News

After One Year’s Work – Update on who downloads from the site

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We now know how many of you registered (over 500) , what you wanted to use the poems for (mostly for use in schools) and where you’re located (about 400 from all over the UK and about 100 from everywhere else in the world). The exercise included collating the email addresses - so that in future we can notify you of new collections becoming available. As far as I am concerned, the UK registrations has been a major geography lesson ; I have been introduced to many UK towns and localities that I’ve never heard of before. Of the 101 registrations from non-UK locations, most of them came for the USA - a total of 32, a significant proportion of them from teachers working in the Deep South. The remainder…
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Poems for…the wall website attracts worldwide interest

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Rogan Wolf, the project worker for "Poems For...", put together the short report during Christmas 2008. It entailed tracking all the registrations the new site had received since the April launch, and establishing where they had come from and how they planned to use poem-posters once down-loaded. You can read the report here. Findings from the report emphasise the high proportion of UK schools interested in this project, followed by public libraries. The main reason for the interest in nearly all cases is the fact that large numbers of the poems are bilingual, "in celebration of diversity." But also the report reveals that this project is now of international interest, doubtless for the same reason - that the poems celebrate diversity. For example, during one week-end in the Autumn of…
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Bilingual Poetry Reading at the Royal Brompton Hospital

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A bilingual poetry reading took place on November 6th in the main reception area of the Royal Brompton Hospital in South Kensington, London. The event was organised jointly with Victoria Hume of RB&H Arts and was opened by Dr Mark Rigby, one of the hospital staff. Then a large, appreciative and lively audience, mainly composed of hospital staff, heard poems read in Arabic, Hindi, Persian, Punjabi, Somali and Turkish. Poets taking part included Debjani Chatterjee MBE, Mevlut Ceylan, Shadab Vajdi, Amarjit Chandan and Abdullahi Bootaan Hasan. Amjad Taha read a poem by Mourid Barghouti and an excerpt from a poem by Mahmoud Darwish, both Palestinian poets. Each short poem was followed by its English version, read in several cases by hospital staff. Chris Meade and Stephen Watts also read. Chris…
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Poet Laureate launches new website

Andrew Motion
Andrew Motion reading at the Nehru Centre Inauguration. The Poet Laureate Andrew Motion launched this web-site on April 22nd in London. The site allows people to down-load and print for themselves the 145 poem-posters we've put together so far. Future collections will also be displayed on the site as soon as they’ve been completed. The launch took place at the Nehru Centre, near Hyde Park Corner. The Centre was founded by the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi and is part of the work of the Indian Embassy. Its purpose is to strengthen Anglo-Indian understanding, chiefly through the arts. Eighteen of the project's bilingual poems were exhibited at the launch, many of them by poets from south Asia. The posters were enlarged to A2 size especially for the event and remained on…
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“Please Take a Seat – you’ll be seen shortly”

Poems for...the waiting room
In 1999, the poet David Hart was asked by the Arts Council to commission 50 short poems about waiting, as part of the “Poems for…” collection. The fifty poets included well-known poets such as Andrew Motion the Poet Laureate and Carol Ann Duffy – as well as poets still largely unknown outside their own circles. The poems were then printed as small posters and displayed in healthcare waiting rooms all around the country. These days they are also being displayed in schools and libraries and can be downloaded from this site. David has now written about that experience of eight years ago, and you can read his reflections here.
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