Word harvest time
21st November 2016, The Bath, Hotel Lynmouth and the book is launched.
Three summers in the making, six tins in the brewing, thousands of walkers and passerby, and plenty of rhymes added into the mix to create The Exmoor Poetry Boxes book.
Over the past three summers I've been snaring the curiosity of passing strangers through six little tins and the words 'Write Poetry In Me' on their lids. Supported by Exmoor National Park, and the Lynmouth Pavilion Trust (with Heritage lottery funding), the project has managed to gather over five and a half thousand poems. An incredible achievement, which has gained the project quite a lot of recent national and international publicity.
But whittling these down to just a hundred or so for the publication was not easy at all, the journals are busting with worthy words and if I were to do it again, I know would choose different ones.
Looking back and reading through the book in its published physical form is wonderful, and I really feel that I have caught the moods and essence from the three summers of strangers scribbles.
But perhaps what is not illustrated is the number of international poems written in the journals, poems in Portuguese, Russian, Sanskrit, Spanish, German and Dutch to name but a few.
Only two have made it into the pages which are not penned in English, and I deliberated long and hard about this. But do not worry as the original 123 journals are soon to be available to browse in the National Park Visitor Centres, just bring your translating dictionaries with you.
So a big thankyou to those who braved Storm Angus (whose anger threw trees across lanes and washed out Tarr Steps) to come to the book launch in Lynmouth on the 21st.
The books are now on sale at £12 each from the National Park Visitor Centres and also Number Seven Dulverton.