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Writers bring poetry to life in the heart of the city's famous landmarks

Unconventional poetry recitals in Govanhill Pool and on the subway for Glas-goes Poetic.

The Big Splash: The Govanhill Baths will be the focal point of an afternoon of poetry for Glas-goes Poetic.

On any one night there could be five poetry events in Glasgow.

That’s the surprising admission from one of the organisers of Glas-goes Poetic, a two week celebration of writing, centred around National Poetry Day on October 4.

But Finola Scott says the ever-expanding festival is giving residents a snapshot of the writing organisations beating away in the city’s vibrant heart.

Kicking off with the ‘Inspired Poets’ project at Kelvingrove Museum on Friday, members of the public will be invited to visit the site, take a photograph and compose a poem based on an object of choice, then present the work at an event on October 7.

This weekend will also see a group of poets performing in the subway and at stations on Saturday, and a host of wordsmiths taking their writing into the pool at the Govanhill Baths for the Big Huge Poetry Splash.

"For me what makes it a very special festival is that it’s bringing poetry to the people and it’s bringing people to poetry, " explains Finola.

"There’s festivals like this in St Andrews or Edinburgh where it’s the great and the good doing poetry and the unwashed are listening. We’ve got all levels of poets and it’s not just about performing it’s about taking poetry out of the cupboard.

"The wealth of poetry in Glasgow is incredible, I went to one night and the organiser was disappointed with the small audience but there were actually five other poetry events going on in Glasgow that night."

Glas-goes Poetic is the brainchild of Jim Carruth from St Mungo’s Mirrorball. His group will launch a new anthology from Clydebuild Three Mentees at the Glasgow Arts Club on Thursday, October 4.

As well as the stunts on the subway and in the pool the festival will give local groups an outlet to publicise their work. Members of the public will be able to drop in on meetings hosted by the Poetry Discussion Group, Bards in the Park and Words and Music.

Finola came to find out about the labyrinth of poetry groups in Glasgow after becoming involved with the Federation of Writers (Scotland) five years ago.

She said: "I used to see the chair of the federation at a lot of events and spoke to her about my poetry, going along to some of the events gave me the confidence to go forward and perform and have articles published in the anthology.

"I have got to say I wished that I’d known that so many adults were out there writing poetry. There are people of of all ages from 20 to 65 and they do all have a voice and something to say. It's a fantastic vibrant scene with a lot of incredible performances."

Now a regular at poetry events across the city Finola says Glas-goes Poetic is the opportunity to showcase Glasgow’s creativity.

She said: "Most of the stuff that's going on is free so you can have a great night out in this fabulous community of creativity.

"You can come along to a range of things from the excitement in the pool to listening to more established writers."

Top five Glas-goes Poetic events

For the novice: Drop in and hear from poets including Young Deakin, Sophia Walker, Colin Storrie, Robin Cairns, Jenny Lindsay, Jim Monaghan and Jim Ewing at the Big Huge Poetry Splash at Govanhill Baths between 3pm and 7pm. For more information email jimmonaghan64@gmail.com.

For some words and music: Hosted by Gayle Smith the popular open mic night will start at 7.30pm at Sammy Dows Pub, Nithsdale Road.

For poetry in scenic surroundings: Writers and listeners can get a chance to read their work in the surroundings of Tollcross Park from 1.30pm.

Try writing for the first time: Participants can produce a piece of work for delivery either on the day or at the Speakeasy event at the Bridge in Easterhouse between 1pm and 4pm.

Poetry and fundraising: Listen to poetry from Val Thornton, Jim Carruth, A C Clarke and music from the Jugettes at the fundraiser for Young McDonalds Farm for Africa at the Ivory Hotel in Shawlands at 7.30pm on October 10.

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