As it returned for its fifth year, this year’s Wolverhampton Literature Festival featured amazing poets and writers from across the talented literary city of Wolverhampton, as well as further afield. As such an exciting and important event in the city’s calendar, the Boundary Way Project were delighted to be able to take part in a Writer’s Hub event showcasing work from local community groups. Poetry has been a huge focus for the project for the past year and working with poets Emma Purshouse & Steve Pottinger to bring the event together created the opportunity for a fantastic showcase of work from our commissioned poets and workshop participants. Today we are going to share some of the exciting poetic work that has built up to us being able to take part in this event and we also have an exciting announcement for you at the bottom of this post too!
The Writer’s Hub, which took place on Zoom as part of the festival, featured an hour of poetry resulting from various projects from the last year undertaken by the Boundary Way Project. This included:
Postcards from the Plot Project: This was an exciting project documenting the importance of allotments and green spaces during the initial stages of the pandemic. The project had many facets, one of which encompassed workshops and excitingly, our first ever Poetry Commission from the Poets, Prattlers and Pandemonialists – Emma Purshouse, Steve Pottinger and Dave Pitt. After a socially distanced visit to the plots at Boundary Way, the poets produced three incredible poems, which were illustrated by filmmaker Rachel Gillies and shared on Vimeo. The poems really captured the allotment’s essence as a cornerstone of the community and we were delighted to work with Emma, Steve and Dave again on the Literature Festival. You can watch all the films and poems from our Postcards from the Plot project here.
Postcards from the Plot also saw the start of our online poetry workshop offering in collaboration with Emma & Steve, which continues into 2021 and has resulted in a huge range of poems created around seasonal nature theme and the outdoors. Participants have ranged from seasoned poets to complete newcomers to the craft, with the resulting poems of all different styles perfectly capturing the mood of the moment and the importance of our green spaces. We were so pleased that some of the participants took to the Zoom stage during our slot at the festival to share their spectacular work.
Winter Wonder: As Summer came to a close, the project’s work took on a new round of funding and prepared to continue creative online heritage content for the Winter Season. The Winter Wonder programme encompassed a further series of online content from artists, creatives and growers, designed to inspire and motivate during the difficult time of further lockdown and social distancing. As part of this project we were delighted to be able to continue the development of our Poetry work with further commissions from Kuli, Priyanka and Santosh from the Punjabi Women Writer’s Group, whose magical poems were premiered at another first for us – an online poetry evening, hosted by the wonderful Pandemonialists. The poetry produced was a breathtaking representation of the outdoors in the Winter and really captured the magic of this programme.
Winter Wonder: Indian Tea – As our Winter Wonder season continued, another project began to for as a result of a waring film by Kom Achall showing how to create Indian Tea. This captured the hearts of our poets and we were delighted to further work with the Punjabi Women Writer’s Group to bring the wonder of the Indian Tea to the written and spoken word. This time working with Kuli, Parveen and Serena, who created perfectly representative poems and premiered them at the Wolverhampton Literature Festival. These will be shared further in due course and we look forward to bringing more poetry inspired by the great outdoors, heritage and creativity to life as the project progresses.
Do you fancy getting involved in writing poetry, or have attended a workshop in the past few months, enjoyed it and want to write more? The series of sessions facilitated by Emma Purshouse and Steve Pottinger have attracted more than 40 participants over 5 sessions, bringing together experienced poets, occasional writers as well as people who have never tried poetry before. To keep the momentum of the poetic work going, we are delighted to announce the formation of the Boundary Way Writer’s Group.
Come along to monthly meetings and have a go at poetry prompts to create work on a green theme. Write about your garden, allotment, or local park. Express your thoughts on climate change and the environment. Nurture your nature poetry. Wax lyrical about waxwings. Use the language of flowers. The first three sessions will be led by Emma and Steve, who will be supporting the group to establish itself. Beginner or seasoned poet, all are welcome and we hope to see you there!
The sessions will take place on Zoom and will be starting with a session on Monday 15th of March 2021 from 2-4pm with Emma & Steve. To book your free place on the first session click the ticket link here.