Poeteknix was a six to eight week project for young people that merged poetry with technology, using PowerPoint to make poetry visual and to create a moving poetry 'landscape' on the PC screen. It took place at The B@se, Kingshurst Youth and Community Centre, Solihull.
- To reach new audiences of young people for libraries and arts
- To re-introduce young people to libraries and words so that they could see the potential of library resources to support their interests
- To help young people to develop ICT skills via a different approach to the use of ICT
- To support young people in finding new ways of expressing themselves
- To build on the developing links between the youth centre and library, and to extend participation in poetry and reading related activities
What went on
Poeteknix was designed and facilitated by poet Martin Glynn, with the support of library staff, youth workers and an arts development officer, who met with six young people for evening sessions and two whole days in half term week. They were inspired by Martin to write poems, and then brought them to life using PowerPoint on a suite of PCs to which they had access.
Librarians took two of the young people on a book buying trip, where they selected resources for a Resource Box, such as books on typography and graphics, rhyming dictionaries and magnetic poetry, to give them ideas and help them to research concepts for the project. The Resource Box remained with The B@se at the end of the project, for use by other young people at the centre. The young people also had a trip to the Arts Complex based at Solihull Central Library to see a performance by Linton Kwesi Johnson supported by Martin Glynn.
Celebration and evaluation
As part of the project, postcards of each of the participants' poems were professionally produced, and each young person was given 100 copies of their postcard as well as copies of each other's postcards, which they enjoyed signing for people at the launch event. This was held at Kingshurst Library, to showcase and celebrate the work of all the young people involved in the project. The project was also documented on video and each of the young people involved in the project received a copy of the video.
The video documentation formed the main evaluation of the project, which showed an improvement in the young people's skills and confidence. It was felt that Martin's original concept of Poeteknix, his skills as a poet and his ability to relate well to young people were major factors in the success of the project. The joint working relationship between the Library Service, Arts Service and Youth Service was also a contributing factor.
Poeteknix took place between May and June 2002. It was partly partnership funded by Arts Council England. There is now a Homework Club jointly run by the B@se and Kingshurst Library, and joint programmes with the Youth Service are planned for the future.