REVIEW – The Poetry Takeaway, Bristo Square


Poetry Takeaway van

The Poetry Takeaway, Bristo Square

We stumbled across the excellent Poetry Takeaway in Bristo Square which is ‘the world’s first purpose-built mobile poetry emporium.’

Open daily from 12 – 3pm, you order a poem (free) about any subject you want, pop back 10 or so minutes later and it will have been written by one of the ‘chef poets’. The chefs for the Fringe are: John Claire, John Osborne, Molly Naylor, Hannah Walker and Luke Wright.

The poets on offer vary day by day with the majority of the them having their own shows in the Fringe – yet still finding the time to donate an afternoon writing poems for visitors and residents of Edinburgh.

At 12pm on the dot, we requested a poem about how much we love the Fringe as a local, the sleep deprivation due to our manic schedules, living off burgers for August and dealing with the weather.

Our poet was Tim Clare who has a show on at the Underbelly called ‘How to be a leader‘ but he had to be pushed for that info as there’s no hard sell involved, it’s all about the poetry.

20 minutes later, I returned to the van and was presented with a hand written poem, tucked up in a cover with an official ‘Poetry Takeaway’ stamp. Tim asked if I would like it read to me and immediately said yes and soaked in his dramatic presentation of the freshly-written words.

‘Local Colour’

The poem

Enjoy the exhuastion,

wolf down one more burger,

stagger through the streets

like the Dawn of the Dead;

Handle your schedule

like a knife juggler,

hangovers feel like you’ve shorn of your head.

Weeks spent perfecting

the flierer force field

sunglasses, stock response

set to ‘dismember.;

drizzle and sunshine

turns into rainbows –

bed is for wimps!

You can sleep in September.

The End

Every poem is obviously different and ours was near-perfect apart from the fact that we don’t drink in August due to our work schedule, so don’t have hangovers, but we were pretty impressed considering the 10 minute turnaround.

Waiting for collection

You can read more about the concept behind Poetry Takeaway.

We think it’s a great way to bring poetry to the public and hope it’s a regular visitor to Edinburgh.


Open daily 12pm – 3pm, Bristo Square (outside McEwan Hall)

Until 28th August.

You can follow them on twitter @PoetryTakeaway

Poetry Takeaway

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