Poetic Spurn: Spurn Autumn Arts Festival, 19th & 20th October

Part of my role with YWT at Spurn has involved assisting with the Spurn Autumn Arts Festival, now in its second year. On Thursday 17th October, Andy and I were invited onto Joe Hakim’s Culture Show on BBC Radio Humberside to promote the festival, and there was plenty to talk about, with a range of events taking place over the weekend in the Discovery Centre including our Poetic Spurn programme alongside trips to Spurn Lighthouse in the Unimog, live music  from local folk musicians and Beverley Pipe Band, and talks from Spurn’s resident artists Chris Heard and Sarah Dew.

On Saturday, I ran a drop-in poetry postcard workshop ‘Hello From Spurn Poetry Postcards’ in the marquee. Participant’s contributions will form part of the poetry exhibition in November. Participants were invited to compose an acrostic poem inspired by their visit(s) to Spurn nature reserve, pin it to the postcard board and make a copy to send out into the world to help share and conserve those wild words for nature.

We also held two poetry readings on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. On Saturday, three Easington Academy pupils – Sophie, Mathilda, and Curtis – came along with their families and with Mrs Verity, Head of School, to read their Spurn poems on stage. They were absolute stars and received a well-deserved round of applause. Two locally-based poets, Dave Osgerby and Shane Blades, also read at the event, and it was a real pleasure to meet them and hear some of their poems.

On Sunday, we had readings from more Poetic Spurn Poets – Julie Corbett, Liz Holt, Glynis Charlton and Gina Hobbs, who shared the poems they wrote during the ‘Rewilding Our Writing’ workshop earlier in October. It was great to hear the finished poems and some of their other work, and fantastic that they were able to come over to the event. Afterwards, we finally had that sit down with coffee and cake we’ve been planning.

The next event will be a project celebration on Wednesday 20th November (4-6pm) at Spurn Discovery Centre, when participants will come together to share their Poetic Spurn poems and launch the exhibition (free event, all welcome).