If You Were Me: Open Book Pamphlet Launch at Wigtown Book Festival

Find out what’s been going on at Open Book as one of our group participants shares news from their group.


If You Were Me: Open Book Pamphlet Launch at Wigtown Book Festival


Leela Soma is a writer and participant in our Glasgow Women’s Library and BAME Creative Writing groups.


I have been attending Open Book sessions at the Glasgow Women’s Library for a few years. The poetry sessions with prompts from the facilitators gave me confidence that I could write the start of a poem within five or seven minutes. The Open Book sessions were a great opportunity to meet like-minded poets of varying interests. Working in a group and listening to other writers’ work opened my eyes to how a single prompt could get writers to express their verse and imagery that was intrinsically in their own ‘voice’.


Open Book gave us a chance to visit Wigtown Book Festival before the pandemic and what a treat it was! The trip to the Festival was wonderful. Wigtown, a beautiful book town, is a testament to the power of words and the joy that books evoke in readers and writers from all over the world. Well, 2020 saw the pandemic that put paid to any ‘normality’ that we had known. But Open Book continued, and I was fortunate to be able to join one of the numerous Zoom sessions, including the BAME creative writing group, led by Dean Atta. This group got me penning a few poems that I may not have otherwise written.


Last month, Open Book launched their latest pamphlet of work from across their groups, If You Were Me. This year’s reading of poems by our group at Wigtown Book Festival as part of the pamphlet launch was a great community event. I read a very short poem of my own, ‘Life’, followed by the group poem so ably put together – ‘Push The Boat’ – after Edwin Morgan. His centenary celebrations have set off a rash of beautiful poems and our Open Book group poem contribution was no exception.


You can watch and listen to all our contributions from Shetland to the Borders, in the pamphlet launch event that took place at the Wigtown Book Festival on Wednesday 29th September 2021. You can also support Open Book and all our groups by purchasing a copy of the pamphlet from the Open Book website.

Thanks to Open Book and Wigtown Book Festival, all of us are indeed, ‘Pushing the Boats, Compañeros’, long may it continue pandemic or not.


Watch the event:


Buy the pamphlet: