Phone box to be turned into poetry library for canal festival

Luke Kennard
Luke Kennard

A phone box in Braunston will be transformed into a poetry library for the duration of a historic boat rally this year.

The transformation will be in honour of the Braunston Historical Narrowboat Rally’s special guest, poet Luke Kennard, recently appointed Canal Laureate.

Luke Kennard will be ‘in residence’ at the Rally, writing and sharing poetry, including a special poem for the historic narrowboat judged ‘Best in Show’.

He said: “Without libraries poetry would fizzle out like a wet firework. If you write poetry you almost certainly care more about people finding and reading your work than you do about shifting units, and initiatives like this provide the most direct route from page to the eyes of readers.”

The Canal Laureate is appointed by the Poetry Society and the Canal and River Trust.

Vicky Martin, Waterways Manager South East at the Canal and River Trust, commented: “I am delighted that Luke’s pending visit to the Historic Boat Rally has inspired the creation of a Poetry Library and cannot think of a more fitting place than Braunston, heart of the waterways.”

Judith Palmer, Director of the Poetry Society said: “Poetry and boaters share similar skills – the ability to make the most creative use of the smallest spaces.

“We’re thrilled that Braunston will be welcoming poetry super-hero Canal Laureate Luke Kennard to the show, and even more thrilled at the organisers’ ingenuity at turning their phone box into a capsule poetry library.”

Braunston resident, Abigail Campbell, who had the idea for the phone box poetry library, invites anyone with poetry books to donate to the project to get in touch: abigailathome@gmail.com or 07989 421836.

The disused phone box belongs to BCBM Boatshare Ltd, and they have kindly made it available for the project.