In this section, you will find two full reports and an excerpt from the earliest one of all. Click on the links below.

First the excerpt. This is the introduction to a report written for the Poetry Society following the original pilot in central London 1997-1998. That pilot culminated in a two page article in the Guardian Society pages, which in turn attracted an extraordinary and enthusiastic response from across the country. I believe it was that article which set the project up for the more substantive funding that followed the pilot – rather than the inevitable evaluation report.

However, I quite like this introductory essay which puts forward some ideas for why the idea of publishing poems in this new form and for these new audiences might give poetry a new value at the start of the twenty first century.

The second report is the most formal and ambitious so far, with funding for the evaluation it describes supplied and specifically allocated by the King’s Fund, whose Funding Director at the time was Susan Elizabeth. We used a questionnaire, the creative writing consultant and author Gillie Bolton helping with its design. The questionnaire was sent to a number of different agencies who had received the poem-posters and the evaluation findings were drawn chiefly from those returns. In a planning meeting at the King’s Fund during this time, we were assured that any more ambitious research, in areas quantitative or qualitative, would cost a great deal more than anything yet envisaged or supplied. The report was completed and submitted in March 2002.

The third evaluation took place in 2003 and was for Abigail Cambell at the Arts Council, following a further funding episode, whose main purpose was to help me promote and distribute the poem posters as widely as possible.

Thus, this third evaluation is less about poems and how they work on people in a given public space, than about a large organisation and how you introduce a new idea there, so that it finds lodging and will stick. In some ways I found this third evaluation the most interesting of them all to write.

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