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

Commonwealth Poets United

Building on the success of Poetry 2012 the Scottish Poetry Library in collaboration with BBC Scotland will present poetry from around the Commonwealth in Commonwealth Poets United. Six Scottish poets and poets with links to Scotland from Canada, India, Jamaica, New Zealand, Nigeria and South Africa will give public readings in locations across Scotland and take part in school visits from March 2013. They will record their experiences for BBC broadcast and record poems for SPL podcasts and website. The 12 poets will also be commissioned to create new work for the BBC’s Sonnets from Sunrise to Sunset project. (Part of Culture 2014 and Festival 2014).

Walking With Poets

Walking With Poets is an exciting residency opportunity for four poets. The project involves setting up poetry residencies at the four Gardens of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (Edinburgh; Benmore, Argyll; Dawyck, Scottish Borders; and Logan, Dumfries & Galloway), as well as at Cove Park.

The residencies are designed by the RBGE and the Scottish Poetry Library to provide an exceptional opportunity for poets to immerse themselves in these magnificent environments and share their awareness, their practice, and their vision of nature with communities around Scotland and the world.

Four poets have been selected via an open call application process, and each will have a month long writing and walking residency at their assigned garden, as well as a fortnight’s residency at Cove Park. The project was launched to coincide with the celebration of John Muir’s birthday on 21 April, and the residencies are scheduled to take place throughout 2013.  The poets are Sue Butler (Benmore), Mandy Haggith (Edinburgh), Jean Atkin (Logan), and Gerry Loose (Dawyck).  A closing event will be held at RGBE on St Andrew’s Day 2013.

The Scottish Poetry Library is working with the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh to host four month-long residencies with poets who will enrich the public’s encounters with nature. This project has been made possible thanks to:

Year of Natural Scotland funding from Creative Scotland, and additional support from the Big Give and Cove Park.

The Written Image

Edinburgh Printmakers and the Scottish Poetry Library partnered in mid-2013 to launch a project fostering collaborations between printmakers and poets.  The results of these collaborations constitute Edinburgh Printmakers Winter exhibition entitled The Written Image, and demonstrate the rich variety and depth of creative stimulation engendered by cross-form exploration.  Printmaking and poetry are both forms that use image as a means of conveying the artist’s ideas and intentions, and through these pairings we look at how image can be the vehicle that links and inspires artists across media.

Follow updates from the artists and poets here.

Benefits of Project:

  • Participants developing new ways of thinking and working
  • Development of new working relationships with the potential for ongoing collaboration
  • Raising the profile of the partners and participants
  • Opportunity to engage new audiences through partnership working
  • Exciting new partnership between Edinburgh Printmakers and the Scottish Poetry Library with the potential for future projects
  • Partners and participants sharing costs
  • New partnerships through the touring programme
  • New networks between poets and printmakers


  • Jennifer Williams – The Scottish Poetry Library
  • Sarah-Manning Shaw – Edinburgh Printmakers

Exhibition Venue:

Edinburgh Printmakers, 23 Union Street, EH1 3LR

Dates of Exhibition:

16 November to 21 December 2013

Spoken Image Event:

4 December (see prints and hear readings from the poets, with a glass of wine)
We aim to tour the exhibition throughout Scotland in 2014.

List of Poets:

Catherine Sadler
Brian Johnstone
Christine de Luca
Colin Donati
Colin Herd
Elizabeth Reeder
Gerry Cambridge
Janette Ayachi
Kathrine Sowerby
Ken Cockburn
Tom Pow
Michael Pedersen
Robert Crawford
Vicki Husband
Patricia Ace
Theresa Munoz
Nick-e Melville
Stav Poleg
Richie McCaffery
Samuel Tongue
Diana Hendry
Paula Jennings
Dorothy Alexander
Pippa Little
Niall Campbell
Kevin MacNeil
Hamish Whyte
Donald Murray
Nalini Paul
Kathleen Jamie
Catriona Yule
Molly Beal
Helen Evans
Rebecca Sharp
Anita John
Alexander Hutchison
Anna Robinson

