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Past exhibitions

Poetry Library Open Day 2011 | 13-Nov-11

Sunday 13 November saw the Poetry Library host its annual Open Day. This day-long event  in St. Paul's Pavilion was a fantastic opportunity for visitors to gain an insight into the diverse collection held within the library. To display this variety, books were grouped into 13 unique categories. Themes ranged from 'New Books' and 'Staff Picks' to 'DIY Poetry' and 'Precocious Poets'; the latter section highlighted young poets ranging from Minou Drouet to Caroline Bird. A great draw to the Open Day was the opportunity to view many items from the library's Rare Books Collection, which are normally only available by request. This was a chance for visitors to see some of the most unique items held in the library.

For those not familiar with the library it was a chance to rediscover old favourites and also learn about lesser known or new writers. Library staff even selected five of their top picks which included Kathleen Graber's, The Eternal City, Christopher Reid's, The Widowers Dozen and Leslie Scalapino's, Considering How Exaggerated Music Is'. One visitor wrote that Staff Picks proved particularly useful as she'd 'never known what to look at in the library'.

Guests were particularly drawn to the 'Poetry Parnassus' table. In this section 26 poets from 26 different countries each had a book showcasing their work. This was done alphabetically which meant the journey began in Algeria with Soleiman Adel Guemar, weaved through Greece with Yannis Ritsos and ended in Zambia Stacy Tuthill.

Another interesting section was 'And Also a Poet'. This highlighted the work of figures who we wouldn't immediately think of as poets. One of the most surprising voices was Tracey Emin, whose work appeared in an early issue of Magma. Screenwriter Jimmy McGovern (Cracker and The Lakes), and novelist Nicole Krauss all wrote pieces which were shown at the Open Day. Even all three of the original Never Mind the Buzzcocks team- Mark Lemarr, Phill Jupitus, and Sean Hughes, have work which can be found within the library.Similarly, the 'Poetry They Wrote' section highlighted the poems of Agatha Christie, and Dorothy L. Sayers, both of whom are more commonly known for writing compelling crime fiction. Comparative links can clearly be made between the two genres.

Lastly, for sports enthusiasts, there were also a surprising number of anthologies dedicated to the beautiful game. The special highlight in this section was Gosh it's Tosh, a collection of poems written by veteran footballer John Toshack, with Kevin Keegan providing a foreword.

Visitor feedback for the day was very positive. One visitor wrote that the day was 'fascinating' and several wrote that they had discovered many new things about their favourite poets.

:: View the event slide show ::

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