World Book Night 2011

World Book Night 2011  ( takes place on 5th March 2011, two days after World Book Day.

This ambitious adventure aims to give out 1 million books on or around World Book Night via people who have volunteered to be Book Givers.

I volunteered and was a reserve giver. I finally found out about a week before that I would be giving out Seamus Heaney’s New Selected Poems 1966 – 1987. This was one of the books I studied whilst undertaking my Literature degree with The Open University and it contains one of my all time favourite poems, ‘Digging’.

Read below the letter I have included with the books I have distributed:

Dear Reader

You have been given this book ‘New Selected Poems 1966-1987’ by Seamus Heaney in celebration of World Book Night on 5th March 2011.

I have decided to distribute these in a few different ways:
One to my parents to share with family

One to a friend to share with our friends
A couple given away on my blog

A few given to staff and students in The School of Health and Social Care at Bournemouth University to encourage them to read something other than a textbook once in a while!
The majority given to people in my neighbourhood (posted through random doors).

‘Digging’, the opening poem in the book is one of my all time favourite poems and finding out this was going to be the book I was giving away allowed me to discover a number of others I enjoyed. I think one of the great things about Seamus Heaney’s poetry is that it is understandable and rooted in the everyday rather than the obscure. A number of the poems I have selected relate to nature and childhood and as a creative writer myself the ones that relate to writing and language.

Below were the poems I particularly related to:
Digging                               Death of a Naturalist                      Blackberry-Picking
Follower                             Mid-Term Break                              Relic of Memory
Bye-Child                            A Drink of Water                             Holly

A Kite for Michael and Christopher                                            Alphabets
The Railway Children       The First Kingdom                            The Scribes

So now you have received this book what would I like you to do?

Firstly I’d love you to read it. Give it a go, even if poetry is not something you’d normally ‘do’. Read it with the others in your household, your partner, your children, parents, grandparents, flatmates. Talk about the poems and what they make you feel, how do you relate to them?

Inside the back cover you will find written in a unique book identifying number and a link to Please enter the book’s ID on the site and share a note about receiving (‘Catching’) it and what you thought. I’d then love you to share it with others and keep the book crossing hands. You can hand it to someone you know or release it into ‘the wild’ (e.g. leave it in a cafe or on a park bench) and make a note on the Book Crossing about where you left it so that someone could find it.

I’m hoping to track the books via BookCrossing but I’d also love you to come and leave a note on the dedicated WBN 2011 page on my blog On this page I’ll be sharing some links to help you find out more about Seamus Heaney and his poetry as well as more information about why I picked out the poems I did.

On the back of this letter please write the date you received this book and share your thoughts and comments so that those who you share it with can see what you thought, especially those who might not have access to the Internet. Please keep this letter and the envelope with the book. You may like to add your own letter when you pass it on.

Also, as well as reading the poems, let them inspire you to go out into nature, look out for frogspawn, pick a few blackberries, fly a kite. Then write about your experience, try writing a poem or just a few lines to keep and look back on, maybe during WBN 2012.

Happy Reading


And here are the numbers for my books so that you can track them too:

1.      518-9684256

2.      658-9684304

3.      853-9684313

4.      808-9684318

5.      946-9684323

6.      339-9684327

7.      444-9684330

8.      075-9684347

9.      832-9684363

10.   504-9684378

11.   888-9684384

12.   225-9684401

13.   935-9684407

14.   279-9684412

15.   241-9684418

16.   233-9684424

17.   852-9684428

18.   671-9684457

19.   809-9684467

20.   340-9684486

21.   338-9684493

22.   279-9684501

23.   221-9684511

24.   308-9684518

25.   686-9684523

26.   462-9684531

27.   719-9684536

28.   711-9684563

29.   622-9684569

30.   659-9684593

31.   964-9684596

32.   463-9684611

33.   180-9684627

34.   437-9684641

35.   030-9684642

36.   268-9684646

37.   984-9684651

38.   848-9684657

39.   528-9684664

40.   615-9684676

41.   756-9684685

42.   238-9684691

43.   420-9684697

44.   329-9684700

45.   994-9684706

46.   606-9684711

47.   209-9684734

48.   996-9684736

If you are here because you received a book from me then please leave a comment on the page letting me know what you thought.

Don’t forget to register the book on Book Crossing and pass the book on.

To follow: An additional page about Seamus Heaney and why I selected the poems I’ve highlighted.

  1. How did you decide which of your blog readers received a copy? Is it too late to apply?

    • Hi

      The competition is open until next Sat at 5. You need to post a message saying why you want the book and what you are going to do when you’ve read it. I’ll probably put all entries into a hat and pick two.

      Look forward to your message


  2. Gwen says, she has read right through the book but had a job to understand as the poems do not rhyme. One or two, “Digging, & Blackberry Picking” told a good story but others hard to follow.
    Graham says, I read 4 of the favourites and can’t say that I enjoyed the reading, but like Gwen I enjoyed some of the stories. Sorry this is not what I would call poetry, I would prefer Wm Barnes for Dorset Dialect and historic story telling, Edward Lear & Spike Milligan for a bit of nonsense. I suppose it’s a good job we’re not all the same.

  3. Hi Gwen and Graham

    Thanks for giving it a try, sorry you didn’t enjoy.
    I agree that they tell a good story.
    I don’t think poetry has to rhyme (but maybe that’s because I find it hard to get my own poetry to rhyme). Like Spike Milligan too.
    Don’t forget to pass the book on – thanks.


  4. Hello Kirsty,

    Just to let you know that No. 47 arrived safely today. I *think* I have caught it on bookcrossing and WBN’s sites correctly, but can’t be sure. I’ll leave another comment when I release it.

    Thanks again.

  1. Pingback: World Book Night – Update | Letters from a Briton

  2. Pingback: Seamus Heaney: New Selected Poems | Letters from a Briton

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