To celebrate National Writing Day 2019, First Story East Yorkshire collaborated with local partners to put on a packed day of activities culminating in an original event, ‘Picket Line Poetry’.
Working with local arts organisation Back to Ours, the University of Hull, BBC Humberside, Hull Library, and local First Story Writer-in-Residence Russ Litten, the day engaged young people from schools across the city.
A morning poetry writing session, hosted by the English Faculty at the University of Hull, was designed to get young people’s creative juices flowing, in preparation for an afternoon taking to the streets to write protest poetry.
Russ Litten came up with the idea for the event, inspired by a piece of local protest history: a ‘shut-in’ industrial action that took place at Hull’s Imperial Typewriters factory in 1974.
Typewriters were strategically placed at five locations across the city centre, including the BBC building and Hull Library, with our band of ‘picketing’ students visiting each in turn to type out a new line of protest poetry. They also wrote and carried placards around with them.
Poetry is always worthwhile. Engaging young people is so, so important — it can be therapy; it can be the spur to a revolution. It’s just really great to get young people thinking about their place in society, how to get their voices heard, and how they can express themselves in a creative way.”
This ace video, produced by our partners, does a great job of explaining what it was all about and showcasing the fun.