On a mild grey day in July with water in the air as well as surrounding the island, poets gathered at Diglis. Our event was led by professionals Isabel Galleymore and Paul Farley, and was quite the opposite of the mild and grey weather. Isabel and Paul are part of the national project Places of Poetry.

By Lucy Newton, Informal Learning & Interpretation Officer

Poets gathered from far and wide, learnt about Unlocking the Severn and responded to Diglis’ sense of place. Inside the historic lock gate and boat building workshop, river poems were considered, writing exercises were fruitful and participants were encouraged to pin their outputs on the Places of Poetry map.

Project Officer Lucy led the way to explore the orchard that decorates the tip of the island pointing upstream. On the journey, tall summer flowers glowed in the moist air and a gallery of discarded objects spoke of the industrial past. At the very edge, the cathedral was glimpsed through tree leaves and the river flowed around us.

The island has so much to offer. It was our first major public event in the newly renovated workshop space. The poems created on that day were extremely special, including Isabel’s own called Navigating Diglis: https://www.littletoller.co.uk/the-clearing/navigating-diglis-by-isabel-galleymore/

We know that the arts are a route to deep, deep engagement. The workshop was exactly that.

To see photographs of the day by Jonathan Goldberg, the Canal & River Trust photographer in residence, please click the photo gallery link below.


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