City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City of Literature lights up Leith with International poetry


By Irene Brown - Posted on 03 March 2016

Krakow poet Marek Porabka's poetry projected onto Constitution St in both english and polish - Photo by Chris Scott.jpg

In celebration of World Book Day, Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature Trust launches an 11-day series of international poetry projections named City of Literature Poetry Projections on Constitution St in Leith.

From 3rd to 14th March 2016, one poem from the first 11 UNESCO Cities of Literature will be projected each evening onto the Royal Bank of Scotland building on Constitution Street. The light projections are part of the Words on the Street (#wordsonthestreet) campaign being run by Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature Trust, bringing literature to the streets of Edinburgh and celebrating international poetry. The campaign is the next stage in a series of projects that started with the successful Great Scott! project in Waverley railway station and the recent illuminated quotation revealed by Terry Gilliam on Jeffrey Street.

Edinburgh Makar, Christine De Luca is the Edinburgh poet featured in the City of Literature Poetry Projections. The first stanza of her poem Through the Traffic of Tongues will be projected on Thursday 3 March. The poem was written to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Edinburgh’s designation as a UNESCO City of Literature.

Poets, in order of projection are as follows:

Thurs 3 March Christine De Luca Edinburgh, UK
Christine De Luca was born and raised in Shetland, but has lived in Edinburgh for 40 years. She is a prolific and established prize-winning poet whose works have been translated into many languages, and she herself writes in both Shetlandic and English.
Fri 4 March Gerhild Michel Heidelberg, Germany
Author of several books of poetry and award-winning poet, Gerhild Michel was born in Berlin and raised in Heidelberg. She studied theatre studies, drama and philosophy in Vienna. After 4 years working in theatres across Germany, she studied art and German pedagogy
Sat 5 March George Szirtes Norwich, UK
George Szirtes was born in Budapest in 1948, and came to England with his family after the 1956 Hungarian uprising. He is an award winning poet and translator of Hungarian literature and taught for many years at the University of East Anglia.
Sun 6 March Jessica Traynor Dublin, Ireland
Jessica Traynor is a writer from Dublin. She won the 2011 Listowel Poetry Prize and was the 2013 Hennessy New Writer of the Year. In 2014 she was the recipient of the Ireland Chair of Poetry Bursary.
Mon 7 March David Morice Iowa City, USA
David Morice is a writer, visual artist, performance artist, educator, and graduate of the Iowa Writer’s Workshop. He has published under the names Dave Morice, Joyce Holland, Dr. Alphabet, and several others. He is one of the founders of the Actualist Poetry Movement.
Tues 8 March Gerður Kristný Reykjavik, Iceland
Gerður Kristný (b. 1970) writes in Icelandic and her poem ‘Night’ was translated by Victoria Cribb. Gerður is a leading poet in Iceland today, in terms of both critical acclaim and popularity. Her poetry has appeared in translation.
Wed 9 March Marcus Clarke Melbourne, Australia
Marcus Clarke (1846-1881) was born in England, immigrated to Australia as a teenager and arrived in Melbourne in June 1863. Clarke’s career combined journalism, poetry, literary writing and librarianship. He died tragically early at the age of 35, leaving a widow and six children. An extract from his poem ‘The song of Tigilau’ is projected here in Edinburgh for the first time.
Thurs 10 March Renata Bulvová Prague, Czech Republic
The poet, actress and lecturer in rhetoric Renata Bulvová was born in 1966 in Chomutov. She had published a book of short stories, O chlupaté Bertě a jiné povídky (2007), and two collections of poems Nebude válek (2012) and Zářečí - Řeči -Za řečí (2014).
Fri 11 March Charles Brasch Dunedin, New Zealand
Charles Brasch (1909 – 1973) was a Dunedin poet, art collector and philanthropist, and the editor for 20 years of the literary journal Landfall, which he founded in 1947. ‘Shoriken’ is from his sixth collection, Home Ground, published in 1974.
Sat 12 March Virgilio Cara Granada, Spain
Virgilio Cara has been Professor of Spanish Language and Literature at the Institutes of Granada and Seville. He currently coordinates and assesses the poetry collections O gato que ri de Entorno Gráfico Ediciones, which has so far published two titles.
Sun 13 March Marek Porąbka Krakow, Poland
Living in Krakow since 1952, Marek Porąbka works as designer in the steel industry. He began writing poetry in 1998. In 2008 he released his debut collection of poems, In the Mirror, followed by his second collection, Rust, released in 2010. Since then, he has published four more collections, The Roundabout (2011), The Psalter Profana (2012) My Adriatic (2013) and Elephants and Umbrellas (2015). 48 of his poems have been projected in Krakow.

The cityofliterature.com website has news and features about the City of Literature Poetry Projections, the Words on the Street project, and the city’s connection with UNESCO Cities of Literature around the world.