Another lovely find when visiting Edinburgh last week, I was so happy to come across the purpose built library in Edinburgh old town not far from the Holyrood Scottish Parliament. The library is only one of three poetry libraries in the UK and it "is the only poetry house in the world to have an extensive lending library at its core."
The receptionist saw that I was rather taken aback at the amazing resources publically available and was very happy to help, allowing me to take photos and short videos. The library is housed over two floors with an audio section upstairs and a balcony for better weather study. There was a bright children's section and on the shelves they had a selection of publications for Earth Day (22nd April), recent acquisitions, recommendations, new Scottish poetry, anthologies and alphabetically arranged shelving for poets, national and international. As well as a well stocked shop full of literary gifts.
The Poetry library's mission comes with a conviction that poetry can enrich peoples lives with innovative artistic collaborations and other writers and researchers can delve into history with expertise on hand to help them, they also hold workshops and readings.
The highlighted books offered gems to the writers resistance, I was uplifted to see the book 'Resist Much Obey Little - Inaugural poems to the resistance' on display. It was complied in two months from the day of Trump's election and was ready just after his inauguration. The compilation of 350 international poets and writers was put together by 20 editors working flat out to produce the 'emergency' work:
In the preface: "That emergency was triggered, of course, by a brute and very "non-alternative" , one which masses of people around the globe are still struggling to fathom: that a racist, misogynist, bullying charlatan has succeeded in snake-oiling his way to supreme power by manipulating the fears and despairs of a substantial minority of the American electorate."
The back of the book had a wonderful quote:
“Poets are summoned to a stronger imagination of language and humanity in a time of new and radical weathers. White House Inc. is the last gasp of the dying Confederacy, but its spectacle is dangerous and addictive so hold onto your mind. Fascism loves distraction. Keep the world safe for poetry. Open the book of love and resistance. Don’t’ tarry.” - Anne Waldman
Extreme politics and Fascism is not just an over the water problem, none of us should be distracted or dawdle in acceptance of extremes as the 'norm'. Write your piece - in peace, Michelle
Scottish Poetry Library: http://www.scottishpoetrylibrary.org.uk/about/our-story