Saturday, 21 January 2012

Windows for Burns - poems all over Dumfries

It's January in Dumfries.  Which means the wind whistles through the streets, and it's nearly Robert Burns' birthday.

He would surely raise a glass to see the windows of some of his favourite hostelries covered in poems. 

On Friday afternoon I took a camera to find poems on windaes. (It was windae all right). And a cheerful man was holding onto the roof of his market stall with both hands. "I'm surfing!" he cried.
'Windows for Burns', invented by artist, poet and publisher Hugh Bryden and Glasgow University lecturer Dave Borthwick, expanded rapidly into an international event.  Hugh and Dave invited contemporary poets from Scotland and as far afield as the USA, Sweden and all over Europe to submit their own work for display as window poems, and received hundreds in response.

Tucked away around the participating venues, see below, you'll find poems from Jen Hadfield, winner of the T.S. Eliot Prize, Jean Sprackland, Andrew Greig and many other fine poets.  Hugh (who must be travelling even faster than the wind through Dumfries this month) even zoomed round Primary seven pupils at Heathhall, St Teresa’s, Loreburn, Holywood and Shawhead Primaries, who also have their window poems displayed.  How good is this?
So go poem-hunting. Windows for Burns is out there till 31 January, and you can find poems in
  • The Globe Inn
  • The Stove on the High Street
  • Robert Burns House Museum in Burns Street
  • The Coach and Horses on the Whitesands
And as part of the Big Burns Supper event in Dumfries 27th and 28th January, 30 of the finest poems will be projected onto The Stove, to mark its opening as Dumfries' new arts centre.  Have a poem and a pint with the Bard.


  1. Wow, I cannae wait to see the windaes this week. What a coup for Hugh and Dave and for Dumfries to have so many poems in their midst.

  2. I'm off on the hunt! Brilliant Jean, thanks.