Canon Barnett Takeover Festival: Poetic Parents

As 22 March approaches, we want to share with you some of the work that we’ve been doing with Canon Barnett Primary School over the last few weeks in preparation for their festival. And it’s not just the kids that are getting involved, it’s the parents too!

Renowned performance poet Chris Redmond led a creative writing session for parents of children at the school in which he encouraged them to think about what the heart of the city might look, smell, move and sound like as if it was a physical living ‘thing’. Sitting in a circle, they took it in turns to voice their thoughts, describing what it meant to them as if the heart of the city was beating right there in the room with them.

At the end of the session, their comments were read out, one after the other, and The Heart of the City was born! By breaking down the artistic process, every single person had the ability to contribute creatively and helped to create a verse inspired by the city we all live in.

By working collectively, the parents not only created an imaginative piece to enthuse their kids, they also showed real teamwork demonstrating the ability of creative sessions to form social bonds and friendships.

The parents were so pleased with the outcome of their poem, they want to perform a reading at the end of the festival.

A true group effort!

The Heart of the City

Cracked concrete with grass growing through
I see a lot of colour in this heart
I can see snow
I can see lots of different feelings, thought and sound
I see the unfairness in the heart
Bumpy and bleeding
I can see a protective layer to this heart
I can see people huddled tightly together
I can smell coffee and smoke, wine and food
Building work, black sticky tar, smell of burned rubber
I can smell the grass, the flowers growing, the soil
I can smell gas and petrol
Freshly cut grass, fresh bread
Dust after rain
Busy, big heart
Palm of the hand, surrounded by animals
Glass case ‘do not touch’
A noisy heart, a very busy heart
A lot of music, beats, talking, words
You can’t hear the words but they are in there
Chatter, white noise
Jagged heart, irregular
A square and triangle,
Always changing, alternating
Always having something different
Star shaped, rotating, different things happening
Nameless shape
No words to describe it.

Written by parents from Canon Barnett at a Creative Writing Session on Thursday 14 February 2013

The Heart of the City - brainstorming

The Heart of the City – brainstorming

The Heart of the City - thought processs

The Heart of the City – thought processes


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