SPL Director Robyn Marsack recently visited Moscow where she made a pilgrimage to the home of poet Marina Tsvetaeva. Read her account of how moved she was to be in the same space once shared not only by Tsvetaeva, but Pasternak and Mandelstam.
Some years ago, when teaching in a Scottish prison, I observed a curious phenomenon every February: a flourishing interest in poetry. 'Got any poems, miss?' prisoners would ask, furtively, 'like love poems?'
One of the joys of working as the Programme Manager at the Scottish Poetry Library is the great wealth of fabulous event possibilities to choose from and the number of extraordinary proposals we receive for exciting and delicious poetry delights.
When you learn a poem, you experience it differently. The learned poem is no longer just text on a page but, to your brain, it is a living being, a new acquaintance with whom you form intimacy and trust. Good for the brain but also good for the soul.
It was undoubtedly a pleasure to see the Royal Festival Hall – capacity, 2,500 – practically full for the T.S. Eliot Prize reading on Sunday; somehow we poetry readers are always surprised to find there are 2,000+ others like us out there. It’s a varied audience, too: aged from 22 to 92, I’d say (I was told about the 92-year-old), and from many different language backgrounds.
As I write this, we still have to finalise our closure date for the building works: I am discovering that so much depends, not exactly on a red wheelbarrow, but on all the things that come before the red wheelbarrow arrives on site.
It's the last day of our online advent calendar. Scotland's national poet Liz Lochhead wrote a specially commissioned poem for the Trafalgar Square Christmas tree lighting up ceremony on Thursday 4 December, 2014. Liz popped into the Library to record these seasonal words and you can hear them by opening the last door of our advent calendar.
And so on to Day Thirteen of our advent calendar. Today we have books. Lots of books. We have many cool ones in the SPL, with covers as great as the words inside. We'd like to store even more. But we're running out of room. We need your help to renovate the building so we can keep storing the best poetry books in the world. We thought we'd show off a fair selection of them on our Pinterest page, which you can visit by clicking here.