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Poetry takeover: Ullapool will be awash with works as Book Week Scotland celebrations begin

The works of Caithness playwright and poet George Gunn and Assynt poet and writer Mandy Haggith are to be included on the trail

Almost 50 properties in Ullapool are to get a makeover this week in the lead up to Book Week Scotland celebrations.

A carefully constructed trail has been formed to entice visitors and locals into engaging with works of poetry.

The Ullaverse trail includes works from some of Scotland’s most exciting poets.

Excitement building in Wester Ross village

Glasgow poet laureate Jim Carruth, Caithness playwright and poet George Gunn and Assynt poet and write Mandy Haggith have all approved their work being included.

Lorraine Thomson, organiser and creator of the trail, said she is extremely excited.

Mrs Thomson said: “It started off as one of these ideas that you wonder if it is a goer or not.

“I did something last year on behalf of the book festival and we called it Wanderwords.

“There were chosen places around the village and you picked up a guide and went to each place and read a piece of work that sort of went with that place.

“It went really well, but people had to be proactive in that you went in and got the guide.

“What I like about this one is that people are going to absorb the poetry as they are going about their business.

“Even if you are just wandering along the village, it is going to be there and you are going to see it.”

Other famous names to contribute works include Ian Stephen, Alan Spence, Billy Letford, Donald S Murray, and Chris Dolan.

All have previously attended Ullapool Book Festival.

Primary pupils’ poem to feature

Several entrants from the Ullaverse poetry competition will also have their work on display, including the winners of the competition Josie Dodds, Megan Loftus and Rosie Maddock.

A poem created by primary six pupils at Ullapool Primary School is also to be included on the trail.

Several pieces by Ullaverse poet-in-residence Jon Miller will also be on display.

Around 50 properties will put works on display as part of the trail

Mrs Thomson added: “I am getting a lovely warm glow from it.

“It is such a thrill to hear back from people whose work you really admire.

“George Gunn has a new book coming out and he sent me the entire editors’ pages to pick what I wanted from it.

“The writers have been really generous and it is just fantastic.”

‘Just go out, enjoy the day and pick up some poetry along the way’

Organisers are also planning to place guerrilla poetry throughout the village, etched onto streets in chalk.

Mrs Thomson concluded: “Ullapool is a great place to come and visit anyway.

“If you are coming, get yourself out for some nice lunch, enjoy the day, take a wander round and engage with the poetry trail.

“Just go out, enjoy the day and pick up some poetry along the way.

“I love the idea that when people go down to the chippy and wait for their chips, they can stand and read some poetry.”

The trail has been created as part of Book Week Scotland’s emerging programmers project.

The week-long celebration begins on Monday November 15.

It has been backed by Book Week Scotland, Scottish Book Trust and Ullapool Book Festival.

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