jump to navigation

Book groups

Read the book | Get your free book| Reading tips | Book groups | Listen! | Watch!

A number of Edinburgh-based book groups registered to read Carry a Poem in February 2010, and many of them sent us a note about the discussions they had – you can read them below, or submit thoughts from your own group.

Join a Book Group

If you are not part of a book group already, then the public libraries run a series of different library-based groups across the city, and welcome new members.

The Scottish Poetry Library runs a monthly poetry reading group, or you could drop by one of their Nothing But The Poem sessions, which concentrate on just one poem, and nothing but the poem.

For more information about how to set up a book group or join an existing book group, or even a writers’ group, check out www.cityofliterature.com.


1. edincityoflit - Wednesday, 31 March 2010

It provoked probably the liveliest discussion we’ve ever had, ranging from our own favourite poems into something much broader. The following points were made:

1. is poetry simply fiction for the impatient? (with haiku taking that to the extremes)
2. what is the difference between poetry and prose? Does poetry carry a more emotional charge?
3. do you need to be tortured to write poetry? Or read/enjoy it?
4. poetry should be universal and not exclusive or self-consciously crafted
5. should poetry be read aloud to be appreciated properly?
6. should we go to a poetry slam?
7. does poetry need more interpretation than other kinds of literature?
8. why do some people enjoy poetry more than others?

We went on to explore different ways of accessing poetry, including various websites, and we shared poetry books. We discussed the poems in the campaign book and competed noisily to have our own favourites appreciated by the others in the group. From having been somewhat sceptical about poetry as a theme for the 2010 campaign, we concluded that it had been extremely successful in moving us out of our ‘fiction’ comfort zone.

It looks as if it has been another successful year for you and Ali – well done, and thanks from all of us here.

Pauline and the National Library of Scotland book group.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: