Details of events and workshops we are currently involved in are listed below:

Taking note - poetry in moments


Three images from Addenbrooke's Hospital

Emergency Poet Deborah Alma

How can poets and poetry touch the lives of this huge and diverse community?

What might poets and poetry prompt people to notice and share?  

Taking Note - poetry in moments was launched on Thursday 28th September in Addenbrooke’s Hospital. This was National Poetry Day. There was poetry handed out all day at the main entrance, with Emergency Poet Deb Alma also there prescribing poetry from her old ambulance and a free lunchtime poetry reading in the Chapel. A series of eleven free postcards sharing poems were created for the day - every in-patient received one on their lunch tray and Costa handed them out to every customer too.

I just wanted to say how beautiful this is. Thankyou. More of this please. Sharon (visitor)

This has lifted me for a moment. I’ve spent most of my life inside and don’t really read poetry but I’m going to look at these when I get home. Jason (patient)

We are hugely grateful to the generosity of the poets who gave us permission to share their work in this way at no cost, particularly Jo Shapcott, Imtiaz Dharker, Carol Ann Duffy, Clive James, and Esther Morgan.

It's a  pleasure to be included in the Taking Note team at Addenbrookes.  It's a project full of energy and light which speaks equally to the patient and poet in me and I hope will do the same for the wider Addenbrookes community. Jo Shapcott

Taking Note is all about curiosity and generosity. What moments of happiness can we notice and how can we share these with others? In the first year of our project we invited people to share stories at our pop-up events held around the hospital. These were curated into two exhibitions held in the hospital and around Cambridge and through our online networks throughout the year. Now in this second year of the project we have invited poets to work with us to continue exploring these themes of noticing and sharing. 

Jo Shapcott, winner of Costa Book of the Year in 2011 for her collection Of Mutability, is responding to the project and stories collected to date and writing new poetry in response. Three brilliant young Cambridge based poets – Kaddy Benyon, Eve Lacey and Rebecca Watts - are engaging directly with different aspects of the hospital and people connected with it over the autumn. Updates on the project can be found here.

The project will conclude with a reading by all the poets involved on December 1st, an exhibition in the hospital itself and a new publication. Details re venue for reading will be shared here nearer the time.

There are plans for poetry competitions and for lots of different ways for staff, patients and visitors to get involved with writing, reading and sharing poetry. If you would like to be involved or would like poets to come to your ward or clinic or would just like more information, please contact

Kaddy Benyon

Kaddy Benyon’s first collection Milk Fever won the Crashaw Prize and was published by Salt in 2012.  She is currently editing her second collection, written during a residency at The Polar Museum in Cambridge.  Kaddy is a Granta New Poet and has been highly commended in the Forward Prizes.

Eve Lacey

Eve Lacey works in a library in Cambridge. She is the editor of Furies, an anthology of contemporary women’s poetry (For Books’ Sake, 2014) and The Emma Press Anthology of the Sea (2016). Her writing is published by The Emma Press, The Next Review, SALT magazine, and Edinburgh University Press.

Jo Shapcott

Jo Shapcott was born in London. Poems from her three award-winning collections, Electroplating the Baby (1988), Phrase Book (1992) and My Life Asleep (1998) are gathered in a selected poems, Her Book (2000). She has won a number of literary prizes including the Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Best First Collection, the Forward Prize for Best Collection and the National Poetry Competition (twice). Tender Taxes, her versions of Rilke, was published in 2001. Her most recent collection, Of Mutability, was published in 2010 and won the Costa Book Award. In 2011 Jo Shapcott was awarded the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry.

Rebecca Watts

Rebecca Watts’s debut poetry collection, The Met Office Advises Caution, was published by Carcanet in 2016. A Poetry Book Society Recommendation, it featured in the Guardian and Financial Times ‘Best Books of 2016’ lists and was also shortlisted for the 2017 Seamus Heaney Centre Prize. Rebecca lives in Cambridge, where she works in a library and as a freelance editor. Her website is

Many thanks also to poets Shaista Tayabali, Jane Monson and James Sheard who read with us on the day:

Image of Shaista Tayabali

Shaista Tayabali
I started writing poems as a child, not knowing that poetry would eventually guide me safely through the perils of lupus, the life threatening auto immune illness that awaited me. Pen to paper, a few lines here, three verses there, and poetry still pulls me out of danger, twenty years after I was first diagnosed. Addenbrooke's has been a second home to me since I was a teenager. I have suffered, cried and laughed on countless wards; art on the corridor walls, poetry and sculpture found in unexpected corners have always nourished me. I am honoured and excited to be part of Taking Note and Addenbrooke's Arts - my life is enriched by such projects. And the battle to survive this disease made easier.

