Hidden City Writers In Residence

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A real opportunity to connect with a specific place and the people who live here’

Phil Gibby, Area Director, South West, Arts Council England

In September 2015 Part Exchange Co delivered a unique Hidden City Writers in residence event in association with the Architecture Centre, Bristol and Bristol Doors Open Day.

Eight talented local and near region writers; Bea Roberts, Sammy Weaver, Samuel Edward Taylor, Rew Lowe, Claire Reddaway, John Yates, Stephanie Kempson and Lucy Bell, were placed in eight very different venues all taking part in Bristol Doors Open Day – an event where a behind the scenes insight into spaces and places not usually accessible to the general public is offered.

‘We were astonished by the ability of our writer, poet Sammy Weaver, to understand so deeply what this place is about and to express it in four poems each of which touched our souls’

Julian Trust night shelter staff

Our writers spent the day engrossed in their venues taking inspiration from the building itself as well as from conversations with visitors, users and staff alike. They then performed the work they produced in spoken word presentations in the venue at the end of the day, wrote a blog about their experience and published it all on Facebook.

Everyone, including the venue’s staff and volunteers, expressed how much added enjoyment, appreciation and understanding of the venue the Hidden City writers brought to the day.

‘I thoroughly enjoyed, and was moved by, your words at Glenside Hospital Museum. I hope you had a warm and positive experience at the museum and got as much from it as we and our visitors got from you’

Glenside Hospital Museum staff on writer Lucy Bell

Read and hear the results of this work here

Read about the event as it happened on the Hidden City Writers in Residence Facebook page here 

Read the summary report here

The event was supported by the Architecture Centre and Bristol Doors Open Day and took place at the SS Great Britain, St Mary Redcliffe Church, Glenside Hospital Museum, the Underfall Yard, RNIB Bedminster, Julian Trust Night Shelter, Elsie Briggs’ house and the Environment Agency.

This was an Engine House seed idea developed with support from Arts Council England.