beaford poetry box

If you’re walking or cycling down the Tarka Trail, you might notice some unusual boxes along your route.  Open one up and you may just discover a photograph from the Beaford Archive. Tucked inside it will be a little pad and a pencil for you to write your thoughts, share your memories  or draw a picture.  Write just one word or write a poem, create an artwork or doodle the first thing that comes into your head - all responses are very welcome. 

Beaford Poetry Boxes have been created by Christopher Jelley, a poet technologist whose works thread strands of place, location and writing in new and curious ways.  From 2014-2016 just six similar tins have amassed over 5000 poems from visitors to Exmoor. The words collected in the Beaford Boxes will be used to create a playable poetry walk next year in which hidden words are revealed through the use of water guns… more on that in the next paper! 

I’m asking people to open the tin, write a few things about their surroundings, respond to the landscape, respond to the images and leave the book there for the next person…We’ve already got some really lovely poems and drawings from people who have walked the trail, so I’m really excited.
— Chris Jelley

Beaford Poetry Boxes can be found along the Tarka Trail between Instow and Bideford until 1 October 2018.