Newark and Sherwood

As part of an overall 'Newark and Sherwood in the Millenium' project, this placement intends to create a poetry chronicle of the year 2000 by professional poets and local people. The focus will be on the civic, cultural, sports, community religious and personal occassions that make up the year. The aim is to increase access to and participation in poetry by local people through residencies, poems in public places and a poetry festival.

Sue Dymoke

Sue Dymoke is a lecturer in education at the University of Leicester where she leads the PGCE Secondary English course. Her publications include: The New Girls, new and selected poems (Shoestring Press, 2004) and Drafting and Assessing Poetry (Sage/Paul Chapman Publishing 2003). Her main research interest is the teaching of poetry. Sue is an experienced workshop leader with both adults and young people. She is a member of the Poetry Society's poetryclass team and the Poetry Archive education working group.

Project Description

The creation of a series of poems for the newly created Newark Riverside Park by local pupils through workshops led by professional poet Sue Dymoke.
A selection of the poems created to be displayed in the visitor information panel situated at the entrance to the park by the River Trent bridge.

Words to be selected from chosen poems for incorporation within the design of the park's lighting scheme so creating a poem to be read as the visitor walks along the park's path from the road to the foot bridge or vice versa. 

Site

The newly created riverside park at Newark on Trent, Nottinghamshire. The park was formerly a car and lorry park but has been transformed as part of a regeneration plan into an attractive green space bordered on one side by the River Trent and the dramatic west wall of Newark Castle.

Since its transformation the park has become a popular place for both residents and visitors. During the summer months it is a venue for a number of outdoor entertainment events including the Newark on Water Festival and the Newark Town Festival.

Workshops

The writing workshops were led by Sue Dymoke and involved approximately 60, year 7 and 8, pupils from the town. Visual arts workshops were run by Free Form Arts Trust with pupils who were asked to include words / poems within designs for the park's proposed lighting scheme.

Public Display

10 poems were selected for display in the information panel in the park. Each was presented in an A3 laminated format with one poem being on display each month.

From all the poems created seven words were selected around the theme of river and time. These words were: shimmer, eternal, ripples, reflect, shadows, flowing and forever. Each has been incorporated within the lamp designs: radiating in three bands (like ripples) from the cross bar on which the lights are positioned. (VIEW in separate window). The result is a poem which can be read by visitors as they travel either north or south along the central path running through the park.

Audience: It is estimated that both the poems in the information panel where the Poetry Places plaque is set and the lamp words will have had an annual audience of approximately of 25,000. This is based on the festivals' and regular daily visitors to the park.

Finance

The cost of the entire project was £3,560 which includes fees, fabrication and installation. As well as the £1,500 grant from the Poetry Society a further £1,470 was raised from the Newark Gateways Partnership and £590 from the District Council. These costs do not include Newark and Sherwood District Council officer and staff time.

Project Partners

The Poetry Society
Sue Dymoke - Poet
Free Form Arts Trust -public art project manager
Gateways to Newark Partnership - Regeneration Partnership
Newark and Sherwood District Council - Leisure, Planning and Economic Development Departments
Staff and Students Magnus CofE School Newark
New Perspectives - delivers a programme of participatory arts in the District

Consultation Group
Newark Town Council
Castle Station Residents Association
Newark Civic Trust
Newark Area Local Forum - Arts Leisure and Culture
Newark Community Arts
Millgate Conservation Society
Newark Archaeological and Local History Society 

Summary

The Riverside Park Poetry Place project has created an attractive long term feature for the park incorporating words, derived from poems written for the site, as part of the areas lighting scheme. Its form and content are both directly derived from its riverside setting.

It has been a project based on partnership and combinations: a professional poet and school children; literature and the visual arts; the permanent and the temporary; the decorative and functional.

The result is a high profile addition to the town which exemplifies the uniqueness of the site, incorporates poetry into a town centre area and will provide a feature to be enjoyed by visitors and residents alike over many years.

Young Poets Network