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BBC Scotland's Morag Kinniburgh
"It's attempting to bring poems to the public - reminding them of the pleasure of print"
 real 28k

Sophy Dale, East Lothian Council
"There will be all kinds of poems - traditional and contemporary"
 real 28k

Thursday, 17 February, 2000, 15:20 GMT
Poetry in motion for rail travellers

Train commuters Tickets with poems on the back are handed to travellers


Rail passengers on the Edinburgh to Dunbar commuter service are being given the chance to sit back and relax to the sounds of poetry.

The idea to entertain rush hour travellers is part of a drive by East Lothian Council to encourage the public to read more books and take an added interest in poetry.

It is the brainchild of Sophy Dale, the local authority's literature development officer.

She explained: "All passengers will receive a poem-ticket with Don Paterson's railway poem, Next to Nothing, from his award-winning collection Nil Nil, printed on it.

Day at the races

"Poems on the train form one of the events all linked to the theme of working lives. Other forthcoming events include a day of poetry at Musselburgh races.

"We want to remind people that poetry can be quite new, fresh and interesting."

Sophy Dale Sophy Dale: "Poetry is interesting and fresh"
The actor James Bryce is reading the poems which include Robert Louis Stevenson's From a Railway Carriage and Nobel Prize winner Seamus Heaney's The Railway Children.

The verse venture, funded through a Scottish Arts Council grant, is not the first time poems have taken to the rails.

Roaming poet

Last year rail company Northern Spirit appointed a poet-in-residence to inspire passengers and staff on its trains.

Ian McMillan roams the network, which covers north-east England, reading to its passengers.

Mr McMillan, who is also poet-in-residence at Barnsley Football Club, is a confirmed non-car driver and a dedicated rail traveller.

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See also:
10 Nov 99 |  Wales
Indian poet retraces literary heritage
04 Feb 00 |  Entertainment
Harry Potter's Whitbread revenge
25 Jan 00 |  UK
Heaney scoops second Whitbread prize
13 May 99 |  Entertainment
Ted Hughes: 'A born poet' remembered

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