Blog Our Sweet Old Etcetera

Behind the scenes at the Scottish Poetry Library

Poets Advisory Group

Image: L'écrivain by gilles chiroleu, under a Creative Commons licence

An open letter from Katie Ailes, poet, editor, and chair of our proposed Poets Advisory Group. See below.

To poets across Scotland,

What are your priorities for poetry in Scotland? How would you like the Scottish Poetry Library to support and encourage poets?

The SPL is piloting a new initiative designed for poets to share their ideas on how the library engages and works with poets across Scotland, for example our events programme and outreach with schools and community groups.

We’re setting up a Poets Advisory Group, initially of eight participants, which will meet twice annually (first meeting in December 2017). Participants will be able to contribute topics for discussion in the meetings. Following the group’s meetings, detailed notes from the discussion will be shared with SPL staff to be taken into account when determining and implementing SPL activities in line with the new business plan ambitions for 2018-21. The scope of the group’s work will be distinct from the SPL Board, which has governance oversight on areas such as strategy, finances and human resources. That is to say, the new group will provide a platform for voice and influence for poets, but will not have authority to make decisions or act on behalf of SPL (much in the same model as the Scottish Book Trust’s writers’ advisory group).

Would you like to be part of this group? In addition to having a platform to share your thoughts, you’ll also receive a pair of complimentary tickets to an SPL event of your choice (subject to availability). Meetings will be held on a Saturday and any childcare and reasonable transport costs will be covered with prior agreement.

In order to apply, please submit a brief (max 200 words) biography and a personal statement (500 words max) to by November 17 2017. In your personal statement, please share one of your priorities for poetry in Scotland and your motivations for joining this group. Please note that if chosen, you’ll be asked to serve a two-year term (2017-2019) if possible. We will seek to grow the number of the group in subsequent years, so that in effect we will have new voices being added on a rolling basis.

If you have any questions about this initiative, please email me at Thank you very much!

Category: poets, Scottish Poetry Library