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WWI poetry project aims to inspire

Borderers inspired by experiences and stories from the First World War are invited to put their thoughts to verse.

Saving and Sharing Scottish Borders Stories of WWI, a two-year project run by Museums, Archives and Library Services which is being funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Armed Forces Covenant, will be exhibiting a selection of local WWI poetry in Libraries in early 2017 and hopes to compliment this with three contemporary pieces, written 100 years on from the Great War.

This competition is being run as part of the Saving and Sharing Project and has been inspired by the sheer volume of poetry which has come to light – in newspapers, letters and diaries.

Project Officer Morag Cockburn said: “Throughout the Saving and Sharing Project we have been struck by the prevalence of poetry in a variety of sources.

“Poetry, in a range of styles, seems to have been a tool to help Borderers make sense of the conflict. 100 years on this competition aims to encourage people to reflect on the impact of WWI on the Scottish Borders.”

The project also aims to document the region’s social and family heritage of this momentous period by recording material in various formats so that it can be made widely available and secured for future generations. By doing so it is hoped that the project will leave a legacy which commemorates the contribution made by individuals and families across the Borders.

For many during WWI, both at home and on the front line, poetry provided a means of expressing the extreme experiences of war and indeed the poetry of, among others, Wilfred Owen, Siegfried Sassoon, Isaac Rosenberg and Ivor Gurney is now part of the national consciousness.

Local poet Tom Murray added: “Poems can be many things: cathartic; therapeutic, a sharing of experience and emotion.

“They can help make sense, clarify and translate experience to the reader through the power of words. They can also be a way to understand and connect with those who have experienced the trauma of war even if they have no direct experience of it themselves.”

Entry forms can be collected from any Scottish Borders Library or by emailing libraries@liveborders1.org.uk

Entries, along with forms can be handed into any Scottish Borders Library or emailed to libraries@liveborders1.org.uk

Postal entries should be sent to:

Saving and Sharing Borders WWI Poetry

Library Headquarters

St Mary’s Mill

Deadline for entries is Thursday,  December 1.

Be inspired at one of our free poetry workshops:

Peebles Library, Thursday 3rd November, 10am-12noon. Free but booking essential: contact Peebles Library, 01721 726333, libpeebles@liveborders1.org.uk

Kelso Library Contact Centre, Tuesday 15th November, 2-4pm. Free but booking essential: contact

Or discover  the Scottish War Poets at a free talk by Alasdair Hutton:

Melrose Library, Monday 7th November, 7pm. Free but booking essential: contact Melrose Library, 01896 664171, libmelrose@liveborders1.org.uk


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