WORD OF MOUTH
Three Poetry Readings for Writing on the Wall
New Songs for Old Stones
Poetry readings by Angela Locke and members of the Creative Writing group with whom she has been working.
Angela read from her poem cycle Walls at the World’s End commissioned by Writing on the Wall and poems from North Face and Sacred Earth that have relevance to the ideas of walls and barriers.
Members of the writing group Margaret Bennett, Margaret Cameron, Denise Crellin, Carol Hudson, Margaret Morton, John Napier, Margaret Poland, Hugh Thompson and Ann Ward also read poems inspired by the Wall which are now published in a booklet available from the Senhouse Roman Museum.
Angela Locke was Writer-in-Residence for the Maryport section of the Wall defences. This allowed her the chance to focus not only on Hadrian’s Wall itself but also to explore the nature of walls, both visible and invisible; how they divide us; why they are there; what they hold back and how they protect us from harm. The need to breach walls in the invisible world has long been a theme of Angela’s work, as she explores her awareness of the tangible and intangible landscapes that shape our sense of who we are.
Angela spent six weeks working with a group of residents of Maryport to lead them in Creative Writing and poetry. This was successful and enjoyed by all who took part and Angela was asked to continue. She has since led a second and third series of workshops.
Senhouse Roman Museum
Also as part of her residency Angela Locke worked with thirty Year 5 pupils at Ewanrigg School, Maryport. The children found the experience rewarding and produced some lively poems as a result. As part of the work they all visited the Roman Army Museum at Carvoran.
Angela’s work was also financially supported by Allerdale Borough Council and Cumbria Arts in Education.
Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery
Poetry readings by Jacob Polley and members of the creative
writing group with whom he was working. Jacob produced a suite of poems
with historical, contemporary and personal imagery and references to
the Wall, and with the other readers poems, this is the common thread
running through the poetry.
Jacob Polley lives and works in Carlisle, and grew up in Bowness-on-Solway and Burgh-by-Sands, both of which are on the line of Hadrian’s Wall. In 2002 he received the BBC Radio 4 'First Verse' award and a prestigious Eric Gregory Award from the Society of Authors. His debut collection of poems, The Brink, which was inspired by a rural upbringing and the flat desolation of the Solway Firth through which Hadrian’s Wall runs, was published last year by Picador and was short-listed for the TS Eliot prize.
As part of Writing on the Wall Jacob led a Creative Writing workshop based at Tullie House last year. The group used the Roman collection to develop new poems and prose. This project was also supported by Carlisle City Council.
Alec Finlay, Linda France and Gerry Loose read the four renga written as part of Alec’s from sea to sea - renga along Hadrian’s Wall project. They also read recent work, including poetry that holds natural and historical associations with the Hadrian’s Wall area.
was Artist in Residence at BALTIC, The Centre for Contemporary
Art, Gateshead when he initiated from sea to sea. Alec lives locally in
Byker and is currently working on local art and poetry projects with primary schools in Seaham, a public art project with Dance City and a series of artist
projects and events at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park.
Linda France lives very close to Hadrian's Wall at Stagshaw, Northumberland. She has had four collections of poetry published by Bloodaxe Books and her work has been featured on television and radio. She is currently Poet-in-Residence at Hawthorn Cokeworks Site in County Durham.
Gerry Loose is Creative Director of the
Peace Garden Project in Glasgow and
Managing Editor of Survivors' Press. Last year he was commissioned to write
a piece for the BBC and was short listed for the Creative Scotland Award. This year he takes up a writer’s residency at Jardin des Plantes, Montpellier.
The first phase of from
sea to sea - renga along Hadrian's Wall took place at outdoor locations along Hadrian's Wall. Each Renga linked verse
was led by a master poet with Alec Finlay as host. Linda France was
master poet at St Oswalds Church, Heavenfield, near Chollerford and
Gerry Loose was master poet at Housesteads Roman Fort. Other workshops
were held at Walbottle Campus and Arbeia Roman Fort. At each Renga up
to 18 people collectively contributed to making a Renga, a traditional
Japanese verse form that holds a deep appreciation of the natural world.
The Japanese-style wooden platform provided a temporary space at each
venue for poets to share in writing Renga together.