Section 1


David Chapple

David Chapple’s Writing for Social Change workshop, hosted by the Gender, Sex and Sexualities Conference in August 2018 used poetry and poetic techniques to support participants in developing the individual voice they can use to speak out about their environment. The resulting poem ‘Home’ was written collaboratively by workshop participants.


poetry; writing for social change; group writing; collaborative writing; space


David Chapple’s Writing for Social Change workshop was hosted by the 2018 Gender, Sex and Sexualities Conference, ‘Space and Place: conceptions of movement, boundaries and belongings’. Social change relies on a key word: social. This was the starting point for the workshop, which used bonding exercises and playful technique to work with those low in confidence and motivation, and worked to instil a love of poetry and some understanding of technique. Participants were encouraged to feel safe in this space, allowing play and a stepping outside of comfort zones in order to create, both individually and together. Throughout the workshop, the participants were asked questions to provoke personal answers—questions about love, hope, childhood and home—to encourage reflection on these spaces and places and their boundaries and belongings. The group appreciated others responses and felt safe providing their own, forging a social space. This reflection elicited sophisticated, meaningful speech. The resulting conversations were used to capture and create instant poetry. The variety of answers and emotions from the variety of participants gave the poem ‘Home’ tone, texture and depth that is unique to its context.




I’m a child

Kind of down in the house

Just another instance

Where I’m held at distance

Away from prayer calls

Five times a day

Away from impatient touts

In this warm land far away

Mother’s piano trickles down to this lonely room

Moth balls, pig’s feet, cabbage odours loom

It’s now, it’s then, nostalgia adult and child

It’s in the spinning wheels outside the house

Furious red car, gravel spat

Acrid silent atmosphere, memories like that

And the smell of misery, that’s still a part of me


When the hound haunch hits the couch

We cuddle for comfort my siblings shout

Fragrance of the lily, rice cooked in fire

The end, the start, the heart of the day

Memories, we are all made this way

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ISSN: 2202-2546

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