Safe Ground - Using drama to educate prisoners and young people at risk in the community


GROUNDation Book Launch: ‘Home’

To coincide with World Book Night on Thursday 23rd April 2015, Safe Ground hosted not one but two book launches for ‘Home’, a limited edition anthology produced by project participants from the GROUNDation Poetry Project. The book not only celebrates the work of those new to poetry but permanently seams together the prison and local Wandsworth community.

The first launch took place where the project had started, HMP Wandsworth’s library. Our host, Joelle Taylor, once again worked her magic on the crowd with a captivating performance of her poem ‘Home is Where The Hurt Is’.  Audience members were delighted to see men from the creative writing group, as well as members from the Katherine Low Settlement, perform emotional, heart warming and electrifying readings from the anthology which recaptured the energy from the GROUNDation II Performance event held in March.  We were equally enthused to see Governor Kenny Brown grace the stage and perform a rendition of ‘A Suicidal Chicken’ and present the participants with their copies of the anthology.

The second, and by no means least, launch of the day was held at Waterstones Clapham Junction hosted by the wonderful Sara Hirsch. Hirsch fired up the crowd with her performance of ‘Punchline’. Participants from Katherine Low Settlement, London Southbank University and University of Roehampton were invited on stage to performance their own poems or an interpretation of a fellow participant’s poem. Brenda, from the KLS, entertained the crowd with ‘Plus Minus Plus’; student Jack’s melancholic rendition of ‘Four Men Staring Down At The Body’  entranced the audience and Marek lulled the audience with a ‘Cloud’ being chased and pulled away in English and Polish. The evening’s launch, as it was at the daytime launch, was rounded off with a segment of audience participation that included a reading of a group poem ‘I Need a Rhyme’ and an open mic allowing fervent poets to take the stage.

Safe Ground would like to thank HMP Wandsworth staff members; Javier, Emma, Anthea, Cynthia, Kevin and Radio Wanno for another wonderful event that ran smoothly. Safe Ground is also very grateful to Pete, Alistair and all the staff at Waterstones Clapham Junction and Bad Boys Bakery who made the event possible. A big thank you also goes out to all the project participants who performed, because without poetry there can be no book launches.

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