Poems for…the wall
Poems for…the wall
Poems for…the waiting room
Poems for…the waiting room
Poems for…one world
Poems for…one world
Poems for…change-making
Poems for…change-making
Poems for…young lives
Poems for…young lives
Poems for…all ages
Poems for…all ages
Poems for…the art of nursing
Poems for…the art of nursing



Poems for…the wall offers a wide selection of small poem-posters for public display. You can download them from this website, free of charge.

They are displayed in schools, universities, libraries, healthcare waiting rooms and similar settings all over the world.

Three main collections are available

Poems for…One World  is the largest and latest. Almost all its poems are bilingual, each non-English original having an English translation alongside. Fifty different languages are represented in the collection and it features the work of internationally famous poets. Two “sub-collections” were completed in 2015 – one on mental health and one on learning disability.

Poems for…All Ages  consists of fifty poems, many of them old favorites, and includes ten poems specially for young children.

Poems for…Waiting  offers fifty poems about waiting. They were specially commissioned by the poet David Hart and designed specifically for display in healthcare waiting rooms.

You can download the poems either individually or by collection, once you have registered with us. This process is both simple and free of charge. Go to “Login/Register” on the right of the menu bar along the top of this home page and follow the directions.

After registering, you can view, download and print the poems as often as you like. You simply log on each time.

For the names of all the bodies that have funded this project over the years, see the logos along the bottom of this page.

Poems for…the wall  is our new general title. We adopted it in the Spring of 2017,  to coincide with this new website. Long ago, in 1997, when we began, our title was Poems for the Waiting Room.  Later, it became Poems for…  The titles of our individual collections will remain as they were before, ie. they will keep their independence !

The menu bar along the top of this page offers more information – how the project developed, where the poems have gone, etc (see “About Us”).

This new website is still evolving. We shall keep working on it through the Summer of 2017.

Poems for…the wall  is one of several ideas and initiatives promoted by the charity Hyphen-21.

The founder and Director of both Hyphen-21 and  Poems for…the wall  is Rogan Wolf, who did the writing for this site. For Rogan Wolf’s blog, go to www.roganwolf.com