List of Printmakers:

Ana Speedie
Anne Forte
Anne Murray
Anupa Gardner
Catherine Hiley
Catherine Outram
Catherine Sargeant
Eoin Dallas
Frank Pottinger
Gavin Johnston
Gillian Murray
Hilke MacIntyre
Jessica Crisp
Joyce Gunn Cairns
Kelly Stewart
Kittie Jones
Laura Gressani
Leena Nammari
Lindy Furby
Linda Kosciewicz-Fleming
Mark Doyle
Matthew Simos
Morvern Odling
Norman McBeath
Pat Crombie
Paul Musgrove
Rona MacLean
Sarah Keast
Shelagh Atkinson
Susan Wilson
Miriam Vickers
Lesley Logue
David Faithfull
Susanna Stark
Chris Sleath
Alastair Clark
Roos Dijkhuizen

Living Voices

Working with the Scottish Storytelling Centre in care homes and with senior groups

The Scottish Poetry Library is working with the Scottish Storytelling Centre on a national pilot project to explore working with older audiences.

  • This is based on successful pilot projects in Edinburgh, the Storytelling Centre’s ‘Life Stories’ and the SPL’s ‘Read Aloud’ with Edinburgh City Libraries, where either professional storytellers or volunteer readers work with a range of senior groups and carehomes.
  • The familiar patterns and rhythms of well-known songs and poems spark engagement, pleasure and reminiscence, often where participants may otherwise seem to be withdrawn or unresponsive.

The project is funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, the Baring Foundation, The Gannochy Trust and Creative Scotland. We are working  in partnership with Perth and Kinross Libraries and Information Services to deliver Living Voices in Care Homes across Perthshire.  We also value the support of partners in the other pilot areas: Aberdeen City Libraries, South Ayrshire Libraries, Aberdeen Council Social Care and Wellbeing team, South Ayrshire Council, Voluntary Action South Ayrshire & Perthshire Care Home Activity Co-ordinators Network. The project manager is Emma Faragher.  For more information, get in touch with her at


In 2010 we received a grant from the National Lottery though Creative Scotland to create a model poetry resource - innovative, imaginative, integrated and sustainable - reaching a wide range of users, while also expanding the SPL’s income-generating capacity. Specifically, we recognized that in order to implement our overall strategy of bringing people and poems together, we needed to

  • install a new open source library management system that maximized cost savings and user benefits
  • introduce an open source customer relationship management system in order to more effectively communicate and track the behaviour of our audiences and stakeholders
  • redevelop our website and the technology we use to maintain it
  • expand, embed and consolidate Web 2.0 opportunities into our day-to-day working practice
  • develop new ways of harnessing financial support that can be reinvested in future digital development, including online facilities for shopping, donating and subscribing as Friends

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
  • Goethe-Institut
  • Institut français
  • 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
  • Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature Trust
  • Filmhouse
  • Poetry Association of Scotland
  • Poetry Book Society
  • Poetry Society
  • Poetry Translation Centre
  • School of Poets
  • Scottish Book Trust
  • Scottish Storytelling Centre
  • South Bank Centre

Local authorities

  • Angus Council
  • Argyll & Bute Council
  • Dumfries & Galloway Arts Association
  • Dumfries & Galloway CREATE
  • Dumfries & Galloway Council
  • Dumfries & Galloway Libraries
  • East Dunbartonshire Libraries
  • Edinburgh City Libraries
  • Elgin Library
  • Falkirk Libraries
  • Glasgow Libraries
  • Highland Libraries
  • Moray Libraries
  • Orkney Library and Archive
  • Renfrewshire Libraries
  • Shetland Arts
  • Shetland Library
  • Western Isles Libraries

National institutions

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


  • Edinburgh College of Art
  • University of Dundee
  • University of Edinburgh
  • University of the West of Scotland Ayr