Poetry has developed from the original ‘Talking Tablecloth’ idea to significant work and poems written by guests with over 40 individual poems being displayed in the Cathedral as part of the Arts Festival in July 2017.

Poetry initially started when SoundCafe was in it’s early stages of development and a skilled volunteer, who was a gifted poet, shared their work and it became a regular weekly feature. Guests were encouraged to explore writing their own pieces and the poetry table was born. At first, guest poetry would be read by our ‘resident poet’ volunteer but as guest’s confidence developed so they were willing to read their own poetry. The respect given each week to those guests who explored their gift of writing and sharing was huge, you could hear a pin drop.

The poem ‘Spike’ was performed as part of a homeless mass at Leicester Cathedral. It concerns the anti-homeless spikes and the sculpture of Christ as a figure sleeping on a bench.

Poetry is now a regular feature of SoundCafe, guests are empowered by sharing their compositions and more recently some of our guests poems have been set to music by another skilled musical guest.

‘Making Writing Available to Everyone: Creative Writing and other Arts’ give SoundCafe Guests a voice, which has often been denied them in the past. SoundCafe is committed to enabling Guests to have a voice and demonstrates that writing and other arts are not just for a privileged, “cultured” few, but for all of us to enjoy and take part in.

Pictures to inspire poems, and anthologies of poetry are made available to enable Guests to write or draw (and, for one Guest, compose music) to express their thoughts and feelings. Creative writing has extended beyond the writing/poetry table, with several Guests writing on other tables, and often also engaged in arts, crafts, singing, and playing musical instruments.