The Blackburn Poetry Project Blackburn, Lancashire; January 2020

The Blackburn Poetry Project was organised by Rebecca Grant, a PhD Student in SEED, working with Karen Mathison (a local photographer) and Mike Garry (a poet). This project aims to produce new narratives of Blackburn that challenge harmful accounts and perceptions of racial segregation in the town.

The project took place at Our Lady and St John's School in Blackburn, and saw year 7 pupils study Mike Garry's poetry, before working with him to create poetry of their own to celebrate their favourite places in Blackburn. Some examples of the wonderful poetry that the children created are interspersed throughout this page.

Rebecca worked alongside Kick Down the Barriers, an Arts Council funded project based at Blackburn Museum. It aims to challenge the narratives of Blackburn perpetuated by the mainstream media, which portray the town as troubled and divided, rather than highlighting its vibrancy and strength.

Karen and Renecca then travelled around Blackburn taking photographs to complement the children's poetry (some of which can be seen on this page). These combined images and poems are due to be produced into a poetry book and distributed to the school and elsewhere in Blackburn. The project was also featured on BBC Radio Lancashire, and the poems distributed on social media.

This project was funded by SEED Social Responsibility - if you have any questions, or are a member of SEED and would like to run your own project, please get in contact!

Photo Credits: Karen Mathison.

Created By
Jonathan Huck


Images by the Blackburn Poetry Project. Poetry by the children of Or Lady and St John's School, Blackburn.