Peddling Poets with Beaford Arts

So the leaves are stripping neatly from the trees as we plunge towards the darkest hours of the year, yet this is when the background planning works shift into full swing. All those great ideas which happen on long summer days have to solidify into proper schemes, or else they will be shed just like the leaves.

During August and September there were ten Beaford Poetry Boxes tethered along the trail, each had just a book and a pencil inside and asked for walkers to ‘draw read or write’ within. By the end of the eight weeks over six hundred poems had been added and some two hundred and fifty sketches too. Each week Mr Jelley would check the boxes to keep them looking perfect but also geotagged a selection to the poetry pin channel – https://tarkatrail.poetrypin.info.

As I write there are over one hundred and fifty poems pinned along this trail, and the only way to read them is to walk (or ride) there. So a quick tutorial for those who haven’t used Poetry Pin – firstly open https://tarkatrail.poetrypin.info on your phone, each poem has been geotagged roughly to the spot they were written, travel to this spot and they will reveal when in close proximity. If you are inspired you can also pin a new poem, just click ‘add poem’ and then write your words, but remember when you click submit these words will be geotagged and pinned to the very location you are stood. It is immediate so the next poetry hunter can come and read your words.

But one thing which made this trail different to previous outings of the Poetry Boxes, aside from the geotagging to Poetry Pin, was that each tin had an image taken in North Devon around the 1970’s and 80’s. These were made available from the Beaford Arts archives who commissioned Mr Jelley to run this project.

The idea was multifold, firstly it was a new way for this archive to be shared with a new audience, they would also hopefully seed some great poetry, and  connect with local recent history at the same time. By the end of the two months, and judging by the interactions and signatures in the tins, over three thousand people had connected with the project and the Beaford Archive images.

So with the success of the poetry along the Tarka Trail this summer the trail is already rich with words. We will be running new writing workshops in May 2019 along side the Beaford Arts exhibition at the Burton Gallery, Bideford. But to make things just that more fun, two of these poetry rambles will be peddling poetry rides so bring your bike!

Here are the dates and details for your diary, all of them Sundays – 12th, 19th and 26th May 2019 – pop them in your diary and see you there – no charge, though we do expect you to write a little!

Peddling Poetry / Poetry Bike Ride

Fremington Quay to Instow Picnic spot
meet Fremington Quay on Wharf at 12 noon Sunday 12th May
allow 3 hours min
bring picnic, phone, bike and a head full of curiosity
distance 6 miles
writers of all ages welcome.

Note this will be a friendly writing focused activity with a little riding too plus hopefully plenty of creative chat. Words will respond to place, space and relevant images from the Beaford archives, and then be geotagged along the trail through https://tarkatrail.poetrypin.info

Peddling Poetry / Poetry Bike Ride

Bideford and south a little on the Tarka Trail
Meet Burton Gallery 12 noon Sunday 19th May
allow 3 hours min
bring picnic, phone, bike and a head full of curiosity
distance approx 6 miles
writers of all ages welcome.

Note this will be a friendly writing focused activity with a little riding too plus hopefully plenty of creative chat. Words will respond to place, space and relevant images from the Beaford archives, and then be geotagged along the trail through https://tarkatrail.poetrypin.info

Workshop walk for poets and writers

Poetry Ramble to write and geolocate your new poems from the day
Meet Puffing Billy Torrington 12 noon Sunday 26th May
allow 3hrs hours min
good shoes
flat level ground
bring picnic
distance approx 2 miles
writers of all ages welcome

Note this will be a friendly writing focused activity responding to place, space and relevant Beaford archive images. Our fresh new words will then be geotagged along the tarka trail through https://tarkatrail.poetrypin.info

Finally a poem to go with the image on the tin above note – Teddy’s are the North Devon name for Potatoes.

Teddy Spread by C Jelley

Never scrubbed, more tenderly dressed

chosen considered as one 

as threes

now inspected

and inspected

to the n’th degree

This is the moment

drawn from their bedding soil

harvested at peek after tender labour toils

The gauntlet was drawn in generations gone

and the judge

the judge

must now be singular and at one

Under tweed control

blood honour rests

for rosettes will be won only

by the best of the best

This spread of platters fit for a King

summon all the Pipers now for the Earl to sing within

teddies in fives as precious angels eggs

await the nod

the mark of the Royal

the marquee of trestles presides today

before the company is mashed and boiled

Links

Beaford Arts – https://beaford.org

And Beaford Poetry Boxes – https://beaford.org/discover-a-beaford-poetry-box/

Tarka Trail Poetry Pin trail – https://tarkatrail.poetrypin.info

Mr Jelley – http://jelley.info