St John’s Poet in Residence

Pete Cox
Pete Cox

From Easter Monday (April 9th) 2012 Pete Cox was the St John’s poet in residence for a year. During the year he wrote more than fifty poems, many of which appeared on the pew slip given to worshippers on Sunday mornings, and several evenings of poetry took place in the church. To see some of Pete’s poetry inspired by St John’s please go to the Poems page.

The following is an article written just before he took up his post.

What inspired this residency?

The residency role is an extension of all of our arts and culutural activity, the church is aware and supports the wonderful and dynamic poetry scene in the city and wanted to give a home to a poet  for a year who will use the church’s platform for themselves and the whole  poetry scene. There are many poet in residents throughout the uk, using both well know poets and up and coming, For example Benjamin Zephaniah has just completed a successful residency in London and Peterborough has another poet in resident at Broadway Cemetery as well as a Poet Laureate. As for churches there are many across the UK that have been home to poets including Truro cathedral. Yet this is a first for Peterborough.

So from April the 9th which is Easter Monday,  Pete Cox (pictured above)  will become the  Poet in Resident till next year when it will be handed over to another poet.We chose Pete because he is foremostly a good poet, someone who knows Peterborough and its heritage well. He also has a vast experience in being a resident and also acting on behalf of a community when he was Peterborough Poet Laureate and also resident poet at the Broadway cemetery. Pete is a dynamic person who we feel can pick up the role and run with it, making it successful for years to come.

What will Pete be doing?

The church, its development board and Pete will be creating a set of events that will correspond with important dates for the church and also for the city over the next year. These will be a mix of workshops, performances and Q/A sessions with Pete and will open to the public as well as the church community.  We are also hoping that Pete may perform at other events in out of the city on the church’s behalf too. There are no confirmed dates at the moment as the Residency will not begin till Easter so we will know more by then and we will publicise these through the St Johns’s website and also local press, so keep your eyes peeled.

What you can expect?

The church and the development board have respect for Pete and his art, so there is no limit on the amount of poems and the body of work produced.But knowing Pete personally it will be a substantial volume of work. These new poems will be shared through performances, being published in the local press, the internet and also included in pamphlets which will be sold in the church in the future. Pete has also expressed an interest in meeting with the church community and working with them to create new poems so some of the church goers, persons having a cup of tea on a saturday or someone attending one of our music concerts may find themselves inspiring a new piece of art.  We hope that Pete can use the church, its heritage and community as a muse that both inspires and stretches him and gifts us new pieces of poetry for all time.