The theme of this year’s National Poetry Day is Water. Jane Austen’s House Museum will take part in the celebrations by creating washing lines of poems to be hung in the Historic Kitchen and the Bakehouse.
Visitors will be encouraged in the weeks leading up to the day to write poems on the theme of water (or washing or rain or even wet shirts!). These will be pegged onto a washing line using old fashioned clothes pegs. Cut out templates of clothing will be available for children to use for their poems. Copies of each poem will also be put into a Display book for other visitors to read.
On the day itself we will have readings of the poems (and other water related poetry) over the lunchtime period – either in the garden as a poetry picnic, continuing the tradition started in 2012, or in the Historic Kitchen if cold or wet. Visitors who come especially will be treated as Garden Visitors (no charge) though anyone wanting to go in to the main Museum will need to pay the usual entrance fee.
We will encourage our ‘online community’ to also send in poems via Facebook or Twitter.
The washing line of poems will remain in place for visitors to see from 3 October.
The event/activity will be publicised via the Alton Word Fest Programme as well as other events listings.
Costs: Minimal costs for paper and pegs and washing line
Considerations: Washing line will need to be above head height to avoid anyone getting entangled. Poems will be added once or twice a week.
Visitors will be encouraged to write poems – we will have pens and paper available for their use in the kitchen.