Teenage writers pen poems across messy room exhibition

THEY have turned everything upside down, ransacked the room and covered the walls with writing.

For this group of Capital teens however, daubing slogans on the walls of the Central Library is more than mindless vandalism – it is art.

In what is thought to be a first for the UK, ten members of the Young Edinburgh Writers (YEW) group have created a poetry installation entitled A Room with Our View whereby every item in the room has a poem written on it.

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Their work is similar to that of Tracey Emin’s Turner Prize-shortlisted work My Bed, an installation of her unmade bed complete with dirty sheets and detritus which drew public acclaim and criticism in equal measure in 1999.

The free exhibit will be on display to the public in the mezzanine of the Central Library, George IV Bridge, until Friday, April 27.

Explaining the installation, group founder and poet Dorothy Baird said: “The installation is basically a teenager’s bedroom with original creative writing on all the objects and furnishings. The group has written poems about sleep and dreams and printed them on the duvet cover and pillows; poems about mirrors/reflections are on the mirrors, poems about curtains on the curtains and so on.

“There are even poems about light on the bedside lamp, a poem about time written on the clock, a tiny poem about a mobile phone on a mobile – so as many objects as they’ve been able to manage in the time that was available are written on.

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“It’s really original, we think it could be a first in the UK. It’s poetry, but in a new and unstuffy format.

“The idea came entirely from them and has evolved over the weeks of working on it.”

The group was set up by Dorothy three years ago with a view to giving the city’s literary-minded young folk a central meeting space.

It now meets twice a month during term time in the Central Library from 4.30pm to 6.30pm and is open to anyone in the city aged 13 to 18 who enjoys creative writing.

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Member Jenna Jarvis, 17, from Craigleith, said: “It’s good to meet up with like-minded people who you otherwise would not happen to bump into.

“We were only made aware of Tracey Emin’s Unmade Bed Work after we had come up with our own idea. I think the installation works as teenagers’ bedrooms are very personal places whilst it also illustrates how creativity can be found anywhere.”

Fellow group member and Mary Erskine’s pupil, Rebecca Morton, 15, said: “I enjoy the group immensely, as there are not many writing groups around for people my age. It’s amazing how much inspiration you can gain from everyday items.”