On 10 August, the SPL hosts its first Open Book, an all-poetry shared reading group. During the weekly sessions on Wednesdays (1pm), the group will discuss poetry and listen to it read aloud by an expert who will guide the discussion. Those attending will not be required to read aloud or prepare in any way for the group.
Over the course of several weeks, the group will work its way through two contrasting books of poetry, looking at the poems individually, how they work together as the collection develops, and comparing the work of different authors. To begin, the group will read Alice Oswald’s new collection Falling Awake alongside Sarah Howe’s Loop of Jade, winner of this year’s T.S. Eliot Prize.
Open Book also arranges for members of its groups to visit the Edinburgh Book Festival each year to hear an author that the group has been reading. For our new group at the SPL, Open Book has reserved six tickets for Alice Oswald on 19 August at 11:45am, and has a further few tickets for Amnesty International’s Imprisoned Writers Series, Poems that Make Grown Women Cry, at 17:30pm. Open Book will also offer light refreshments for our readers in the Party Pavilion during 19 August.
Open Book began in 2013 and is organised by Marjorie Lotfi Gill and Claire Urquhart. Open Book runs shared reading groups for adults in places like community projects, libraries, gardens, care homes, hospices and prisons. Open Book is modelled on the work of the Reader Organisation, which lists self-esteem, building social networks, widening horizons and giving people a sense of belonging as some of the effects of shared reading (http://www.thereader.org.uk/what-we-do-and-why/health-wellbeing.aspx). Open Book also provides creative writing opportunities for our groups when funding allows, and try and provide each group with a ‘literature event’ (such as attendance at a Book Festival) each year.
Open Book is always looking for new volunteers to run our groups, assist with one-off outings and people to help out in other ways – please get in touch via our website if you’d like to volunteer with us!
The first Open Book group takes place on Wednesday, 10 August, 1pm. Tickets are free. There is no need to book; just turn up.