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Community Projects

(photo by Suzi Corker )

Community Projects

Even before making my debut as a writer/performer, I was interested in the ways poetry and creative writing could empower individuals and bring groups and communities together. The first creative writing group I ran was at a day centre for young disabled adults and I now have over 25 years of experience in facilitating groups and projects with people of all ages in a variety of community contexts. I’ve co-ordinated a year-long oral history project on a housing estate, run an inter-generational pen-pal scheme between children and older people and worked in a multitude of spaces including libraries, day centres, residential homes, museums, moored ships, steam trains, shopping malls and street corners. Here are a few of my more recent workshops and residences...

 
 
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Whatever the Weather

Funded by Arts Partnership Surrey, this was a ten week poetry pen-pal scheme between Year 2 students at Walsh Memorial School, Shorefield Day Centre users and residents of Japonica Court, a sheltered housing complex. I facilitated the sessions and acted as poetry postman delivering each group’s weekly letters to the different groups. The sessions finished with a celebratory performance by the young writers and their older compatriots.

Young says I’m as strong as a lion
Old says I’m as weak as a teddy bear
Young says I can climb the stairs quickly
Old says I climb the stairs like an Octopus
Young says I’ve read 50 books
Old says I’ve read a thousand
Young says, I never wash my hands
Old says, I always wash mine
Young says I wish I could ride a bike
Old says, I can. Ouch! I’ve pulled a muscle! 

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Poetry Is A Horse

at Palace House, The National Horse Racing Museum with All Saints Primary School

Poetry is a horse we all can ride
Poetry is a horse with a rhythmical stride
Poetry is a horse with drumming hooves
Poetry is a horse with funky grooves
Poetry is a horse
A horse that moves us.
With Year 6 Pupils at All Saints School. 
 

I worked with Palace House and teachers and pupils from Years 2, 4 and 6 at All Saints School on a literacy project which creatively explored links between poetry and horse racing using the visual, textual and oral stimulus provided by the museum. The climax to the project was a fantastic Poetry Promenade Performance at Palace House. I wrote an educational resource which has details of some of the games and poetry writing exercises and stimulus we used. You can find it here


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Southend - Our Friend

Southend, we salute you
You’re a seaside rose garden
From the loooooongest pier in the world
To our adventure island

I spent an ejoyable few days this summer with a group of great young people from Turning Tides. Together with the staff from The Forum library and the talented filmmakers Signals we created and recorded a film poem all about where we live, Southend.

 To see the full film visit Vimeo