Our audience development programme continues to grow.
Here are some of the highlights from the last two years…


The Hangout Curates…. Faber New Poets

Young people from Bridlington-based youth group, The Hangout, have been working with poet Zaffar Kunial to explore poetry, looking at poets from the Faber New Poets scheme.
The result is a very special event at Bridlington Poetry Festival.
Three of the Faber New Poets will be reading at the festival, welcomed and introduced by the young people who have invited them.
A unique project, supporting young, local people to become connected to the world of contemporary poetry.

More than Words

On Friday 7 October schools in Beverley will get the chance to exercise their creativity with help from writer, Ian Clayton, and comic artist, Stephen White (aka Stref).
Ian’s workshops will get the children looking at the world with fresh eyes in a workshop called Where I’m from.
Famous for his Dandy and Beano illustrations, Stephen shows how he recreated JM Barrie’s famous story, Peter Pan, as a graphic novel, re-telling the story and drawing live, taking the children on an amazing visual journey.

Poetry Scope 2016

A key element of Bridlington Poetry Festival, Poetry Scope is well established within the local community, providing a strong connection for schools, libraries, children and their families to the festival.
Andy Brooks and Christina Lewis are visiting Bridlington schools to run workshops and then Bridlington Poetry Festival’s Schools’ Day – a day of workshops, performances and celebration with young writers from The Writing Squad – welcomes special guest, Hollie McNish.
Around 240 children were involved in Poetry Scope last year and many of our young poets experienced the whole writing process, from creation to performance, within a week.


Ruby and the Vinyl

A pop-up theatre production for libraries that built on the success of Who Cares and continued the collaboration between Wordquake, the John Godber Company and the University of Hull. This time, the target group was young people and so the theme was chosen to reflect the interests of young people and the cast was made up of two students from Hull University. Ruby and the Vinyl was written by John Godber with Elizabeth Godber and presented in a ballad style, with music by Ruby Macintosh, a young, singer-songwriter from West Yorkshire, whose unique sound is inspired by music of the 50s and 60s.

Performances took place the length and breadth of the East Riding (and beyond) including: Bridlington Library; Scarborough Library; Goole Library; Snaith Library; Selby Library; Stamford Bridge Library; Withernsea Centre; Hornsea Library and Hedon Library.

Words Transport You

In May and June 2015, as a lead-up to Bridlington Poetry Festival, four poems by four poets – Ian McMillan, Jackie Kay, Liz Berry and Zaffar Kunial – were displayed on public transport to get the public thinking about poetry. These four diverse voices from the poetry world – Liz Berry, Zaffar Kunial, Ian McMillan and Jackie Kay – two emerging and two established poets – play around with language, for example using heritage language, regional accents and the vernacular – and provided an opportunity for the public to explore the English language in ways they may not have encountered before. The poems were displayed on the rear and inside panels of EYMS buses travelling around Goole, Withersea, Beverley and Bridlington and further afield to Hull and Lincolnshire.

Alongside this, the poems were also displayed in libraries, Customer Service Centres, Leisure Centres and other customer-facing council offices across the county.

My father never trusted a person who liked books.
He said BOOKISH like a bad word.
And, ‘you’ll turn yer brains to oil
Wey a’that reading.’

Jackie Kay
from Other Lovers

Parkour, Poetry and Power(point)

My hands in the air
Freedom at last; I breathe deep
And the wind is cold

(Sam, 13)

This is my parkour –
Heart and blood so near my skin
I wear them like clothes

(Kian, 14)

67 young people across the East Riding worked on a project involving the Youth Offending Team and East Riding Libraries to encourage them to engage with libraries.

Participants worked with Lorian Biet two professional parkour coaches for a day and a half, learning technical vocabulary and exploring their surroundings physically with a number of basic parkour moves. This was followed by a creative writing session to help them express the impact of the physical activity and the mental discipline required to do parkour, which they wrote up as poems and prose, supported by a creative writing practitioner.

The young people spent a day in their local library (North Bridlington and Withernsea) with an ICT tutor using library resources to design their own Powerpoint presentations to display at the launch of Beverley Literature Festival. To ensure the project had a legacy, participants were assigned a ‘buddy’ from within the library – someone who welcomed them, assisted with the creative writing and IT sessions – and who would be a familiar face on subsequent visits. As most of the young people had not visited their local library before, it was vital that they could establish a relationship with staff to feel confident enough to return on their own.

One participant who, until the project, had never accessed the service before, subsequently visited North Bridlington Library and borrowed George Orwell’s 1984 for a school project. He remembered his ‘buddy’ and told her he would never have had the confidence to drop in had he not taken part in the project.