School of Architecture, Planning & Landscape

Poetry in Motion

Poetry in Motion Exhibition

Promoting inclusive travel around Newcastle and York

This exhibition of poetry and artwork was inspired by the findings of CoMotion, an RCUK funded multi-disciplinary 3 year project that investigated the links between mobility and wellbeing among 96 older people in Hexham, Leeds and York experiencing significant life transitions. Professor Rose Gilroy was Newcastle lead for the York University led project

The poetry and artwork was produced during the poet Anna Woodford’s writing residency at CoMotion. It explored a key aspect of the research findings - the extent to which behaviours including verbal abuse, jostling and even well-meaning advice was reported as negatively affecting older people’s mobility and well-being as much as physical barriers in the built environment.

Woodford’s poems were displayed on 100 buses in York and in a touring exhibition at Newcastle and York libraries during September/October 2017. 

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I thought the workshop was wonderful! Participant

Your work spoke very powerfully to me..thanks for putting it "out there". Feedback from member of the public responding to Poetry in Motion

Around 2,000 people visited the Poetry in Motion exhibitions across the two sites. Institutional stakeholders experiencing Poetry in Motion included Age UK Newcastle, York Cares and First York.

Anna Woodford held creative writing workshops in Newcastle, York and Gateshead libraries for over 40 members of the public. Participants were given anonymous feedback forms to compile. Where 1 was very poor and 5 was excellent, 85% of respondents rated the workshop as a 5 and the remaining 15% rated it as a 4.

Media coverage helped raise the profile of the project and the research. In 2018, the Poetry in Motion poems were published in Anna Woodford’s book Changing Room (Salt, 2018) extending the reach of the research to an audience beyond the academy. The bus operator Go NorthEast featured Anna Woodford’s poems on their buses as part of the Great Exhibition of the North.