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Literary day is a topical ‘Choice’ for Lecturer’s poetry project

Date 7.10.2021

A literary awareness day comes at a timely moment for one University lecturer, who has also founded a poetry writing project for public sector professionals.

Today is National Poetry Day, a way to enjoy, discover, and share poetry. The theme this year is ‘Choice’, itself a topical choice for Senior Lecturer Korrin Smith-Whitehouse.

Korrin’s Public Sector Poetry project is for people working in – or retired from – education, health, and social care and how they can use poetry to explore their experiences of working in the professions. Current or budding public sector poets can send in poems about their challenges, frustrations, joys, heartbreaks and rewards.

Korrin, who has also worked for 20 years in mainstream education and alternative provision, said: “I think public sector workers have the most incredible stories to tell, but lack the time, support and confidence to share them. I want to encourage others to share their stories and champion the creative voices of workers in the public sector.

“The poems will be powerful evidence of the experiences of public sector workers and, hopefully, advocate change and improvement.”

Molly Case is a London-based nurse and performance poet and will guest edit an anthology of Public Sector Poetry submissions later this year.

An extract from her Nursing the Nation is below, which sums up the passion behind why she chose to become a nurse and continues to work as one.

We don’t do this for our families,
we don’t do this for our friends,
but for strangers.

Because this is our vocation
And we’re sick and tired of being told we don’t do enough for this nation.
So, listen to us, hear us goddamn roar, you say we’re not doing enough?

Than we promise we’ll do more.
This time, next time, there’s nothing we can’t handle,
even if you bring us down, show us scandal, scandal, scandal…

For more detail about Public Sector Poetry – funded by Arts Council England – see Korrin’s website.