The longer the project continues, the harder it becomes to offer simple guidance on how to display the poems. People keep finding new ways and sharing new ideas. Further, as digital forms of communication become more and more the norm, the screen becomes at least as valid for the display of these poems as the page, and maybe more so.
Here are some findings :
It helps to have an allocated person at each site willing and positively and creatively interested to take charge of the poem collection and push for its creative use and sensible display.
There is now a large number of poems in the collection and this number might well grow larger. The extensive range allows for choice and also for rotation. Rotation is recommended, for it keeps the poems fresh for frequent visitors and also for staff (who do, after all, spend more hours in the same public building than its visitors do, and will work better if their working environment feeds the spirit). But who will remember to change the poems over from time to time ? Another reason for allocating an enthusiast.
In a healthcare or similar setting, this person will tend to be a Receptionist or Administrator. But not always. The important criteria are that the person should have a real interest in the idea, and a work schedule that is not so frantic that the poem rotation gets forgotten.
Workers often have exciting ideas of their own for how to use the poems and where to display them – in staff sitting rooms (even the staff toilets !), in children’s clinics, in and by lifts, on the sitting room walls of old people’s homes, even the sitting room walls of clients’ own homes.
All the poems we have produced are available on this site in pdf. You can of course download them from here. The better the quality of the paper or card you use, the better they will look.
But there is a great deal of flexibility possible here, depending on what time and resources you have. We have saved the poems in pdf to a print resolution of high quality. This means that interested sites can commission local printers to enlarge selected poems from the pdf originals to A3, A2, A3 and A0 size, without loss of quality.
Here are some ways of displaying the poems that have been tried out successfully in various sites:
– Large digital display screens have become an obvious means by which to display the poems in easily readable fashion. We have already put together slideshows of the bilingual poems, the slideshows offering a continuous slow rotation of a selected range of different languages. Those slideshows are available on request (see Contact us). In the Summer of 2018, a Bristol school teacher took the mental health collection and selected excerpts from it and made a slideshow of them. Her selecting was apt and the rotation powerful. It was transmitted from all the school’s display screens and rotated there throughout Mental Health Awareness week.
– Nafsiyat is a London-based counselling/therapy service, offering patients from an ethnic-minority background counselling from someone sharing that position and experience in British society. In 2017, the organisation began displaying a rotation of the bilingual poems supplied by Poems for…the wall on a large TV screen in its waiting room. One of the staff kept using using the word “wonderful” in describing this development and its effect on patients and staff alike. Nafsiyat have said that they will pass on the work they have done on their slideshow to anyone else interested.
– The poems can be enlarged to A3 size and displayed in picture frames bought for the purpose. They are changed over every month or so.
– Selected poems can be enlarged to A3, or A2 or A1 and re-printed onto a “paperboard” or “foamex” backing which is light, solid and easy to hang. We can offer advice on costs and direct you to a specialist printer who supplies this service.
– The A4 poems are laminated and put up on the wall or on notice-boards or in display cabinets, in clusters of four or five, as a way of attracting attention and providing some variety ; these too are replaced every month or so.
– A4 poems are put in frames and hung is small spaces where people might sit or wait for a while – such as consulting rooms, or X-ray cubicles.
– Individual A4 poems are put in angled perspex display frames that stand on tables in the waiting room.
– Whole collections of the A4 poems are put together in ring-binder files and left in the waiting room for patients to leaf through.
– The poems are copied onto the organisation’s screensaver so that staff too can benefit from them. A rotation of them can be displayed digitally onscreen.
– The poems are projected onto the waiting room wall, or even an external wall, a new poem displayed every few minutes !
– Individual poems are silk-screened permanently onto suitable wall areas.
Thinking of hospitals, I would like finally to list certain places where a poem on display might be welcome :
– an X-ray changing cubicle, or waiting area for people hanging on for their X-ray results to come through
– the wall beside the lift door, or in the lift itself.
– the space on the wall above the photocopying machine.
– the walls of staff offices, perhaps above the kettle….
– anywhere in or out of doors where people might pause.
– A final word : there are a lot of ideas and possibilities listed here. Which you adopt, if any, will depend on you and also on how much time you have. But aside from that basic consideration, here is another caution : too much and too many could weaken the effect. Choose judiciously and realistically.