POETOPIA Poetry Space is a project-in-progress: a traveling poetry library and creative space for festivals & events across the UK. Starting small, as an Open Poetry Space for readings & discussion at Buddhafield Festival (July 2018), the next incarnation of POETOPIA is a cosy tipi with mini-poetry-library at Tribal Earth and Into the Wild (August 2018).
POETOPIA is in its very early stages, but we intend to keep developing the project and bringing it to more and more festivals and events as it grows.
Working together, Sally-Shakti Willow & Joe Evans have a vision for POETOPIA Poetry Space which includes:
- Traveling Poetry Library – Providing free access to a wide range of poetry books & archival recordings in a cosy and nurturing space; sharing the radical and spiritual potential of modern & contemporary poetry with readers in festival settings
- Readings, Discussion & Creativity – Providing a meeting-place for poets, readers, writers and open-minded thinkers to read, share, discuss, write, workshop & create
- Art-House Film & Animation – Showing curated screenings of avant-garde film & animation with opportunities to explore the relationship between contemporary poetry & contemporary visual & performance arts
We believe POETOPIA Poetry Space is necessary & timely because there is a need to share and explore the radical and spiritual potential of contemporary poetry and film, which our current education system does not teach. Understanding contemporary poetry & film requires a specific set of skills that isn’t taught in schools, and it’s our intention to empower people to experience radically transformative literature and films in an environment that is both relaxed and supported. Working informally at Buddhafield, it became apparent to Sally-Shakti that there’s a deep desire for working with the transformative possibilities of writing & art that many people yearn for, but don’t yet know how to access. Bringing our resources and skills into festival settings allows us to share the riches of contemporary poetry & film with people who may never have encountered such work before, giving them the opportunity to enjoy and explore as much or as little as they like. POETOPIA Poetry Space is a non-commercial, open space, offered in love for the benefit of all.
Sally-Shakti Willow is currently completing her PhD in Utopian Poetics at the University of Westminster. Joe Evans holds an MA in Sequential Design/Illustration from the University of Brighton.