Page last updated at 16:31 GMT, Wednesday, 13 August 2008 17:31 UK

Scottish poet going underground

John Rice
Mr Rice's poems will be displayed on the subway concourse

A poet-in-residence has been hired to work on Glasgow's underground system.

Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT) said John Rice would develop works for the subway system and wider community over the next nine months.

His 13,500 contract will see 40 hours per week split between personal writing and project work.

Mr Rice's poems will be displayed on the subway concourse. He will also run a series of reading and writing workshops in schools and libraries.

SPT said the project was the first of its kind for public transport in Scotland and would "enhance the travelling experience and encourage enjoyment of poetry for all ages".

Mr Rice, who presently lives in England, was born in Glasgow's Possilpark area.

After serving in the Army's Intelligence Corps, he settled in Kent where he and his wife Clare brought up three children.

'Hugely enthusiastic'

Since 1970, he has worked as an arts manager with the Arts Council, as director of an arts centre, and for 17 years as senior arts manager with Kent County Council.

His secondary career throughout was as a poet and storyteller but due to early retirement in early 2008 he is now a full-time writer.

"The appointment as poet-in-residence with SPT is a wonderful opportunity for me to return to Glasgow as a fully fledged poet," he said.

"I am hugely enthusiastic about working with the schools, museums, libraries, writers' groups and other partners that will be involved in this project.

"I'm very keen to encourage anyone to take an interest in poetry and writing."

SPT said the residency had been funded and devised in partnership with the Scottish Arts Council and built on the success of the UK's first subway festival earlier this year.


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