Tag Archives: City of Literature

Literally Literary Edinburgh

Written by Aija on the Edinburgh Address blog
Saturday, 16 November 2013
One of the greatest assets of Edinburgh is its rich, centuries old cultural legacy – and none other is as impressive as the literary cocoon the city has been, being the birth place of many of the literary greats. And what better way would there be to enjoy the city’s finest than following on the footsteps of just, for example, Sir Walter Scott, Robert Louis Stevenson or the more contemporary Ian Rankin?

Edinburgh has the honour of being one of the UNESCO’s cities of literature and as such, prides itself with numerous literary events, fairs and other literature themed accessories around the capital city. A lot of the masterminding behind the events is by Edinburgh City of Literature Trust, who constantly come up with new ways of celebrating the literary richness in the city (just look at their events page!). And of course during the festival season there is the ever-amazing Edinburgh International Book Festival. But when it is not festival season, there are numerous ways of getting yourself acquainted with the literary affluence.

For example, you might want to take part in one of the literary tours – the most popular and always exciting are the Edinburgh Literary Pub Tour and the Edinburgh Book Lovers’ Tour And what is more, if up for it, you can conduct your own walk following the storylines of some of the best literature set in Edinburgh or written by a Scot.

During your literary exploring, you might also want to pop in for a hot drink and a delicious pastry while you browse the selection of books and rest your feet. This is ideal in the abundance of selection of indie bookshops around the city that also have cafes and events within them.

Personal favourites, for a literary puff like myself, is the Looking Glass Books and Pulp Fiction Books. Always a great atmosphere, always great service and both with unique flair to them.

And after all that exploring of the literary scene and history, what would a bibliophile want more than obtain a copy or few of the thing itself; books! City of Literature Trust has come up with the amazing Bookshop Trail app that is up for free download on their homepage, and lists 53 bookshops around the city centre that are worth scavenging thoroughly. And as Christmas is nearing, it is always good to remember a book is a gift that keeps on giving – it does not go out of date and it does not wither away; it is your best friend, your biggest challenge and the greatest comfort one could have.

Never boring in the city of literature, with whispers of profound cultural inimitability following you with every step – what more could anyone want?

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October in Edinburgh

Wednesday, 02 October 2013 by Aija

 

Edinburgh city, a strong contestant for years for the best city in UK, with the happiest inhabitants, most culturally vibrant and the best travel location, never sleeps – even in October.

As always,  Edinburgh offers much to its vast student population, great things for the more stable residents as well as showing its best for the families with children as October is also Mid-term break from schools.

October in Edinburgh is especially exciting for families. For the pupils being on holiday, families are forced to think of other forms of entertainment. How about the Scottish International Storytelling Festival? From 18th till 27th October, this years Festival is all about journeys –  with nomads, explorers, pilgrims and voyagers.  Audiences are to be transported by travellers’ tales that span worlds of geography, fiction and landscapes of the heart, the wanderlust of myths, legends and ancient traditions bringing some magic into the city of literature!

For the older kids, and the parents, there is another kind of festival – the Oktoberfest, bringing the best of Bavarian spirit right into Edinburgh. Strange, right? What does an ancient Gaelic nation have to do with Bavarian “high culture”? Well, nothing – it’s just that little quirky spark that sets Edinburgh apart, celebrating traditions and the best bits from around the world. Mark it on your calendars, as it definitely will be an event not to be missed – 9th till 13th October!

For art lovers of all ages, the Scottish Parliament is providing a true rare treat – in a first for any Parliament, the Scottish Parliament is set to host a free exhibition of more than forty Andy Warhol works of art exploring the themes of power and politics. The exhibition titled Andy Warhol: Pop, Power and Politics exhibits nearly fifty of Warhol’s finest works, supported with workshops where art lovers can learn more about Andy’s extraordinary screen printing method. The exhibition coincides the International Legacy Festival of Scot-American Andrew Carnegie, who believed art and culture should be accessible to all. The exhibition is free and running from 5th October till 3rd November – book your tickets now, especially for the workshops!

Ending this wonderfully quirky month is the Beltane Fire Society‘s Samhuinn Fire Festival on 31st October. A spectacular show made of volunteers who put on the grandest of shows for one night only. And what better place would there be to celebrate Halloween than where the celebration originated. Spooky things are on their way – are you ready for All Hallow’s Eve?

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Visiting speaker: Peggy Hughes, City of Literature

November 17th, 2012 | Posted in Blog | Aija
Tags: City of Literature, Edinburgh, events, literature, Peggy Hughes, publishing, UNESCO, visiting speaker

The delightful Peggy Hughes amused the Publishing studies 2012/2013 class  with her lively presentation on the UNESCO badge of City of Literature  – a designation, which was bestowed upon Edinburgh back in 2004. The City of Literature Trust  is head by Peggy herself and her boss Alison Bowden.

Why Edinburgh should be designated as a City of Literature by UNESCO, you might ask. Well, when a group of prominent figures in the literary scene having a post-prandial discussion they came to the surprising conclusion that as Edinburgh was “brilliant at books,” something should be done to make sure this would become general knowledge. Simply because Edinburgh has a huge literary heritage, and has a vibrant contemporary scene – already hosting some of the world’s most well-known and largest poetry and literature festivals and events.

Organisations from grassroots up to government level Edinburgh worked together to create The Bid, an audit of all Scottish literary accomplishments in two volumes – talking about putting things in a nutshell – We Cultivate Literature on a Little Oatmeal. It took a bundle of Scottish treats (whiskey, haggis, bagpiper among others) to convince the UNESCO headquarters in Paris.

Among her lively and very fast paced presentation, the class was entertained with best bits of past events that had aimed to hold Edinburgh to its badge of honour as well as a selected few spoilers over the upcoming events. Working together with other Edinburgh literary events and organisations, the City of Literature has proven to be worth every bit of the designation, more than holding its own among the others with its goals of establishing partnerships, promoting participation, learning as well as advocating awareness towards Edinburgh and keeping the focus on creativity, bringing people together in literature.

Thank you to Peggy for the grand insight into the Scottish literature scene and its uniqueness, and I’m sure the class cannot wait to see the ‘Stache-mob or join the Literary Salon.

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