Jane Monson

James Sheard

Fantastical Cambridgeshire Exhibition


Ariel view of beatle by Maciek Platek
Image by: photographer and film-maker Maciek Platek

A celebration of real and imaginary discoveries by people of all ages.

Cambridge Curiosity and Imagination’s arts and well-being exhibition shares fantastical maps created by communities in St Neots, alongside images and work made in response to the North West Cambridge Development and the new museum at Addenbrooke’s Hospital.

Cambridge Curiosity and Imagination’s projects invite communities on creative adventures to discover spaces and ideas on their doorsteps. This exhibition shares for the first time the three new fantastical maps created by communities in St Neots, alongside images and work made in response to the North West Cambridge Development and the new museum at Addenbrooke’s Hospital.

Playful prompts inspired by children’s adventuring will also be available to take away for exploring this year’s Festival of Ideas.

CCI is an arts and well-being charity. We are a group of artists, educators, parents and researchers with a shared passion for how the arts can transform lives. Our projects actively engage with people of all ages and from all walks of life to open up spaces where creativity can flourish.

Every one of its projects makes me see things strangely again, tips a little more wonder back into the world.
Robert Macfarlane, CCI Patron

Festival of Ideas Logo08:00am to 17:00pm 16th-28th October 2017 (Monday – Saturday, Closed Sundays)

Michaelhouse Café, St Michaels Church, Trinity St, Cambridge, CB2 1SU (map)

This event is part of Cambridge Festival of Ideas.

Animating the archives: a second exhibition


Image of the display at the hosptial

The second exhibition of work from our project Animating the archives is now in the Treatment Centre Corridor in Addenbrooke's Hospital and will be there until mid November. It features work from our projects  with two groups supported by the Carers Trust Cambridgeshire – young carers in the county and people living with dementia and their carers. We are delighted that much of the original work has been able to be included both in the exhibition but also alongside the museum objects that inspired them in the museum itself. There are delicate nurses inspired by the stories of the nurses displayed in the cabinets, as well as an Addenbrooke's bear and even a fox designed for an old apothecary. Many of the clay objects made by the Shelford Dementia Carers Group are also on display. Everyone is welcome to visit the exhibition and the museum at any time. Read more about the projects here.

Our first exhibition featured a small selection of work and images from the two creative projects with 7 – 9 year old children from Queen Edith’s Primary School and St Philips Primary School, Cambridge. The children were responding to objects and stories in hospital's new museum in the spirit of fun and curiosity but also with great tenderness. The work displayed included their imagined insects with special healing powers, bed sheets with words that could comfort them, and uplifting poems for staff and patients to find in their pockets.

This project is part of the Hospital's 250th birthday celebrations. In the main corridor of the hospital, the new museum houses a collection of just some of the extraordinary objects and stories stored in the archive.  Animating Addenbrooke's is connecting with people of all ages during 2016/17 to animate the museum, inviting different groups to play creatively with ideas and provocations inspired by the collection.

Wire sculpture of a fox sitting on old books with the display cabinet in the museum

Wire sculptures within the display cabinets of the museum

Display of artswork at the hospital

artwork within the display cabinets of the museum

Wire sculptures within the display cabinets of the museum

You Are Where?


Large tree

Both workshops are now fully booked. Join our mailing list to receive notifications of future events run by CCI.

Join us to explore true stories and wild flights of imagination in the beautiful gardens of Emmanuel College. We will meet under the Caucasian Wingnut tree and explore out from there before ending our time together under the amazing Great Oriental Plane in the Fellows’ Garden (a space not normally open to the public). The beginnings of a fantastical map of the gardens will be created from words, drawings and small 3D constructions gathered during the workshops. This outdoor gallery of work will be shared with other visitors during the day.

Our workshops offer time to explore and imagine, notice and daydream. They are for people of any age and are inspired by children’s ideas from our Fantastical Cambridgeshire projects.

09:30am to 11:00am and 11:30am to 13:00pm on 28th October 2017

The Paddock, the Fellows’ Garden, Emmanuel College, St Andrew’s Street, Cambridge CB2 3AP (map)

Tickets must be booked in advance

Festival of Ideas LogoCost £5 per group – this includes a copy of CCI’s Fantastical Guide for the wildly curious: Ways into Hinchingbrooke Country Park

Groups can be made up of up to 4 people of any age.

This event is part of Cambridge Festival of Ideas.


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