When the poet laureate decided to help celebrate Independent Bookshops’ 10th anniversary, she went to town. Or rather, she decided to visit a lot of different bookshops, in a number of different towns.
Carol Ann Duffy, together with Jackie Kay (the new Makar, or National Poet for Scotland), Imtiaz Dharker, Gillian Clarke and the musician and composer John Sampson are going on tour, performing 15 events all around the country, with a special guest spot each night from a poet local to each venue.
Working in partnership with independent booksellers, Shore to Shore will offer audiences an evening of the finest contemporary British poetry, with musical accompaniment, and will celebrate what Carol Ann Duffy passionately believes to be our national art form as well as supporting the independent bookshops which are such an important part of their respective communities.
The tour begins on June 19, and will bring together some of the finest voices in contemporary British poetry. It runs for 14 consecutive days and encompasses 15 major events across Britain, from Cornwall to Scotland, taking place in a range of atmospheric venues, including an old music hall and a cathedral.
One of the venues taking part will be Mainstreet Trading Company in St Boswells, (Thursday June 30) where the special guest will be former Scots Makar Liz Lochhead.
Carol Ann Duffy says: “It is my belief that there is not a writer nor a reader in the land who is not passionate about independent, local bookshops.
“Shore to Shore will celebrate both our national art form and our wonderful independent bookshops, so often the cultural heartbeat of their local communities.”
Tickets for the Mainstreet event cost £15. A dedicated site, www.carolannduffyandfriends.co.uk, holds all information about the tour and is the main hub for ticket sales.