carry a Poem is not available to buy.

Is Carry a Poem available on any other formats?
There will be special audio clips of the poems and stories going live throughout the campaign and will be made available for free download. Large print editions will be put into every library.

Will my school get any books?

Every school in Edinburgh gets a class set of books as part of our reading campaign.  The lovely folk at the Council’s Children & Families department help us to send them out, and they normally arrive during January.  We also put plenty of resources online to give teachers and school librarians a few ideas of useful activities.

How do I find out about poetry events in Edinburgh?
The Scottish Poetry Library has a great programme of events in its Crichton’s Close building, and their Reader in Residence holds events at public libraries throughout the city.  There are several monthly poetry sessions, including Shore Poets, and you can filter for poetry events via the comprehensive What’s On literary listings at www.cityofliterature.com.

Why is Edinburgh a UNESCO City of Literature?
Edinburgh has a rich literary past – Jekyll & Hyde, Sherlock Holmes, Peter Pan, Harry Potter, Inspector Rebus – all came from the minds of writers who have lived and worked in Edinburgh. We’re home to the world’s largest Book Festival, and have hundreds of poetry, book and storytelling events throughout the year. We’re really a city built on books – you can find out more, and learn about how we gained the UNESCO title, at www.cityofliterature.com.

Can’t find an answer to your question? Email anna@cityofliterature.com and we’ll get right back to you. Or leave a comment below.


edincityoflit - Friday, 26 March 2010

We are always trying to promote all types of literature in new and interesting ways, and Carry a Poem is our 4th reading campaign – we’ve done novels in the past. We went for poetry for a number of reasons, not least to celebrate the 25th birthday of the Scottish Poetry Library. The anthology approach also gave us chance to ask people to write their stories of why certain poems are important to them – and their stories are as important to us as the poetry they select.

Hope that answers your question!

1. Martin Haston - Friday, 19 March 2010

Why did UNESCO decide to do a poetry campaign?

carryapoem - Monday, 1 March 2010

The stories in the book are a collection of those people sent to us – we chose from those that were submitted, and it does feature Abhainn Arois by Sorley MacLean. There is a Gaelic pocketcard, featuring Feargha macFhionnlaigh: http://carryapoem.com/2010/02/22/poetry-pocketcards-in-detail/fearghas-macfhionnlaigh-3/. Why not submit a story about the Gaelic poem you carry?
Share it with us!

2. Mac an t-Sronaich - Saturday, 27 February 2010

I can’t seem to find anything here about Gaelic. Where is it? What about some great and notalbe bards and writers, alive and dead, like Sorley Maclean, Iain Crichton Smith, Donnchadh Ban, Aonghas Dubh MacNeacail, Martain Mac an t-Saoir?

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