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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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kings topple<br />

they always<br />

collapsing<br />

[Kurtis Blow – The Breaks]<br />

the f<strong>at</strong>test pigs in the land<br />

can be smoked whole<br />

nothing like two kitchens to feed family<br />

only thing the last owners did right<br />

family tree is growing somewhere<br />

i always wanted stuff to hold onto<br />

just had straw as a young’un<br />

now i got cannons pointing outside and a<br />

a<br />

sky<br />

[Queen L<strong>at</strong>ifah – Wr<strong>at</strong>h of My Madness]<br />

i know you want me to tell you where the magic happens<br />

but look <strong>at</strong> me and look <strong>at</strong> where i am<br />

don’t know wh<strong>at</strong> dried paint smells like, just smoke<br />

i thought if i got a round table –<br />

but no amount of crushed beetles 2 could plaster the taste<br />

i need more<br />

more sugar more sun more kente<br />

more ostrich fe<strong>at</strong>hers on my bed<br />

more 50 inch wide-screen puppet boxes<br />

more strokes of brown on cement<br />

anything to drench goodbye<br />

everyone<br />

back in the garden<br />

still<br />

fell<br />

i want to show you the hydraulics in my new carriage<br />

i paid to stop walls from collapsing<br />

a sky still fell<br />

[Eric. B & Rakim – I Ain’t No Joke]<br />

2<br />

Superstitions, and the fascin<strong>at</strong>ion of witchcraft perme<strong>at</strong>ed <strong>English</strong> society throughout medieval England<br />

and in the Tudor and Elizabethan period where these cures/ superstitions were known.<br />

70

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