Ministry of Stories’ Poetry Trail unveiled in Haggerston’s St Mary’s Secret Garden

PUBLISHED: 11:52 24 April 2013 | UPDATED: 11:59 24 April 2013

Fionna Osea-Karikari, eight, shows off the poem she has written

Fionna Osea-Karikari, eight, shows off the poem she has written


A collection of poems about the plants, animals and landscape of St Mary’s Secret Garden were unveiled there at the weekend, by the young poets from the Ministry of Stories who wrote them.

The 14 children had been working with professional poets at the Ministry of Stories to create the mesotic poetry, which sees a vertical phrase intersect lines of horizontal text.

Guest poets Malika Booker and Rachel Rose Reid worked with the 8-12 year olds to create the poetry, helping them explore sensory language and oral storytelling about animals and nature from different parts of the world.

Ministry of Stories co-director Ben Payne, said: “Children got to see their writing made into these beautiful labels, back in the places around the secret garden that had originally inspired them.

“They each read them to the audience who came to the launch and then uncovered their own label with a great flourish.

“For us, it’s really important not just that they discover new ways to write and express themselves, but that their writing is realised in this way.”

Writing programme leader Tarnia Mason added: “The children embraced the different aspects of the garden, each choosing a part they felt most intrigued by.

“The children’s mastery of the form, and their use of language inspired me and all of the other adults involved in the project.”

The Ministry of Stories, which boasts High Fidelity author Nick Hornby as one of its co-founders, tries to empower young people with its free writing workshops and mentoring programmes, which take place hidden behind a Monster Supplies shop front in Hoxton Street.

The garden in Pearson Street, Haggerston, is open from 9am to 5pm daily.

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