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

Taking note - poetry in moments


Three images from Addenbrooke's Hospital

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?  

These are questions explored by our Taking Note - poetry in moments project. Taking Note is all about curiosity and generosity. What moments of happiness can we notice and how can we share these with others?

Jo Shapcott (winner of the Queen’s Gold Medal, 2011, and the Costa Book Award, 2010) and Cambridge based poets Kaddy Benyon, Eve Lacey and Rebecca Watts spent the autumn of 2017 engaging with patients, visitors and staff at Cambridge University Hospitals. We are now working on a publication which will be available in the new year.

A series of eleven free postcards sharing poems were created for National Poetry Day in 2018 - 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 Addenbrooke's.  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 Addenbrooke's community. Jo Shapcott

Updates on the project can be found here.

The project is supported in 2017 by Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust, Awards for All and the Cambridgeshire Community Fund.

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 National Poetry Day (September 28th, 2017) 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


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