Poet Rachel Tennant visits the Thistle Quilters in EdinburghCreative Lives teamed up with the Scottish Poetry Library to create 'My Time - Poetry inspired by voluntary arts'.

Funded by Creative Scotland, this nationwide participatory project took place in 2017/18 and had three stages:

Stage One - an open invitation to everyone

We asked people what ‘my time’ meant to them. It could be singing in a choir, knitting with your friends, pottering in the garden, painting a beautiful view, mastering a new chord on the guitar, writing a short story . . .

We were overwhelmed by the number (and beauty!) of poetic responses. A panel of representatives from the Scottish Poetry Library (SPL) and Creative Lives chose a selection of them to appear on this website and the SPL website - you can view these here

Some of the poems were also selected to appear in a publication, which was published and distributed widely, and is available online here.

Stage Two - pairing poets with voluntary arts groups across Scotland 

Working with St Mungo’s Mirrorball - The Glasgow Network of Poets, we paired up ten poets with ten voluntary arts groups across Scotland:

Inspired by what they saw (and joined in with!), the poets wrote about the group they visited. 

You can read their poems in the My Time publication here.

Stage Three - exhibitions and events

StAnza - Scotland's International Poetry Festival - Byre Theatre, St Andrews, Thursday 8 - Sunday 11 March 2018. A digital exhibition featuring three of the St Mungo's Mirrorball poems, three of the open call poems, and a poem written by Samuel Tongue based on a poetry workshop we held at Paisley Arts Centre. Plus a live reading.

Get Creative Festival - Scottish Poetry Library, Edinburgh, Saturday 17 March 2018. A live event during which poets from St Mungo's Mirrorball, and ten from the open call, read out the work they created. The poetry and photographers were then on display for the rest of the month.

An exhibition of the poetry and photographs was also shown at the Mitchell Library in Glasgow.

At the start of the My Time project, here's what Jemma Neville, Scotland Director of Creative Lives and Asif Khan, Director of the Scottish Poetry Library said:

"From oil painting to hula hooping, brass bands to embroidery, finding time for ourselves to be creative brings people together, sustains local venues and helps us make sense of the world around us. I am delighted that investment from Creative Scotland will support us in match-making poets and arts groups, so we can explore and celebrate what 'My Time' means to people." Jemma Neville

“The Scottish Poetry Library welcomes Creative Scotland’s funding support for the My Time initiative. Poets will no doubt embrace the opportunity to engage with voluntary arts groups across Scotland to discover the passions and motivations that drive people to get together to create and share. We will help to promote to a wide audience the much-anticipated work that the poets produce in response to meeting with the arts groups.” Asif Khan

[Photo - Poet Rachel Tennant visits the Thistle Quilters, Edinburgh. Credit: Derek Anderson]