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23 July 2018

Edinburgh lights up with literature for Christmas

29 November 2016

An illuminated trail of 20 quotations which celebrate Edinburgh's outstanding print and publishing heritage launches tonight on the Royal Mile. The project - Canongate Stars and Stories - is led by the City of Literature Trust and sees 20 lightboxes, ranging from 30 inches to 6ft, featuring quotes and phrases drawn from famous books and writers from across the ages go on display in the windows of businesses along the Old Town's Canongate area from John Knox House to Dynamic Earth.

The quotes and phrases include:

  • Reid as ye pleifs, I neid no moir narration - by George Bannatyne (Scottish Storytelling Centre)
  • To the stars - Sir Walter Scott (Museum of Edinburgh)
  • Beer, biscuits and books - traditional phrase (The People's Story)

Running until the end of March 2017, this new literary attraction provides a physical trail and printed map guiding visitors and locals through the rich and varied stories of the Canongate. Covering 500 years and marking Edinburgh's role as the historical hub for print and publishing in Scotland, the trail takes the visitor from 1508 and the first book printed in Scotland up to the modern day with authors Yann Martel and Jackie Kay.

Those in Edinburgh can download a special Canongate Stars and Stories digital trail which has been made available in the Edinburgh World Heritage iPhone app, and visitors can tweet their pictures and experience using the #wordsonthestreet. The City of Literature website tells the full story of each location and the rich and fascinating history of each of the lightbox quotations.

The Canongate Stars and Stories project is a collaboration between local businesses, literary organisations and community groups.  It has been funded by the City of Edinburgh Council, the New Waverley Community Fund, Edinburgh Tourism Action Group and Union Projects, and is delivered in partnership with Jump Marketing and Baillie Signs.

The illuminated trail is the next stage in a series of projects forming the Words on the Street campaign from the City of Literature Trust which make literature visible on the streets of the world's first UNESCO City of Literature. Inspired by previous City of Literature projects including poetry projections on Edinburgh Castle rock for Carry a Poem in 2012 and the Great Scott! installation in Waverley station in 2014, Words on the Street launched with the Terry Gilliam Don Quixote light installation on Jeffrey Street on Valentine's Day and continued with an 11-day series of international poetry projections in Leith in March.