Bog poems go on display

The Bards in the Bog project kicked off in earnest this week, as the first poems were framed for display on public toilet doors around Shet­land.

Out of many entries from around the world, six of the best were selected by Shetland’s “poet part­ner” Jen Hadfield.

“Settling on six poems out of the 130 or so sent in was very very difficult,” she said.” The folder included poems that were hilarious, weighty, experimental, formal, satiric, playful. I set myself to choose great poems that also demonstrated the stylistic variety of the submissions. There should be something for everyone.”

The poems are by Duncan Jones, Giles Consibee, Andrew Lane, James Sinclair, M C Johnsonburger and Sheila Templeton. They have all been published on Shetland Library’s website at as well as on the toilet doors.

James Sinclair’s poem, Daughters goes as follows:
Sharon Louise
Alison Kay
Kelly Ann

A man needs good reason
to haul his weary bones out
of bed and go to work
throwing himself on the mercy
of wild wild waves.

Karen Fraser from Shetland Library said: “We’re delighted with the quality of entries submitted, and for all the publicity this poet partner project attracted. For very little cost we’ve been able to promote poetry, publicize the library, brighten up the local toilet environment and offer poets a unique publishing opportunity”.

The poems can be viewed in Sumburgh airport as well as several council toilets, all the leisure centres from Sandwick to Unst and Captain Flint’s Pub. The library will be happy to provide the poem posters for other public buildings, as long as they have suitable door-mounted A4 frames to display them.

The project runs for the rest of the year, and there will be two more chances to submit poems, in June and September.

The Poet Partner Project is supported by Shetland Library, Shetland Arts, the Scottish Poetry Library and Paul Hamlyn Trust.


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