Picture the Poet conference
Inspiring creative writing in galleries with young people, poets and portraits
Monday 25 April 2016, 11am - 4pm
National Portrait Gallery
St Martin's Place, London WC2H 0HE
With performances by poets and project participants, the conference explored ways that galleries, museums and libraries can support creative writing and literacy for young people in schools and in the community. Poet Ian McMillan was ‘in residence’ during the day, to share his perspective on the project and his approach to inspiring creative writing.
Picture the Poet 2014-2016 was an exhibition of photographic portraits of living poets, touring to six regional venues: The Forum in Norwich, Graves Art Gallery in Sheffield, The Harris Museum & Art Gallery in Preston, The Collection in Lincoln, Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens and Tullie House in Carlisle. The partnership programme was developed by the National Portrait Gallery - working in collaboration with the National Literacy Trust and Apples and Snakes - to develop a targeted learning, participation and audience development programme with each venue.
The Picture the Poet programme gave teachers and young people the opportunity to engage with poets, poetry and photography, to build their visual literacy and literacy skills and create new work. For more information, visit the project website.
The conference programme included:
- Perspectives on Picture the Poet by the project partners: Jonathan Douglas, Director, National Literacy Trust; Liz Smith, Director of Participation and Learning, National Portrait Gallery; and Lisa Mead, Artistic Director, Apples and Snakes
- Presentations and a panel discussion chaired by Liz Smith on inspiring creative writing through visual culture for teachers and young people in schools and the community: with contributions on working with schools from Erin Barnes, Schools Project Manager, Picture the Poet, National Literacy Trust, Paul Jenkins,Picture the Poet Schools Co-ordinator, National Literacy Trust and teacher Kim Bird; on working with teachers by poet Francesca Beard; on working in the community by poet Sai Murray
- A spoken word performance by a group of Sheffield young people, introduced by poet Vicky Morris, part of Apples and Snakes participation programme
- Contributions throughout the day by poet Ian McMillan
- Presentations and a panel discussion on the legacy of Picture the Poet, chaired by Laura Down, Head of National Programmes, National Portrait Gallery: with contributions from Alison Boyle, Arts Council England North East Relationship Manager Literature; Jennie Lambert, Learning Officer, Sunderland Museums and Heritage Service; Sam Atkins Managing Editor of the Young Journalists Academy / Paradigm Arts; Daniela Paolucci, Participation Coordinator, Apples and Snakes, and Anna Smalley, Learning and Engagement Manager, Tulie House.
- View reactions to the Conference by delegates on Storify - click here
Young journalist report
- Read a summary of the day written by Milly, Harriet & Sophie reporting for the Young Journalist Academy
Image: Pupils engaging in the Picture the Poet programme
Image: Ian McMillan by Andy Boag © Andy Boag / National Portrait Gallery, London
Image: Benjamin Zephaniah by Donald MacLellan © Donald MacLellan