Big Pit National Coal Museum

When: 22.07.2019 to 24.07.2019

Where: Pontypool NP4 9XP

Places of Poetry heads back to Wales – stopping off between Monday 22nd and Wednesday 24th at Big Pit National Coal Museum near Newport.  Here you can tour a mine (not for the claustrophobic) and get a taste of what it was like to work as a miner – or learn about mining history in the museum. Our poet-in-residence is Jo Bell who in a former life, was an archaeologist specialising in coal and lead mines.  Jo will be running two workshops on Tues 23rd and Wed 24th July betwenn 11.30am and 1.30pm in the Kearsley Room at Big Pit National Coal Museum.  Jo says 'you will want to do the famous underground tour first. Bring a notebook, an open mind and be ready for a lively session of writing and talking.' Jo will be exploring how work shapes identity and the ground beneath our feet! Reserve a place by either going to Jo's FB pages and leaving a comment or contact Vic Patch at  

Jo will also be there on Monday 22nd July roaming around the site talking to visitors and writing poety on demand inspired by the themes of home and work. The Places of Poetry team will be there to talk about the project and encourage people to write a poem and pin it to the map.  

A brief bio of Jo. She was born in Sheffield and grew up on the fringes of the Derbyshire Peak District, leaving school just after the Miners’ Strike. She became an industrial archaeologist, specialising in coal and lead mines. A winner of the Charles Causley Prize and the Manchester Cathedral Prize, she was the first Canal Laureate for the UK, appointed by the Poetry Society and the Canal & River Trust. She lives on a narrowboat on the English waterways. Kith (Nine Arches Press) is Jo Bell’s second collection of poems, and she is also author of 52: Write a Poem a Week. Start Now. Keep Going and How to be a Poet (with Jane Commane), both published by Nine Arches Press.

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