Poets are being invited to submit work that will go on display in Shetland’s public toilets in a new “Bards in the Bog” project.
Of those submitted six will be chosen by the isles’ poet partner Jen Hadfield, who recently won the TS Eliot Prize, to be shown in all leisure centre toilets, the Esplanade toilets in Lerwick and in other toilets elsewhere in March.
The competition is open to poets of all ages and there is no restriction on subject matter, although entries must be 12 lines or fewer in length so that they can be printed in large type. The poems will also be displayed on the Shetland Library website.
To launch the project there will be an event at the library on Wednesday 11th February featuring a reading from Ms Hadfield followed by an “open mike” poetry session, which means anyone with a favourite poem to share can come along and read.
“I’ve always loved the idea of sneaking poetry into unexpected places,” said Ms Hadfield, “proving that poetry’s place is in the real world, in real time. I’m looking forward to another of the library’s fantastic open mike events to celebrate the launch of Bards in the Bog.”
Karen Fraser from Shetland Library said: “It should brighten up folk’s day, and maybe they’ll be inspired to pop into the library and borrow more poetry.”
Literature development officer with Shetland Arts Donald Anderson said: “I think this is an imaginative way to encourage people to write poetry and to read it. I hope that it will successfully challenge the idea that poetry is elitist.”
Closing date for the first Bards in the Bog entries is Saturday 7th March. There will be further opportunities to submit poems in June and September.
For more information call the Library on (01595) 743868 or see the website www.shetland-library.gov.uk.