The number of independent bookstores in the UK is in decline and often those that prosper have worked to build a community based on reading groups and author visits. Britain's poet laureate
Dame Carol Ann Duffy has set off on a reading tour of 15 venues to support those shops, but she
and her travelling band of bards are deliberately avoiding big cities in favour of Britain's towns and villages.
are mainly for one-off concerts by tribute acts, ranging from David Bowie to Patsy Cline.
But, to the obvious delight of a capacity crowd, Dame Carol Ann, and fellow poets Jackie Kay, Imtiaz Dharker and Gillian Clarke are the real thing. On a rainy afternoon in Cornwall, the Shore to Shore poetry tour is creating electricity.
Dame Carol Ann has been poet laureate since 2009. "Whenever I do a reading, the local
independent bookstore will almost always be there afterwards, selling poetry," she says.
"It's an act of love on their part and for years I've thought they should get something in return."