The River Severn will play an important role in the Places of Poetry project this summer, as project partner Severn Rivers Trust will host Places of Poetry for the River Severn. Over a week from 15th July a poet in residence will be exploring the history of the Severn and the Teme and the sense of what living and working near the rivers means to local people. The poet will be commissioned to write a poem based on the local area and work with local residents in poetry workshops exploring themes of place, identity and heritage, so important to our Unlocking the Severn project.
Places of Poetry, led by Exeter and Lancaster University and partnered with the Ordnance Survey and the Poetry Society was inspired by a seventeenth century poem, Poly-Olbion, by Michael Drayton, which celebrates the history, mythology and geography of England and Wales in 15 000 lines! William Hole, the original cartographer, illustrated the poem with a map including some wonderfully quirky drawings.
Using the original as a model, The Ordnance Survey have created a unique digital map – which underlies a modern map. The user will be able to go onto the website and slide between the two. The aim is to get people thinking and writing about place and identity and to pin their poem onto the map – either their street, their town or somewhere that is special to them. The more poems the better! There will be toolkits you can download to help you write whether you are an individual or school.
So if interested get writing and be ready to pin your poem onto the map after its launch date on the 30th May. Or keep an eye on our website for more details about Severn Rivers’ poet in residence and sign up to a free workshop in July.
Places of Poetry has only been possible due to funding from the AHRC, Arts Council, England and the Heritage Lottery Fund and in kind support from heritage partners.