Not many people know this. Edinburgh’s poetry garden is hidden in the city centre, in the heart of Scotland’s capital. Take a moment and you will find it in that bright green breathing space between the shops, banks and offices of St Andrew Square. This weekend, poetry works its way in to Spa in the City.

Skye Loneragan with hands outstretched, eyes closed, performing her poem 'Won'

Skye Loneragan on Q-Poetics website


At first sight a retail therapy fest seems an unlikely setting for Skye Loneragan an award winning playwright and performer, a poet who stirs new ways of thinking old thoughts. But Spa in the City  promise inspiration and invigoration as well as indulgence;  among the massage and make-up, between the cocktails and the cooking, there is time for poetry.

That fits beautifully with the purpose of Q-poetics which “places the poet & poetry in places & spaces of waiting – where people line up to pay, purchase or pass: queues.” And with the original aims of Edinburgh’s Poetry Garden itself. As Richard Holloway, then chair of the then Scottish Arts Council, said at the opening of Poetry in St Andrew Square in 2008:

“The wonderful thing about having a poetry garden in a famous square in a beautiful city is the way it will help people to pause for a minute or two and let poetry into their lives.”

You can pause, with luck for more than a moment of two, with Skye Loneragan on Saturday 24 May from 9 am to 12pm. Skye, who trained originally at Theatre Nepean, Sydney, then RSAMD (Scotland) and travels extensively with her work, is also Q-Poet for the Commonwealth Games. This video gives a glimpse of the treat in store at the Poetry Garden and during the Games (we look forward to catching up with Skye there too).

“A bullet piercing public doubt…. I was a wrinkle that grew younger with every stumble…..I was unaffordable vintage wine….”

Spar in the city perhaps?

See more about Edinburgh’s Poetry Garden here Poetry afloat in St Andrew Square  and Here and not there and The Literary City: Poetry in St Andrew Square

Here and there. A refugee poem flutters on the branch of a dead tree

Here and There: a poem flutters from a dead tree during a Refugee Week event in St Andrew Square in 2009.