Culture Awards Poem

The Culture Awards celebrate the rich cultural life of the Canterbury district and East Kent, highlighting individual and collective achievements and showcasing the quality and diversity of the local cultural scene. For this year’s awards I created a crowdsourced poem made up of words from the nominees in a big celebration of their creative work. Here it is!

Creativity takes commitment and courage
when your social life has gone out the window
and everything is done on a shoe string
you’re exhausted but exhilarated
you need to be prepared to fight
to make it all worthwhile
because nothing beats
being on main stages
the look of amazement and delight
the pleasure on faces
in new and revitalised spaces
jam-packed full of enthusiastic audiences
all very animated
a whole room full of people enjoying themselves
makes all the hard graft worth it.

Making people happy is amazing
and we have a history of breath-taking
making excited gasps happen
and at that moment knowing
we were on to something
pretty special
most memorable.

Too many moments to list:
the “I’ve never seen anything like that in my life” moments
the “oh wow” moments
the “more, please, more” moments
the applause after finishing my first song
the laughter at slapstick comedy
the book launch
the bunting going up
the wonderful acoustics
the gallery launch night
the air displays
the smiling
the cheering

always a wonderful feeling seeing how people react
and the response was awesome:
buzzing with such excitement
animated chatter
stunned silence
thousands of children’s voices singing
‘Mandibles and tentacles and talons and tusks!’
thousands of people coming to the coast
to watch a pirate ship lit on fire
hundreds of events creating good friends
5 stars lighting up the night sky
doing death defying drops and dramatically close loops
unguarded, spluttering fireworks
invigorating the festive spirit
as they roar past.

Because we have fantastic chemistry
unusual ideas
inspiration and creativity by the bucket full
we reawaken wonder and inspire curiosity
play with plasticine
we have some kind of alchemy here
transforming rain into sunbeams
something in the water
turning sadness to dreams.

We have this rather ambitious aim
there is clearly a hunger
an appetite and excitement
to be brave and bold and noticeable
to make Canterbury and East Kent
the perfect place for arts
the cultural place to be
to be the best it can be
to open doors
raise roofs
and hairs on the neck
to surprise and delight
to explore adventurous talent
launch new, risky work
to stage quality like no other.

From the timeless ghost of Chaucer and his pilgrims
to the imagined and inspirational future
what makes Canterbury and East Kent
this excellent environment
these atmospheric surroundings
a creative place to be?

so many creative people
an amazing array of people
the driven and dedicated people
fabulously talented, friendly people
the people
the people
the people
definitely the people

people who strive to provide
these ideas and diversity
opportunities and schemes
these most memorable moments
a huge community
a wealth of fantastic talent
in this amazingly vibrant
culturally significant area

just simply that
creativity is here
allow us to make it
to love it
and to thrive.

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