Jules Mann - Posting #9

April 4th 2000

All the News at Poetry Places

Probably the biggest news for Poetry Places is the first post-Poetry-Places-funded residency: Jackie Wills as poet-in-residence for 6 months at Lever Bros., working with its Innovations Team to explore new ways of thinking and better ways of managing information. I'll keep you posted on that one, which is in its infancy right now. Do look out for an article in the April 15 issue of Poetry News, written by Alistair Creamer of Lever Bros. about the project's aims and objectives.

Other news bits about Poetry Places happenings:

"When we though of inviting American poet Christine Hemp to cross the Atlantic to Atlantic Road in Brixton, to write poetry with a mixed group of police officers and young people we had no idea whether anyone would take us seriously. This was the first time anyone had tried to use poetry for preventing crime." An emotionally-charged placement at Lambeth City Council putting young at-risk teens together with police officers in a poetry-writing workshop culminating in a reading. A report of the participants' 'Before and After' comments.
A reading at Battersea Dogs Home, with poet Steve Tasane and other dog-loving poets.
Poet in the City hosted a poetry slam event, mc'd by Adisa, at the Poetry Café... much wine consumed in the course of flinging poems back and forth, final results landed with the favourite - Adam Taylor, who has a poem in the upcoming Poetry News.
More from Roger McGough at BT...
The most recent Poetry Review is dedicated to Poetry Places, with articles and new poems by a variety of poets involved in the scheme over the past two years. Excerpts of this volume will be posted on the website by the end of April, and is available for sale at The Poetry Society, the Poetry Cafe, and bookstores around the country.

You can now view the entire Poetry Places scheme of projects geographically by region (click here to view). It can be found on the Poetry Place's Index Page when browsing our website.

On 4 April, Director Christina Patterson travelled to Manchester to inaugurate the new Poetry Places category of Bookshop Poetry Place - this event took place at Waterstone's Deansgate, an exemplary poetry-active bookshop thanks to the efforts of Matthew Welton, poetry buyer.

In order to take advantage of several recent developments here at the Society, including the change of directorship from Chris Meade (now Executive Director of Book Trust) to Christina Patterson (former Poetry Places Co-ordinator), along with an exciting new project launch of poetryclass by The Poetry Society (funded by DfEE), my Trainer-in-residence post is going to take a hiatus from now until mid June. When I pick up again, I will conclude with the following:

A categorical cross-referenced list of all residencies, commissions and placements
Final reports from all remaining residencies and placements
The 'Poetry Strategy' document - a guide to conducting poet residencies
Poetry and Business - a look to the future
A report on Libraries and Poetry (please do visit our Library Room, which regularly evolves)
The next column will be posted in the summer after I return from several weeks in the States (during which time I will talk to as many poets and organisations as possible to continue to inform the work we are doing here).