Carry a Poem

Reaching new audiences in the arts requires constant innovation and collaboration, bringing in new ideas and fresh talent.

Campaign Overview

Run as part of my work for Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature, the campaign gave away 13,000 free copies of a special new poetry anthology, with  ??? people attending ?? events in the public, schools and outreach programmes.

The Strategy

Each of the One Book – One edinburgh campaigns was carefully designed to engage new readers, celebrate writing and provide lasting engagement.

  • Adaptation
  • Clear brief
  • Schools
  • Community
  • Profile and prominence – Alan Cumming

Why It Worked

Partnership / filled a gap / adaptation / citywide / profile

“The proportion of the less affluent groups was higher than usually expected when profiling audiences for cultural events and activities.” – The Audience Business


Motion passed in the Scottish Parliament congratulating Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature staff on the campaign.

What Happened Next?

The bite-sized nature of the reading material allowed new readers to engage with the reading campaign, who perhaps were not inspired to read a novel. Existing poetry fans found new poems to love, and non-readers were enthused enough to dip their toes into the poetry waters. Discussions rages – what constituted poetry? Did songs count? Perhaps song lyrics should be given their very own campaign… and lo, Let’s Get Lyrical took shape, becoming Scotland’s first festival of song lyrics.

Tell Me More About…

Let’s Get Lyrical

One Book – One Edinburgh reading campaigns

Your other reader development initiatives

Other projects you’re involved with


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