Press Highlights

[1997-1999]

'A poet musing could soon be as common a sight in the office corridor as a security guard or trolley lady. In the next two years, more than 100 poets will be spending time in businesses, prisons, football clubs, canteens and gardens as part of a burgeoning verse industry.'
David Lister, The Independent On Sunday

'Bards are being hired by companies to give their over-worked employees a semblance of inner spiritual life..The Poetry Society recently received a £450,000 National Lottery grant to inject some humanity into the nation's bloodstream.'
Ola Beregren, Frank

'The appointment of poets in residence is part of a trend towards bringing artists into the workplace. Reminiscent of the work of the Artist's Placement group of the 1960's and 1970's, the aim is to free employees' creativity while subsidising artists.'
Dan Glaister, The Guardian

'Staff at Marks & Spencer are being given the opportunity to develop their literary skills with the help of the company's first poet-in-residence.'
Paul Stokes, Daily Telegraph

'Those with a way with words will probably envy Peter Sansom, who has just been appointed poet-in-residence by Marks & Spencer, which will involve poetry readings for staff and customers. He may be a little out of the ordinary at present but The Poetry Society intends to place about 100 poets in businesses and schools.'
Julia Finch and Lisa Buckingham, The Guardian

'M&S hires in-store poet to promote counter culture┬ůMr Sansom, the Huddersfield poet known for his zany, conversational style, will take up a six-month residency at Britain's well-loved, but somewhat conventional, retailer next month.'
Peggy Hollinger, Independent

'...lurking among the Y-fronts and woolly cardigans in Marks & Spencer is a very special breed – poets..Peter Sansom begins his six-month stint as in-store poet laureate next month..'
Tracy McVeigh, The Express

'Impressed by the similarities between the poet's and the lawyer's tasks, the legal firm Mischon de Reya has advertised for a poet in residence. As opportunities for poets go, it is a big money appointment'.
Dan Glaister, The Guardian

'The Mischon project at first encountered cynicism from some of its lawyers..but eventually they opted for this means of supporting the arts, while at the same time bringing light relief to lawyers who pride themselves on working 25 hour days.'
Robert Verkaik, The Independent

'The BBC is to hire an Afro-Caribbean poet to write about the black experience in Britain..The post is part of a Poetry Society scheme which is also placing poets in businesses, parks, zoos, health centres, schools and libraries.'
Sean Poulter, Daily Mail

'A middle-aged rap poet who blames the unpopularity of verse on the "precious" way it is presented to the public has been chosen as the BBC's first poet-in-residence. John Agard, 48, who was born in the former British Guyana, said yesterday that he would like to see poems featured on as many BBC programmes as possible.'
Nigel Reynolds, Daily Telegraph

'The BBC's first ever poet-in-residence is on a mission to make the art form popular again. Guyana born rapper John Agard, 48, wants to see poetry used as widely as possible on the TV.'
New Nation

'Poetry was assured of its place in the Millenium Dome yesterday when Simon Armitage was appointed as poet-in-residence. Armitage, a Yorkshireman and one of Britain's foremost young poets, will spend six months based at Greenwich composing a 1,000-line ode to Britain's celebrations. Yesterday, visiting the Dome for the first time, he said: "I want to capture the mood of the country and what people make of the millemium. I'm not clear yet where it's going to take me - that's part of the excitement."'
Mark Henderson, The Times - London
(29 Apr '99)

'A south Shropshire poet recently found a very unusual place to write his poetry - 100ft up in a crane on a North Sea gas platform. Andrew stayed on the platform for five nights after applying to the Poetry Society for the post of poet in residence. He led a number of poetry workshops and encouraged the men to write poetry. "A gas platform is not the place for shrinking violets," Andrew said, "But I found a great camaraderie there and some wonderful poetry came out of the workshops."'
Paul Malley, Shropshire Star - Wellington
(27 May '99)

'The trees and forests of Wales were the source of inspiration for primary school poets in a special series of woodland workshops being staged by the Forestry Commission, in partnership with the Poetry Society and the Arts Council of England Lottery Fund. "We know that the forests evoke strong feelings in most people, and we hope that these special sessions will help nine and 10-year-olds to relate those feelings through poetry. Our aim is to stimulate an interest in both the woodlands and in creative writing", said workshop organiser FEW Recreation Ranger Agheliki Politis.'
Cambrian News - Aberystwyth (3 June '99)

'The Surrey Advertiser is publishing a poem a week during June, July and August written by young people participating in the Surrey Hills Poetry Project. The project is funded by The Poetry Society and Countryside Agency and is being run by Surrey Hills poet in residence Jackie Wills. The residency is for six months from April to October 1999 and aims to collect the views of young people about the future of the Surrey Hills area of outstanding natural beauty, through the poetry they write.'
Surrey Advertiser - Guildford (4 June '99)