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Untold Stories: Poetry at English Heritage

Untold Stories – Poetry at English Heritage took place in the autumn of 2020. Through new commissions, a poetry exchange and a public competition the programme allowed us to experience English Heritage sites in new ways and offered opportunities for everyone to explore our past through poetry. The programme was co-curated by Jacob Sam-La Rose, English Heritage’s Poet in Residence. This digital anthology brings together a collection of works written as part of the programme. It features poems written in Shout Out Loud workshops led by Malika Booker; as part of the Untold Stories Poetry Competition; and by commissioned poets Esme Allman, Nii Ayikwei Parkes, Jay Bernard, Malika Booker, Safiya Kamaria Kinshasa and Jacob Sam-La Rose. english-heritage.org.uk/untold-stories

Untold Stories – Poetry at English Heritage took place in the autumn of 2020. Through new commissions, a poetry exchange and a public competition the programme allowed us to experience English Heritage sites in new ways and offered opportunities for everyone to explore our past through poetry. The programme was co-curated by Jacob Sam-La Rose, English Heritage’s Poet in Residence.

This digital anthology brings together a collection of works written as part of the programme. It features poems written in Shout Out Loud workshops led by Malika Booker; as part of the Untold Stories Poetry Competition; and by commissioned poets Esme Allman, Nii Ayikwei Parkes, Jay Bernard, Malika Booker, Safiya Kamaria Kinshasa and Jacob Sam-La Rose.

english-heritage.org.uk/untold-stories

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inspired by: Farleigh Hungerford Castle<br />

MTV Cribs: Farleigh Hungerford<br />

Cameraman with handheld camera ready. Harpists, trumpeters,<br />

lutists and a tambourine player on deck. Castle guards on standby.<br />

shuffle my grime on fresh rushes before walking in<br />

scum stays outside<br />

i<br />

[Queen L<strong>at</strong>ifah ft Monie Love – Ladies First]<br />

my gre<strong>at</strong> hall<br />

with our funk, party like it’s 1453 1<br />

live well fight like hell<br />

kin lost to the smoke<br />

end up on this wall-painting<br />

all dressed in white <strong>at</strong> a garden party<br />

don’t mind the bear rugs and silver chalices<br />

love, th<strong>at</strong>’s a heavy tax<br />

filling every inch with my people<br />

draped in silk<br />

like they’ve never been muddy<br />

paid<br />

to<br />

[RUN DMC ft Aerosmith – Walk This Way]<br />

they said the north-west tower had ghosts<br />

but if spirits were here i know they’d be like<br />

holy hell!<br />

we barricaded ourselves from colour<br />

faces on swords were our mirrors<br />

why did we not spice the halls with kente<br />

swap the blood-stained glass with sugared almonds?<br />

anything th<strong>at</strong> reminds me of outside stays outside<br />

renov<strong>at</strong>ions still happening<br />

sun-roofs on all towers, tapestries on<br />

cre<strong>at</strong>ures to brighten the dank<br />

replacing a few doors for bead curtains<br />

coffin-looking chests for walk-in wardrobes<br />

a few lifts to stop me<br />

from<br />

slipping<br />

w<strong>at</strong>ch your step<br />

stop<br />

walls<br />

1<br />

1453 marked the end of The Hundred Years’ War. Walter Hungerford, 1st Baron Hungerford fought in<br />

the war as a knight and admiral.<br />

69

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