Poetry Happening Near You

Wall of words unveiled

Warwickshire Libraries unveils an artwork reflecting library customers' responses to poetry

Jan Dawson of Warwickshire Libraries reports:
Warwickshire Libraries hosted a successful evening at Kenilworth Library on National Poetry Day (Thurs 6th Oct) to launch the Wall of Words sculpture by Ann Loscombe.  Ann was commissioned by the Libraries' Warwickshire Poetry Voices project to work with library users to create an artwork reflecting customer responses to poetry.  She met over 250 people across all the libraries of Warwick District over the summer and gathered their favourite line of poetry and then a single word from that line to put into her sculpture.  The resulting artwork has the look of a tree with all 230 words included in it and an accompanying book which then refers viewers back to the poetry which inspired the choice of words and the reasons individuals made their choices.  The sculpture will tour libraries after a few weeks at Kenilworth.
This has been an inspirational project for engaging with customers of all ages, many of whom did not at the outset see themselves as relating to poetry in any way.
The evening also saw the launch of the process to select the Young Poet Laureate for 2017, using a new film featuring the two Laureates to date, Lauren Parsons (2015) and Harry Jenkins (2016).  We are grateful both to Arts Council England for general project funding and more specifically to Warwick District Council who helped to fund this particular project - and also of course to Poetry on Loan.  It was wonderful to have a mix of guests at the evening including local and county councillors.  Harry Jenkins and his mentor for the year, local poet Matt Black, recited their own poetry to great enthusiasm from the audience.