Voluntary Arts Scotland has teamed up with the Scottish Poetry Library to create 'My Time - Poetry inspired by voluntary arts'.

Funded by Creative Scotland, this nationwide participatory project will take place during 2017 and early 2018, and will have 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 Voluntary Arts Scotland chose a selection of them to appear on this website and the SPL website - you can view these here

Three of the poems have been passed to Scotland’s Makar, Jackie Kay to select one to appear in our 'My Time' exhibition during the 2018 Get Creative festival.

Stage Two - pairing poets with voluntary arts groups across Scotland 

Working with St Mungo’s Mirrorball - The Glasgow Network of Poets, we're currently pairing up ten poets with ten voluntary arts groups across Scotland. Inspired by what they see (and have a go at!), the poets will write a poem about the group they visited, the results of which will then appear in the exhibition below.

Stage Three - a celebratory exhibition

During the 2018 Get Creative Festival, an exhibition featuring the poems created during Stage Two will be held in Glasgow (with the possibility of touring elsewhere) along with a poem chosen by Jackie Kay from Stage One. We'll also invite the voluntary arts groups who got involved in Stage Two to respond to the poem in their own unique way, and include that in the exhibition, too. More details of this in due course.

We also ran a poetry workshop at Paisley Arts Centre on Thursday 12 October, with award-winning poet Sam Tongue. The words and phrases 'donated' by the workshop attendees will be shaped by Sam into a poem - which will also appear in our 'My Time' exhibition.

Jemma Neville, Director, Voluntary Arts Scotland 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."

Asif Khan, Director, Scottish Poetry Library said: “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.”

Photo credit: Chris Scott