1 Which is the only city with a railway station named after a novel?
2 Which is the only city with a purpose-built national poetry library?
3 Which city has the tallest memorial to a writer?
Yes, you're right, Edinburgh.
I was reminded of these facts when I caught up with one of BBC Radio Scotland's series A History of Scottish Literature ("Wizards of the North") - a fascinating weekly programme covering 700 years of literary history. Highly recommended.
Meanwhile, at the other end of the literary time scale, I went to Grasmere last week for the Faber New Poets' reading. One of the new poets is Zaffar Kunial, the current poet-in-residence at the Wordsworth Trust. Having had tantalising glimpses of his poetry ("Hill Speak" and "Placeholder") in the Trust's magazine The Messenger, I was looking forward to hearing Zaffar read from his first micro-collection Faber New Poets 11.
I was not disappointed. Zaffar was on home ground, often read from memory and cast a spell over the audience with his thoughtful, considered, well-crafted poems. He's a new poet to watch - I hope he will go great places. The poems repay several re-readings and I'm enjoying doing just that and appreciating the depth of thought and allusion they contain.
Wouldn't it be nice if Faber had given his pamphlet a title and not just a number?