Projects & partners

The Scottish Poetry Library rarely walks alone; it works with a wide variety of partners – from Maggie’s Centres to the Royal Collection to Strathclyde Partnership for Transport – to deliver the benefits and delights of poetry.

Current projects

Tools of the Trade: Poems for new doctors (second edition)


photos (c) University of Dundee

Tools of the Trade is a pocket-sized anthology of around 50 poems, to help think about compassion and about personal resilience in the challenging situations faced by all junior doctors. It is edited by doctors, includes poems by doctor-poets, and the first edition was made possible entirely by private donations, many from GPs or their families, and the support of permission holders for the poems included;  the second edition is also supported by the Royal College of General Practitioners in Scotland, and The Medical and Dental Defence Union of Scotland. It's been given free to all medical students graduating in Scotland since 2014;  many of the poems in the first and second editions are listed here, and you can read more about the project here.

We are delighted that this edition is now completely sold out, thanks to an article by Simon Constable in the Wall Street Journal

If you'd like to know when a new edition is available, please leave us your email address by clicking here and completing a couple of quick questions.

Poems for Doctors with the School of Medicine, University of St Andrews


A wonderful project, based at the School of Medicine at the University of St Andrews, offers moving and hugely accessible filmed readings of poems from Tools of the Trade. The readers come from staff and students at the school, and all have a particular reason for picking their poem. The films are available for all to watch online; if you're a medic, you can also join a Facebook group to discuss the experiences described in the poems. We are very thankful to the Dean, staff and students of the School of Medicine, particularly Deputy Head Julie Struthers and Information Designer and magician Steve Smart, for giving Tools of the Trade a new digital life in addition to the printed book.

Literary Europe Live

Literary Europe Live brings together sixteen literary festivals and venues from around Europe to foster and encourage programming that reflects the richness and diversity of the European literary landscape. It will also highlight and support outstanding emerging literary talent and develop live and digital audiences for writing in translation.

Literary Europe Live was selected for funding under the new Platforms strand of the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union.

Through the Literary Europe Live project the Literature Across Frontiers platform will:

  • create a forum for debate of shared European topics;
  • foster the development and recognition of emerging literary creators such as writers, translators and literary curators by providing them with international opportunities and highlighting the most outstanding talent in all genres;
  • develop a quality label to recognize Europe-wide programming and innovative dissemination of European literary works;
  • cooperate with a range of partners to present European writing in all its diversity to audiences across Europe and beyond, and to give professionals working in the field of literature opportunities to share ideas, experiences and information.

The first year of the project will see over thirty events organised in the members’ countries featuring more than three hundred literary creators and professionals. There will be also events presenting European literature in China and India, and an international audience development forum which will bring together professionals working in the field of international literature across Europe.

Including the SPL, Platform members participating in the project are:

Anadolu Kültür – Diyarbakir Art Centre, TR
Bangor University / Wales International Poetry Festival, GB
Barcelona Centre for Contemporary Culture, ES
Biuro Literackie / Literary Bureau, PL
Booktailors – Bookoffice, PT
Croatian Writers’ Society / Festival of the European Short Story, HR
Inizjamed / Malta Mediterranean Literature Festival, MT
Kulturtreger / Booksa, HR
Literaturwerkstatt / Berlin Poetry Festival, DE
Hay Festival of Literature & Arts, GB
Oslo International Poetry Festival, NO
Passa Porta / International House of Literature in Brussels, BE
Petöfi Literary Museum, HU
Slovenian Writers’ Association / Vilenica International Literary Festival, SI

Promoting Equalities Programme

We are looking at equalities and access in the Scottish Poetry Library, with support from Creative Scotland's pilot Promoting Equalities Programme. The first artist residency, to help us explore how we could improve services for all library users, is with Kyra Pollitt, BSL interpreter and poetry researcher, and artist. BSL poet Gary Quinn, English/Shetlandic poet Christine De Luca and Kyra, with kinetic titling by Interface 3, made this moving poem film.

The film was on show at a range of venues in autumn 2014, including: Macrobert Centre, Stirling:  25 September - 9 October:  TV screens in the cafe bar area, and in the cinema before films; Dundee Literary Festival, 22-26 October: on a loop in the Festival foyer in Bonar Hall; Wordplay, Shetland's annual book festival, 12-16 November: in the festival venues.

Meanwhile, you can read Kyra's comment on the making of the film on our blog here.

Creative Scotland National Lottery logo

Our partner organisations

We welcome initiatives involving poetry, as in recent projects with the new Crichton Hospital and (separately!) Scottish Badgers. Please get in touch with us if you think we could extend and enhance your project.

Cultural agencies

  • British Council
  • Literature Across Frontiers


  • Edinburgh International Book Festival
  • Edinburgh International Science Festival
  • StAnza
  • Ullapool Book Festival and The Ceilidh Place
  • Wigtown Book Festival

Literature & arts organisations

  • Arvon Foundation at Moniack Mhor
  • Confab (Glasgow)
  • Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature Trust
  • Forward Foundation / National Poetry Day
  • Literature Alliance Scotland
  • Northern Poetry Library
  • Poetry Association of Scotland
  • Poetry Society
  • School of Poets
  • Scottish Book Trust
  • Scottish Storytelling Centre

Local authorities

  • City of Edinburgh Council

National institutions

  • BBC
  • Historic Scotland
  • National Galleries of Scotland
  • National Library of Scotland
  • National Museum of Scotland
  • National Trust for Scotland
  • Scottish Parliament


  • Edinburgh College of Art
  • Manchester Metropolitan University
  • University of Aberdeen
  • University of Dundee
  • University of Edinburgh
  • University of Glasgow
  • University of St Andrews
  • University of the West of Scotland