A Kaleidoscope of Poetry

A free Zoom event, presented by the Mary Evans Picture Library & hosted by ADSM

ADSM Mary Evans Picture Library Kaleidoscope of Poetry banner

Fifteen widely published poets from the Mary Evans Poetry Blog presented their poems live on Monday 11th January 2021, hosted on Zoom by Arts Destination South Molton.

Each poem was matched by the picture from the Library which stimulated its author to write it. It was intriguing evening, blending beautiful images with superb words: a fascinating fusion of the literary and the visual.

Here you can see the poets and the name of the poems they read. If you go to the Mary Evans Poetry blog you’ll be able to see the pictures and much more:

Storm Gertrude
‘The Ferryman’
‘Tracks and Pathways’
The adoration of the kings’
You can do without most things’
‘Les Gloires de l’Aviation Militaire Belge’
‘Ladies’ Hour’
‘Skating Alone’
‘Forecasting the Present’
‘Oyster Seventeens’

Poetry goes Zoom in South Molton

A “Kaleidoscope of Poetry” on Zoom on Monday 11th January, hosted by Arts Destination South Molton, blew the winter blues away for an audience drawn from across North Devon – and the world – with its evocations of atmosphere, places, people and events. As one of the poets taking part said: “it started the year with a warm glow”.

It was inspired by – and organised with – the Mary Evans Picture Library, London (an extensive treasure trove of all types of illustrations, past and present), for whose poetry blog many poets have created evocative and touching poems linked to their chosen image. At the event, fifteen of the poets introduced their image on-screen and explained the inspiration behind their poems, before reading them to the large, appreciative audience.

As one of the poets remarked: “Numbers like that at a poetry reading are not something to be met with every day, Zoom or no Zoom”. How glad we all were of the chance to be in contact with creativity and culture at this time!

The images chosen took us from everyday nature, featuring couch grass and ragwort, to exploits on the Titanic and derring-do in World War 1 aviation, from a child playing in a broken-down car to The Nativity, barometers and oysters. As two poets summed up: “what an amazingly varied showcase of poetry and pictures”; “it was fascinating to see what inventive use had been made of the images”.

As to the audience, they too were brimful of praise, commenting on the boost – and the emotions –  the event created: “a real tonic in these Covid times”; “the evening brought joy to everyone at this difficult time”; “I was brought to tears by some of the poems”. Additionally, poets and audience alike remarked on the “fantastic organisation”, “wonderful technical skills”  and “meticulous work”.

Gill Stoker, the curator of the Mary Evans Poetry Blog and co-organiser, said: “it has been enormous fun, and a huge sense of achievement coming from all the hard work”. A participant added: “particular thanks to all the organisers”.

You can find the poems alongside their related image on the Library’s website. The collection of poems is added to on a weekly basis. Why not try your hand at poetry using that one image that speaks to you?

For you to join in, Arts Destination South Molton is planning several exciting events over the course of the next twelve months. And the charity is beginning to realise its aim, as one audience member commented:  “If anyone doubted it before the evening’s event, they will now know that South Molton is definitely an arts destination”.

Jane Chesters, audience member and supporter of ADSM