What is poetry town?

Poetry Town began in 2015 with a weekly poem displayed in the window of Kirkdale Bookshop. Following overwhelmingly positive responses from customers we have decided to partner with Sydenham Arts to build on the idea and fill Sydenham with poetry­ not just by famous poets but by local people, both young and old.

People turn to poetry at pivotal moments in their lives. Poetry has the power to reach people at a profound level and articulate their experiences in ways that ordinary speech and prose cannot. It is also an invaluable tool to engage people with literature, to boost literacy and encourage learning and engagement for those who struggle with language and self­expression.

Sydenham Arts has a long and successful track record of presenting work by local and national poets, past and present, in a variety of formats, designed to engage and embrace the wonderfully diverse communities of which Sydenham is rightly proud.

We, the promoters of Poetry Town are keen to build on our successes to date and create the UK’s first Poetry Town, a place where the study, sharing, writing and performance of poetry can be explored and enjoyed all year round.

In that way we will encourage everyone in our community, regardless of their age or background, to join with us and celebrate what we believe is the greatest of all literary arts.

We are planning a range of events. Here’s just a flavour of what you will find…

• The creation of a Sydenham Community Poem featuring words, lines and verse from the people of Sydenham

• A poem of the week – displayed all over town, in doctor’s surgeries, cafés, banks, at the bus stop, at the station…

• More poetry events for our summer and specialist festivals

● Community poem day to launch the festival in 2016

• Poetry competitions

We want your ideas too. This is your Poetry Town. Welcome to Poetry Town!