This Gift of Time comes from Open Book, a charity that runs shared reading groups and creative writing sessions for the general public, multicultural and community groups, the homeless, refugees, prisoners, victims of domestic violence as well as people in care homes, hospitals and hospices.
It features 35 poems by groups and individuals and reflects the joys, sorrows and experiences of people of many different ages, communities and backgrounds.
Contributions alsp come from Women’s Aid Inverness, Perth Adult Learners, Stranraer Library group and Bethany Christian Trust.
Tom Murray, playwright, poet and facilitator of the Eyemouth Library group, said: “You have no idea how exciting it was for people to discover their poems had been published.
“The response when we let them know was amazing, they were just about dancing around the computer.
“It’s such a big thing for any writer. When it first happened to me I just sat and stared at the letter. It’s a form of validation – here are people you don’t know, with no stake in anything, and they are saying your work is good enough to publish.”
Marjorie Lotfi Gill, a co-founder of Open Book, whose own family were refugees from Iran, said: “These poems are a snapshot of the lives of real people in many places across Scotland during challenging times.
“They have a magic about them, precisely because they are the thoughts, feelings and experiences of people in shelters, of refugees and a multitude of others.
For many of them, the idea that what they have to say matters and will be listened to by others is enormously important. These are the voices of people who are seldom heard, and their life histories and histories really do matter.”
The pandemic has meant meetings have had to go online and some groups, particularly in care homes, have been suspended.
This Gift of Time costs £5 plus postage and is launched tonight at 7-8pm – join this free event at https://bit.ly/3a7ybBs