Poems, stories and prose are decorating the streets of Nottingham to celebrate the city’s UNESCO City of Literature status.

Artist Jo Fairfax has designed Line Of Light which is an art installation next to Nottingham Train Station.

The display features over 300 lines of poetry from local and national poets which appear randomly and are accompanied by rainbow-coloured lights which pulse as trams run overhead.

In another bridge archway, colourful projections of Nottingham Lace adorn the walls. Jo has described the inspiration for his ideas:

Nottingham was selected as a City Of Literature in December 2015, one of 20 cities around the world to be recognised for literary excellence.

The status doesn’t provide any extra funding but it’s hoped it will boost Nottingham’s profile as a leading cultural destination.

“It’s a fantastic achievement by the city”

Jo Fairfax, originally from Nottingham, won a competition hosted by Nottingham City Council to have his work featured as part of the festival of literature.

He said “I was very fortunate to win, because it’s my local city I was really pleased to be able to do something special there.

“We had over 2,500 poems come in…I read poems from different eras and cultures. I wanted to give a good democratic spread.”



To celebrate the city’s status and to tie-in with Nottingham’s Black History Month, the Nottingham Black Archive arranged a flash-mob reading of books by black authors at the Old Market Square.

NBA Flashmob readers
Flashmob readers at Nottingham Market Square

Readers gathered on October 29th, at 3pm, to read for five minutes. Amongst the group was Nottingham author Sharon R M Stevens who read from her book Oscar The Curious Cat.

Nottingham author Sharon R M Stevens
Nottingham author Sharon R M Stevens

CBJ News asked some of the flashmob readers what their favourite books were:

The celebratory events come at a time when Nottingham’s Central City Library is under threat after the council voted to turn its current building into a new office development.

It is not yet known if the library will be revamped in its current location or whether it will be moved to a new home.