Strong Essex Women: A Celebration in Poetry

Last year we put a call out for a poet-in-residence. We had a fantastic response and, after a tough selection process, appointed Wivenhoe-based poet Lelia Ferro.

If you attended Lelia’s session at our festival earlier in the month, you will have heard about how she uses words and phrases to create a sense of place. Using phrases she overheard during the day, and others supplied by festival attendees, she has written two poems, shared below.

Some of the attendees at Lelia’s festival session were inspired to create their own poems and have kindly agreed to share them with us. Check back on Sunday, when we’ll be using them to make the end of Women’s History Month 2019.

workshop

Phrases donated by attendees of the Snapping the Stiletto Women’s History Festival. Image courtesy of Lelia Ferro

 

Anti-suffrage                         Factory acts               Male curators                                                                                                Hidden histories

Station rollers                       Tax resistance          Family ties                                                                                                     Women’s history

 

Our life achievements

will no longer be sidelined.

Essex girls, deeply dissent

uncover traces

of powerful treasure –

trailblazing their way

into the hawken sky.

 

Dangerous pockets            Propaganda kimono                        Red threads

Brave new sparks

 

 

Lelia Ferro 2019

 

 

Women’s refuge                  Witch hunts                         Sexual politics

Violent patriarchy

Handkerchief messages    Suburban neurosis             Minding the baby

Period poverty

 

With confident eyes                                                                                                                                   we weave new connections

with the everyday extraordinary –

revealing sisterly secrets

for rebellious bad-arse

young feminists

to take forward

 

Raised fists                          Free nipples              Reclaimed bodies                                                                                        Fight back

 

 

Lelia Ferro 2019

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Creative Opportunity: Poet-in-Residence

pexels-photo-891674.jpeg“Snapping the Stiletto” is a two year project by Essex County Council, exploring how Essex women’s lives have changed since 1918. The project has received a £95 445 grant from the Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund to work with 11 local museums to explore their collections and discover hidden inspirational stories. The project aims to replace the outdated stereotype of ‘Essex Girls’ by highlighting stories of Strong Essex Women. The key themes that emerged through our community consultation are Campaigning Women, Working Women and Migrant Women.

More details about the project can be found at: www.snappingthestiletto.com

We are looking for a “Poet in Residence” to create 4 poems inspired by objects in the museums’ collections and to lead creative writing workshops for young people and community groups.

At the moment we have funding for two workshops from SHARE Museums East, but we may be able to extend this in the future.

The fee for the project is broken down like this:

  • Four poems – £1200
  • Workshop 1 – £300
  • Workshop 2 – £300
  • Expenses – £200

Total: £2000

The successful candidate will be required to deliver the workshops at yet-to-confirmed locations within Essex and travel costs are included within the project fee. They will also be expected to have Public Liability Insurance with an indemnity limit of £5 million.

To apply, please submit to amy.cotterill@essex.gov.uk:

  • A 500 – 750 word personal statement describing your previous experience in leading creative workshops, your approach to the project and why you want to be involved in celebrating these Strong Essex Women
  • A portfolio of at least 5 previous poems
  • A CV
  • Details of 2 referees

Deadline: Thursday 22nd March, 23:59pm

For more information, email amy.cotterill@essex.gov.uk