Original press release:
The Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy, is to lead a once-in-a lifetime line-up of award winning Scottish and UK poets in Edinburgh to raise funds for the Haiti earthquake disaster appeal.
20 of the foremost poets in the land are coming together for an unforgettable evening of the finest poetry for the most urgent of causes. The event was inspired by the Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy, and Dundonian Don Paterson, who next month will receive the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry. Poets reading on the night include such major literary figures as Alasdair Gray, Douglas Dunn, Jackie Kay, Kathleen Jamie and Sean O’Brien (the only writer to take the UK’s top two poetry awards – the Forward Prize and T S Eliot Prize – in the same year); as well as four UK poets laureate – Liz Lochhead (Glasgow), Ron Butlin (Edinburgh), Gillian Clarke (Wales) and Carol Ann Duffy.
Carol Ann Duffy said “Poetry has the power of prayer and is the place in language where we are most human. The people of Haiti need our humanity right now.”
Don Paterson said: “We’ve been completely overwhelmed with the speed and generosity of our colleagues’ response – it should all add up to the most spectacular poetry event ever seen north of the border, and we hope as many people as possible will come along and show their support.”
The Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, has given his full support to the event, describing Carol Ann Duffy as a “visionary humanitarian” and saying ”she has summoned together an amazing array of talent on one day in the service of one hope; a better future for the people of Haiti.”
The evening will be a fitting finale to the hugely successful and popular Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature Carry A Poem campaign, run in collaboration with the Scottish Poetry Library, which is highlighting the power of poetry in people’s lives – in schools, communities, projected onto buildings in the capital and more.
The event will take place at the Queens Hall in Edinburgh on Sunday 28th February 2010 6.00pm – 8.00pm.
Tickets are £15 or £10 and available from the Queens Hall Box Office on www.thequeenshall.net or 0131 668 2019.
All participants have generously given their time in order that the proceeds from ticket sales and donations can be passed onto Mercy Corps for the Haiti Earthquake Emergency Appeal.