What people have said

Gareth Evans, teaching in a school in Shanghai: ”...it seems to be an important thing, at least to me, in an international setting, to know that the poem-posters on my classroom wall are also on walls around the world.”
School Librarian, King Fahad Academy: “Thank you so much – we love them!...I am planning to laminate all the poems, and have a Poem of the Week in a prominent place in both the boy’s and girl’s schools.”
Programme Leader, ESOL Courses, Further Education College, London: “The poems proved very useful…and we went on to study others. The result is a book, written by the students themselves, in 2 languages – their mother tongue and English. They wrote some truly amazing poems and really enjoyed the process as well as the finished product.”
Assistant Head of School, Kent: “Somehow this lovely set of poems came into my hands; I am delighted with them and am … displaying them outside my classroom for maximum impact. I also intend to use them in lessons and get younger students to illustrate as appropriate”
Andrea Lee, Physiotherapy Receptionist, Warminster Community Hospital, Wiltshire: “I have received the new ‘Poems for’ collection and I am totally delighted with them...Some of the scripts are beautiful in their own right, even without the translations. One of the most striking aspects is that no matter what language and ethnic background, our hopes, feelings and dreams are the same. Thank you once again.”
Annette Duncan, Programme Area Leader, ESOL 16-18 Courses, Lewisham College: “You kindly sent me a set of the bilingual poems last year...The poems proved very useful classroom materials and we went on to study other poems. The result is a book of poems, written by the students themselves, in 2 languages – their mother tongue and English. They wrote some truly amazing poems and really enjoyed the process as well as the finished product...”
Catherine Maloney, Lewisham College: “Thank you, the poems are wonderful ! We will put them up for staff and students to enjoy and think about. We would love a set of the full collection. I think your collection will inspire staff and students alike.”
Governor, HM Prisons: “Are you still supplying Poems for the Waiting Room ? We would be interested in a pack as previous poems have been much appreciated by prisoners, staff and visitors to the prison.”
NHS Manager’s PA in Cheshire: “One of the poems is now pinned to my wall. It's good to be drawn back to the inner things of life.”
Deputy Chief Exec, Yarrow Housing: “Since our clients have learning disabilities, for some the written word is not accessible. However, some clients have been very taken with the poems, selecting their favourites and saying how good they are”
Psychology Dept, Scunthorpe “One thing that has been extremely interesting is…our clients have begun to post their own poems on the wall. Some are poems that mean something to them and some are written by the clients themselves..”
MV Prescott, Consultant in A & E Medicine, Royal Shrewsbury Hospital NHS Trust: “I am absolutely delighted with the pack and will be commencing a project in the A & E Department at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital to display these on a rotating basis”
Maureen Woolf, Counsellor, North Warwickshire NHS Trust: “I have used some of the sample of poems you have already sent me for some group work with older people who have depression, anxiety, memory loss or other difficulties. The overall response has been very favourable.”
Abigail Cambell, Literature Officer, Arts Council (re launch of Diversity collection): “It was a great evening - very impressive speakers and readers. And a real buzz around it all. You should feel even more proud of this project than ever before, I reckon.”
Eliot Weinberger, US, translator of Octavio Paz: “I'm sure that Octavio would have been very moved to know that his poem was appearing in these kinds of public spaces...good luck with this excellent project.”
Mourid Barghouti, Palestinian poet, Cairo: “I am delighted to be part of your creative and beautiful project.”
Tomazž Šalamun, poet, Slovenia: “I'm very honoured and delighted you have chosen my poem. Very grateful for your marvellous idea.”
Nadya Radulova, poet, Bulgaria: “I will be glad to participate in this project, as I highly appreciate its ethical goals.”
Eugenijus Ališanka, poet, Lithuania: “I think the project is really important - especially for making poetry more open to real life.”
Eleanor Cooke, poet: “I’m glad to be part of this exciting project”
Judy Tweddle, poet: “I am very honoured to be included in your scheme – what a list to be included in ! Very exciting.”
Catherine Byron, poet: “Many thanks and congratulations for creating and developing the scheme.”
Charles Johnson, poet: “It’s good to know the project is having so many positive uses and consequences.”
Fiona Owen, poet: “It’s important work – and no more important than... when things seem (fractured) on the world stage.”
Derrick Buttress, poet: “Good to read of something positive and constructive at this terrible time.”
Mike Jenkins, poet: “It’s a great idea and I really enjoyed doing a poem for it...Also it’s good to see quite a few Welsh writers”
Jayne Greathead, poet: “It’s a lovely feeling to know my poem has been used in this way.”
Caroline Carver, poet: “It is good news that the NHS are using them so well, and to know the poems are reaching the right audiences”
UA Fanthorpe, poet:   “I hope that the PWR project continues to go from strength to strength – the comments are certainly encouraging – and to encourage people to read poetry and to feel better at the same time is indeed a worthwhile task – specially perhaps in times like these.”
Siân Hughes, poet: “So pleased to be involved in this excellent idea. ..I hope the scheme continues to flourish”
Selima Hill, poet: “...Congratulations to you too ! ( I Like the idea of making waiting rooms “less lonely”) PS. Another place where people wait is stations...”
Tanya Plutzik, widow of Hyam: “Poems for the Waiting Room is a wonderful idea. It will surely be widely read and will bring comfort and support to many. Thank you for including my husband’s poem ; he would have been delighted to be part of the collection.”
Menna Elfyn, poet: “It is good to know that the poems are appreciated widely..(and in difficult times) poetry still connects people together.”
Maura Dooley, poet: “I think it’s a great project and a great next step...Congratulations on the success of this project.”
Fiona Sampson, poet and editor of “Poetry Review”: “Your idea’s a wonderful one, crystallizing many of the most interesting initiatives in contemporary literature/ promotion practice. But, more than this, it's also a deeply human, very profound return to the meaning of poetry. I'm honoured to have been part of it.”
The Right Hon Tessa Jowell, Minister for Culture, Media and Sport: “I think “Poems for the Waiting Room” is a wonderful project, giving people something meaningful and personal to consider, in what can be an anxious place.”
David Hart, Poet: “The pack of poems has come, Rogan, and it's an excellent piece of work again ; there really has been nothing like these packs before. We have the chance here to open people's lives to each other.”
Andrew Motion, Poet Laureate: “Poems for the Waiting Room is an inspired scheme...I’ve been delighted to be part of it...I greatly admire what you’re doing...and am delighted that the NHS has supported you so well.”
Susan Brown, Chair, “Arts for Health”, Milton Keynes : “We now have poems in more than 85% of GP surgeries in Milton Keynes. I managed to get funding to employ an artist to visit GP surgeries and encourage them to display the poems and also to do some interactive sessions….[She] has also been into mental health day care centres and worked with patients and persuaded them to write poems for us with her assistance. Some patients have also been doing illustrations to accompany their poems…..So, thank you for sending us all those poems, I hope you agree, it has been a success story and we are delighted with the results.”
Sue Eardley, Chairman, Mayday University Hospital, Croydon : “Just a note 14 months on from our launch with Andrew Motion of the “Poems for the Waiting Room” project here at Mayday Hospital. The poems are still up, and being changed around regularly, and patients often comment on them in passing. In addition, shortly after the launch event, we laminated several of the poems together with a “please self-clear this table” notice on the reverse and distributed them about the tables in the Burger King concession in our front entrance. To our surprise, most of them are still there, one year on, and clearly have been enjoyed by very many people. Thank you again for the initiative, and please keep us informed of any new schemes or if there is a way we can encourage other organisations to benefit from this great idea."