Mixed Messages resources: over to you!

Image by Benjamin Chun, shared under a CC licence, available at http://www.flickr.com

Listening to and reading all the messages that people have sent in has been fascinating, affecting, humbling and occasionally hilarious – thank you to everyone who sent a message in. I’ve found twelve Mixed Messages poems in the messages and sincerely hope that I’ve succeeded in being true to the original messages. My intention was not to change the messages but find the poetry in them and amplify the their meanings.

My role in finding the poems is now complete but with National Poetry Day fast approaching, it’s over to you! In my role at the Scottish Poetry Library, I’ve created some learning resources for schools so that teachers and librarians can run their own Mixed Messages projects with classes and writing groups.

If you work with an adult writing group or are an individual who’s looking for a new poetry challenge, have a look at the resources. There are ideas and advice that could be easily adapted to suit your needs.

Download mixed-messages-in-schools learning resources.

So have a go and have fun. We’d love to read the poems that result from your Mixed Messages projects. Send them in to mixedmessagespoetry@gmail.com or education@spl.org.uk and maybe we’ll share them here on the blog!




Yah boo sucks to the bullies

Image by Pimkie, shared under a Creative Commons licence available at flickr.com

Not sure what sort of message to send us? Over the next few weeks, we’ll be publishing some ideas and examples. Basically we’d love to receive messages on any theme – angry, heart-warming, tear-jerking or spit-your-coffee-out-through-your-nose funny.

Yesterday evening I was talking with a friend who will remain nameless but I’ll just say that she’s smart (like, brain bogglingly smart), funny and a generally lovely human being. She mulled for a few minutes over what message she might like to send and to whom,then said, ‘It sounds daft but I’d send it to the girls in high school who picked on me. I’m going to ask them:

“Why were you so orange? You laughed at me for being uncool but you Tango-ed your faces with foundation every morning.”

Now this got me thinking. Thinking and venting. I’ve got scores to settle with a few people from school, particularly D, a rugby, sporty type:

“Do you remember how you mocked me every Wednesday morning in double English because I had the Stone Roses logo biro-ed across my satchel? You liked Richard Marx. The Stone Roses? Richard Marx? History has spoken – I win.”

And once we’d started, we realised there were quite a few scores to settle. Some more serious than others – I’m still working out exactly what to say to the call centre supervisor who sexually harassed me and every other young woman on the ‘team’ that miserable sumer of temping. But I will work it out, and then, I’ll phone it in.

Put your bullies in their place. Leave us a voicemail or send us a text to 07856 853675. We might put your words in a poem!

You can also look at FAQ no.1 for more ideas or keep an eye on our Twitter feed where we’re posting examples of texts and excerpts of voicemails we receive.