Fiona Lesley Bennett of the Map Consortium has set up a wonderful project called the Poetry Exchange.
The Poetry Exchange is a way of sharing our enjoyment of poetry by inviting people to nominate a poem that has been a friend to them. The person who suggested the poem then has a conversation with an actor about what the poem means to them – either one to one or as part of a larger audience – and in return they receive a unique recording of their chosen poem inspired by the conversation.
I nominated Adrienne Rich’s poem ‘Song’, which has long been a favourite. The discussion took place at the Wise Words festival in Canterbury and I was thrilled with the recording by Jacqueline Kington and Michael Schaeffer.
You can hear some of the recordings or nominate your own poem by clicking here.
I am excited to be part of a team working on the Prosper initiative, a scheme to build cultural capacity in East Kent by offering support and investment to discover how working together and the power of the arts can enable East Kent and its people to thrive. It is backed and run by Workers of Art, The Map Consortium and the Canterbury Festival. There are about fifteen other investigations within Prosper, ranging from using virtual technology to explore Ramsgate Tunnels to producing a mobile museum to make public the Beaney’s stored collections.
For our investigation, I am working with artists I had never met before – Pat Wilson Smith, Adam De Ville and Reece de Ville – to explore the possibilities of a living tourist information station that will give residents and visitors an alternative view of the city from that provided in the usual brochures and websites.
We will be holding a day of action to gather stories and information:
Bean Head cafe, Burgate, Canterbury
15 December, 11am to 3pm.
Please come and join us to tell us your Canterbury Tale!
Collaboration seems to be the new buzzword, whether to enhance creativity and provide inspiration, to explore new possibilities and artforms or to find solutions and means of survival in difficult and philistine times.
I’ve worked with all three founding organisations and am a great admirer of their ideas and input, so I’m really keen to see what their joint expertise can produce. Also, the idea feeds right into my own current preoccupations with ways of expanding the reach and ambition of my work and having fun doing so!
For more information and to sign up, go to www.prospertogether.co.uk. I’m looking forward to meeting you at a creative gathering soon!