Throughout November 2021, we’ve been working hard to move into our new physical space at The Community Works as part of an exciting initiative run by Makespace Oxford, transforming a disused building in central Oxford into a mix of work space for social enterprises and meeting space for community groups. Painting and varnishing shelves poetry-library-purple, getting the collection in, putting up signage, and installing our new dropbox – all part of making a library to share with you all from December 2021!
On 17 October 2020 we ran one of our sessions inspired by The Lost Words at Hill End Outdoor Education Centre. Fully socially-distanced, we explored the woods and fields, went pond-dipping, bird-watching, and then came back to the barn to write our own spells to conjure up what we had experienced. Buzzards, toads, dragonfly larvae, and thistledown – a magical time was had by all.
On 1 February 2020– which also happened to be Imbolc and Candlemas Eve, but felt like the very depths of winter – our dear LIT Reading Group hosted a showcase of writing about light, featuring their own poetry and an open mic section.
Huge thanks to Olivia and Clemency for twinkly set design, and to Bernard Galewski and Mathias Rothmann for the dazzling photography.
On 15 June 2019 we ran a workshop with Museum of Oxford’s exhibition on Healing Spaces and the history of child healthcare in Oxford, called Writing Healing Spaces. Participants were invited to tell us about their healing spaces and the places that make them feel better. Check out their beautiful, healing creations!
On June 1st 2019 we ran Light Up The Woods, a walk in the woods with a difference with LIT Reading Group. It was the perfect afternoon for an early summer wander steeped in poetry. Our local writers and poets guided participants through Aston’s Eyot, by the river, and through the meadows, making stops along the way to share a poem or bit of writing which emerged from the landscape. Complete with a toadstool-poem treasure-trail, we found poems in their natural habitats.
The Lost Words nature walk and workshop: On 31 March 2019, we ran a spring edition of the workshop-and-walk inspired by The Lost Words by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris. In Flo’s – The Place in the Park, we had a chat about the kind of creatures, creepy-crawlies, and all manner of living things we might see, then headed out into the park to explore! Nick Boyd, resident nature-expert, led the walk, taught us how to look and listen and notice the living world around us. We then returned to Flo’s to create our own Lost Words-inspired poetry – have a look at some of the brilliant creations we made!
The Lost Words nature walk and workshop: On 27 January, we ran a workshop-and-walk inspired by The Lost Words by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris. In Flo’s – The Place in the Park, we had a chat about the kind of creatures, creepy-crawlies, and all manner of living things we might see, then headed out into the park to explore! Nick Boyd, resident nature-expert, led the walk, taught us how to look and listen and notice the living world around us. We then returned to Flo’s to create our own Lost Words-inspired poetry – have a look at some of the brilliant creations we made!
Writing Home sessions at Open House: On 3 December we launched Writing Home, weekly drop-in sessions with a poet-in-residence at Open House (a new public living room and talking shop for housing and homelessness) to meet, share poetry, make poetry, read, and learn. Here are some pics from our first session…
Twiglets Preschoolers Group: On 29 October 2018, we ran a colourful and creative workshop with Twiglets group for babies and preschoolers at Barracks Lane Community Garden, making sock puppets of characters from some of our poetry picturebooks together, and acting out some of our favourite poems! Look at these adorable creations…
Homelands: On 13 October 2018, we ran an event at Common Ground Workspace which platformed and celebrated the voices of poets from refugee and immigrant backgrounds. There was poetry from Azfa Awad, Rukiya Khatun, Alan Buckley, Hassan Bamyani and James Attlee and Samantha Twigg Johnson performed her songs. With half our profits from the event going to Asylum Welcome, and a sell-out crowd, we stood by and supported the refugee and migrant community here in Oxford.
Many thanks to Chris Johnson for the photos!
Tandem Festival 2018: We return to Tandem Festival in our big beautiful bell tent and run a workshop with collage and cut-up poetry – using magnetic poetry and collage materials, we create mini poem-collages on postcards and badges!
Big Green Day Out: On 9 June 2018, Oxford City Council launched this year’s Oxford Green Week with a street fair of all the projects and organizations in Oxford who are working for sustainability, the environment, and community! We went along with our pedal-powered library, and some magnetic poetry for the poetic geniuses of Oxford to play with…
First Birthday Party: On 11 May 2018, we held our first birthday party at the East Oxford Community Centre with readings and music from Nancy Campbell, Mbali Matandela, Laura Theis, and Rosie Caldecott plus many contributions to the open mic session from the talented Oxford folk who came along… Here’s to the next 12 months!
And of course, many thanks to Chris Johnson for the snaps:
What Is Feminist Poetry?: A collaborative event with Threads Equality Agency at East Oxford Community Centre on 24 November 2017 about gender, writing, and women. There were performances from Serena Arthur and Michelle Madsen, as well as an amazing range of voices platformed during an open mic session , and a discussion session. Photos by Henry Blyth.
This Is Just To Say – OPL Fundraiser held at Silvie on October 14 2017, with readings from Claire Trevien, Lucy Ayrton, Mary Jean Chan and Stephen Durkan and the jazzy, dreamy music of Dom Faber and Poppy Smallwood. Photos by Chris Johnson
Summer delights! Tandem Festival, Cowley Road Carnival, and a drizzly garden party…
Big Green Day Out – and borrowers try their hand at magnetic poetry…
Literary watchdog, Wodehouse, gives the bike her seal of approval…
Library-bike under construction… Logo painted by Lisa Made It