A POETRY project aims to unite communities at both ends of Warwickshire.
Creative wellness charity Escape Arts has launched ‘Gateways’ to connect people and places at its two centers in Stratford and Nuneaton.
The project is part of a larger program called ‘Mind the Gap’ funded by the London Northwestern Railway.
The weekly creative sessions focus on “hidden poetry” which uses words from existing texts – such as travel guides, a flyer or an article – to create a poem. Unused words are blacked out in ink.
Poetry and finished artwork will be used in installations around the center of Stratford and at Nuneaton station.
Dionne Sambrook, Creative Program Manager, explained, “It’s a great way to introduce people to poetry composition, especially people who may not consider themselves poets, those who have limited linguistic skills and those who lack confidence in creative writing. This also allows for many possibilities for illustration and art.
“The groups have really enjoyed the sessions so far and have confirmed that anyone can definitely write poetry!”
Coventry Poet Laureate Emilie Lauren Jones helps run the sessions.
She said: “I was aware of all the great work Escape Arts does and was really thrilled when they got in touch. It was also a challenge for me as I usually lead writing-based activities, but the Escape Arts team felt that visual poetry would work best for their 25th anniversary celebrations and I’m so glad that they did it! It made me think outside the box when creating activities for my workshops.
“I loved being amazed in each session by the participants’ ability to merge words and art in unique ways.
“I also think it’s wonderful that people can take existing writing – perhaps writing they don’t like or disagree with – and make it their own by turning it into something new and beautiful.”
Walkways will be installed in the summer with some of the poetry performed live by Emilie Jones at an event later in the year.
Exhibits from past projects including Left luggage – stories of platforms and personal journeys to advocate for wellbeing – in Bell Court store windows were installed this week.