Scottish Poetry Library

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Scottish Poetry Library
John McKenzie

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A quietly inspirational space dedicated to the written word, just off the Royal Mile

In March 2011, an anonymous artist left a gift inside the Scottish Poetry Library: a delicate paper sculpture of a tree, fashioned from the pages of books, dedicated to the library for being a source of inspiration. It was the start of a campaign that resulted in several sculptures being left at similar temples of inspiration around Edinburgh, typically but not exclusively libraries (the Filmhouse cinema was also featured). The campaign concluded at the SPL in March 2013, with the artist’s identity still (as now) a mystery.


A handful of the sculptures remain on display at the Scottish Poetry Library, a vaunted, aspirational space fully stocked with collections and anthologies that sits, quiet and demure, just off the Royal Mile. There’s the odd spoken word event, a ‘notice bard’ and a dedicated children’s area, but the main attraction of the SPL is that it exists at all: a peaceful, undisturbed space to feel inspired by the written word.

By: Niki Boyle


Venue name: Scottish Poetry Library
Address: 5
Crichton's Close
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