Bill Harvey and Suzie Hall of Kirkcaldy 4 All at the 'Boy In The Train' poem on the platform level to promote the BID's poetry competition. Picture by Fife Photo Agency.

Bill Harvey and Suzie Hall of Kirkcaldy 4 All at the 'Boy In The Train' poem on the platform level to promote the BID's poetry competition. Picture by Fife Photo Agency.

An innovative poetry competition was launched on Burns Day inviting all locals to write a poem reflecting their love of the Lang Toun.

The initiative is building on a sensory campaign that is capturing experiences from in and around the town to reflect the perspective of locals and visitors alike.

Bill Harvey, manager of Kirkcaldy4All, the town’s Business Improvement District, explained: “For more than a year, we have been engaging with our businesses on a 1-2-1 level, meeting with them, capturing content that we have been sharing via digital and social media channels. 

“That has proved very popular and supportive – not only for the businesses but also for the end customer"

“Before Christmas, we ramped up that activity and delivery to include video clips, working with Fife-based filmmaker, David Cruikshanks. The benefits have been considerable – and so we are expanding the campaign and the poetry competition is a great way for us to engage with our wider community.”

Bill cites the famous ‘Boy In The Train’ poem by Mary Campbell-Smith as the inspiration, saying: “For decades, children across Scotland have learned and loved the poem of the wee boy travelling to see his granny in Kirkcaldy. It is a wonderful piece of prose – packed with sensory references to the boy’s journey.”

The competition invites all - including all local schools - to create their own 2016 version of ‘The Boy In The Train’. Bill adds: “Mary Campbell-Smith used 222 words for her poem – and we are setting that as an upper limit. Beyond that rule, all we are asking is for everyone to describe what they love about Kirkcaldy.”

The project is a new addition to Scotland’s literary calendar – and Kirkcaldy4All hope it will become a regular feature, sandwiched between Robert Burns’ birthday and the renowned poetry festival, St Andrews StAnza. 

Bill says: “One of the most well known and iconic of Scottish poems is about our town. We have a long history and a wonderful association with the arts and Scottish culture – and this competition will help to celebrate that fact.”

A selection of the poems will be put on display in the town on Monday, February 29 and the winning poems in each category - children aged 9 and under, aged 10-14, a 15-17 year old category and finally, adults - will be selected from a shortlist by a panel of judges appointed by the BID.

More information is available on Kirkcaldy4You.co.uk and its social media channels.

All entries must be an original poem, created by the person submitting the work and should be sent either by post or hand delivered to Creative Kirkcaldy, c/o Kirkcaldy4All, 189a High Street, Kirkcaldy, KY1 1JA – or emailed to suzie@kirkcaldy4all.co.uk.

SOURCE: Fife Today

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