Shakespeare, poetry, and you

For the past several months, we’ve been busy co-ordinating the Poetry on the Shakespeare Line project, celebrating the fact that all eighteen stations on the route from Birmingham Moor Street to Stratford-upon-Avon are now being cared for by station adopter groups.

We designed the project to have three parts. In part one, Birmingham poet laureate Casey Bailey wrote and recorded a specially commissioned poem for the whole line, and we created a video to go with it. You can watch that here. In part two, we brought together eighteen of the Midlands’ finest poets, and asked each of them to write a piece for one of the stations, so that all the stops – and all the adopter groups – along the line have a poem commemorating their locality. The audio of these poems was uploaded to the Overhear app, and passengers travelling along the line can listen to them on their mobile phone as they pass through the stations. Watch out, too, for the poems appearing on posters at each station later this summer. (and in the meantime, you can read them all here, if you want to)

Part three of the Poetry on the Shakespeare Line project starts today. We believe passionately that poetry is for everyone. That whoever you are, you can enjoy poetry and – just as importantly – have fun writing it. We want your haiku about the Shakespeare Line. If you’re wondering what a haiku is, it’s a three-line, seventeen-syllable poem. A little snapshot of a moment. And it doesn’t even have to rhyme. We’ve explained all about it in this short video.

Have a go at creating a haiku while you’re gazing out of the carriage window. Or waiting for your train to arrive. Tell us about a past journey, or your hopes for a future one. Send your thoughts to us (in seventeen syllables) by sending them to @pandemonialists on Twitter, or emailing them to and watch for us sharing them with the wider world.