Carol Ann Duffy plans readings tour in support of independent bookshops

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The poet laureate, Carol Ann Duffy, is to give readings in support of independent bookshops across Britain later this year to support the 10th anniversary of Independent Bookshop Week, the Bookseller has reported. The Shore to Shore tour will take place from Sunday 19 June to Saturday 2 July and will see Duffy perform alongside fellow poets including Gillian Clarke, Imtiaz Dharker and Jackie Kay. The poets will be accompanied by music from instrumentalist and composer John Sampson, with a guest spot every night from a poet local to each venue.

The tour will run for 14 consecutive days in a range of venues, including an old music hall and a cathedral. Those bookshops involved are Falmouth Booksellers (Cornwall), where the tour begins, as well as Mr B’s Emporium (Bath), Blackwell’s (Oxford), Jaffé & Neale (Chipping Norton), Rossiter Books (Monmouth), Book-ish Bookshop (Crickhowell), Wenlock Books (Much Wenlock); Booka Bookshop (Oswestry); Palas Print (Caernarfon); Simply Books (Bramhall, Stockport); Bookends (Carlisle); Forum Books (Corbridge); Mainstreet Trading Company (St Boswells, Jedburgh); Atkinson-Pryce Books (Biggar, South Lanarkshire) and Topping & Co (St Andrews).

To mark the tour, Picador will publish a special collection of original poetry in celebration of bookshops, commissioned and edited by Duffy. Contributors will include Duffy, Clarke, Dharker, Kay, Clive James, Sean Borodale, Daljit Nagra, Michael Longley, Kit Wright, Patience Agbabi, Rachael Boast, Michael Symmons Roberts, and Liz Lefroy.

The Bookseller quotes Duffy as saying: "When I approached my publisher Picador with the idea of touring nationwide with a group of fellow poets, working in collaboration with independent bookshops, I was delighted by their enthusiastic response and that of the Booksellers Association. 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.” More details





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Stu Buck

Tue 1st Mar 2016 10:51

booka in oswestry is my local bookshop and definitely isnt in need of a boost. the readings and performances are constantly sold out and the little cafe (alas it has a cafe) does a roaring trade at all times. still, i will attend as i do have a soft spot for the worlds wife.

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Greg Freeman

Tue 1st Mar 2016 10:15

Well, I guess if it gets us thinking of and even going into independent bookshops a little more, it's got to be a 'good thing', Graham. I was pleased to see that a bookshop in Haslemere where I did a reading last year has made the national final, no less, for independent bookshop of the year. It was a very jolly evening but the reading - attended by Mr Ray Pool among others - was in an upstairs room at the bookshop which only housed two dozen people at a pinch. It wouldn't have done for Carol Ann Duffy, that's for sure!

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Graham Sherwood

Mon 29th Feb 2016 22:03

I have read through this several times and find that I cannot see its purpose.

Is it merely a caravan for CAD?

If it is to support independent bookshops why are some readings in cathedrals or music halls?

Accompanied by music?

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