Public Sector Poetry: Issue 2 is out now

Date 27.05.2022

A “little” idea by one University of Northampton lecturer has gained momentum over the past few months to become a popular, ‘poetry for professionals’ project.

Public Sector Poetry is for people working in, retired from, or studying to enter education, health and social care or social work. It’s the brainchild of University of Northampton lecturer Korrin Smith-Whitehouse and is open to eligible people from across England.

Korrin is looking at how these public sector professionals can use writing poetry to explore their experiences of working in the public sector.

Following a raft of submissions for the first collection of work, the second journal is now live, edited by Korrin and guest collaborator Casey Bailey, the Poet Laureate of Birmingham.

It features contributions from Maths and English teachers, a psychotherapist, a consultant neonatologist, a speech therapist and more.

Their poems explore the daily struggles of teachers – inside and outside of work – challenging patient diagnoses and a junior doctor ruminating on the human heart.

There will be an online launch event for the second journal on 30 June (7:30pm-9pm) that all are welcome to attend. Featured poets will read their work and take part in discussions about poetry and public service, joined by Casey Bailey, who is also an Assistant Headteacher.

Korrin said: “We are so proud of this issue and can’t wait to celebrate at the online launch in June. The last launch event was great and there was such a sense of community as poets read work that really resonated with guests and fellow poets.”

Next up for Korrin and her project is the Latitude Festival, as they have been added to the arts programme. Some of the plucky poets whose work features in the new journal have the chance to read their poems on stage.

Submissions for Issue 3 of the journal will open in September for a Winter 2022 publication.

Main image by UON Illustration student Tabitha Dudley.