Out of Bounds

Lead Research Organisation: Newcastle University
Department Name: School of English Literature,Language an

Abstract

On publication, our anthology, Out of Bounds (OOB), was hailed by the leading Caribbean poet and novelist, Fred D'Aguiar, as 'an alternative A-Z of the nation'. The book focuses on black and British Asian poets as they imaginatively interact with the diverse landscapes of Britain, from the Highlands of Scotland, to the Isle of Wight. The proposed Out of Bounds project re-purposes this critically-acclaimed book to engage schools, young people and the wider public in thinking imaginatively about one of the most pressing issues facing Britain today: migration. While questions of diversity, belonging and inclusion are included in Scotland's Curriculum for Excellence and are being embedded in the revised GCSE curriculum, high profile national debate around immigration has transformed the themes of this book into a key part of daily public life. This project invites the next generation to explore these issues of national and regional belonging through the creation of an online multimedia resource, and a series of live poetry events across England, Scotland and Wales led by OOB poet, Vahni Capildeo.

Through exploratory workshops involving 6 schools in England and Scotland (connecting 10 teachers and 180 students), this project addresses the challenge of making poetry as meaningful, accessible and interactive as possible. Working with the world-leading 'Digital Interaction' team at Newcastle University (already core partners in several AHRC-funded projects), the school workshops will test the various ways in which the poetic map of Britain might be re-drawn by using the latest digital technologies at our disposal. For example, by enabling pupils to arrange poets and poems within the instantly recognisable shape of Britain, we encourage them to think of themselves as cartographers, making dynamic online sound, image and text maps as part of a literary landscape that can be constantly updated and is at once familiar and unfamiliar. The ambition is to produce a freely available online resource that challenges pupils (aged 14-18) and their teachers, and supports their classroom curriculum.

Bringing this virtual resource to life during the course of the project will be a series of live poetry performances and events that take the contents and poets of Out of Bounds 'on tour'. These events include scheduled performances run in conjunction with leading regional and national arts organisations/libraries (the British Library, Manchester Literature Festival and Scottish Poetry Library) to showcase the project and the poetry it is working with. Other events are designed to engage in highly original ways with local landscapes across Britain. For example, tours will include 'Blue Plaque Events' (various UK locations); a 'Land, Water, Air' mini-series (coastal, 'nowhere', regenerated and urban sites in Yorkshire and Lancashire), with recordings of sampler sounds; relay readers punting boats of poetry through Cambridge; and 'Shetland Muse' (Highlands and Islands). These events will be publicized to both local schools and newspapers to raise the project's profile among the wider public. Recordings of these performances will be archived by the British Library, and form additional raw materials to augment our online resource for schools, allowing us to exploit poetry as a visual, aural and place-based event.

The project will result in 2 main digital outputs, both embedded within the same website: (i) a bespoke set of resources that takes place-poetry beyond the page (ii) a rich geographical gallery of filmed performances and events that brings together for the first time previously unseen footage of leading poets in the anthology (supplied by Bloodaxe publishers), and newly commissioned performances by Out of Bounds poets. Our aim is to create a one-stop resource that will serve as a highly visible archive stimulating future learning activities, and new projects wishing to re-write, or re-design, the poetic map of Britain.

Planned Impact

This project's impact agenda is driven by (1) the critical reception of and reader responses to the PI's and CI's poetry anthology, Out of Bounds; (2) current popular discourse on migration and diversity; and (3) the Out of Bounds project team's and partners' commitment to and expertise in exploring Britain's transnationality via creative practice. This project identifies innovative ways to present place poetry by black and Asian writers for new audiences.

The prospect of harnessing print forms of poetry to the latest innovations in digital technology speaks directly to the digital citizenry of young people in Britain. 180 pupils and 10 teachers drawn from six schools in central Scotland and the North East England will join an extended project team made up of 2 literature academics, 1 poet, 2 digital humanities computer scientists, the British Library, the Scottish Poetry Library, Bloodaxe Books, and Commonword, an Arts Council organisation for promoting new writers.

The project activities will benefit a range of communities:
1) Young people: The 2 study days on poetry by black and Asian writers will address creative, digital and critical practice and aid the development of Scottish/English curriculum skills in reading, writing and citizenship. The 6 workshops within the study days will focus on poetic mapping, digital humanities and student-centred curriculum development. An immediate benefit will be pupils' increased confidence and intellectual excitement at the intersection of literature and new technologies. The allied activities of student blogging, crowd-sourcing, and peer-group dissemination will develop independent creative skills. The ultimate aim is to create resources that reflect, share and shape young people's understanding of cultural heritage and innovation, and their self-understanding within the national borders of Britain today.

2) Teachers: By providing a bridge between academics, schools and UK culture industries, the project will enable our partner teachers to work within and reflect on the uses of interdisciplinary methods in the classroom. It will afford them an opportunity to assess the best forms of continuing professional development that creative practice and digital humanities can offer for them as practising teachers. The resources we develop will register positively that the focus of learning can be emergent and still answer the needs of contemporary classrooms. The wide online dissemination of resources will ensure that teachers beyond the project benefit from our presentation of poetry as a provocatively transnational and multidimensional form.

3) Poets: The project will provide an enhanced profile for the poets in the original Out of Bounds anthology, introducing their work to a large cohort of pupils and teachers. A wide-ranging group of poets will also contribute to the workshops and poetry 'tours' of Britain organised by Vahni Capildeo. The events will be recorded and edited for an online audience, with the poets helping to design the archiving practices for their work. The multimedia opportunities of online delivery will capture, often for the first time, the written, musical, vocal and performative aspects of this work within a single space.

4) Audiences beyond schools: the project will attract new audiences for poetry by promoting the work of black and Asian writers within established venues (such as the British Library), incorporating poetry performances within public spaces, and targeting local press and social media to stimulate interest in place, poetry and diversity.

5) The third sector: The delivery of strategic priorities of the British Library, Commonword, Scottish Poetry Library and Bloodaxe will be strengthened by this project. As the Partner Letters attest, our attention to reader and writer development and to the importance of innovative archiving of poetic and teaching resources makes this project an important part of their portfolio of activities.
 
Description Working with children and teachers on the co-creation of the project app taught us new ways to approach the poetry as it was printed in our Out of Bounds anthology.
Exploitation Route Other schools might take up our materials. Other researcher might develop our digital methodologies.
Sectors Creative Economy,Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections

URL http://outofbounds.digital
 
Description The Great North Museum has developed our model of poetry away days from the project, with a view to developing a CPD programme for teachers based on our materials. We have also worked with the Great North Museum and one of our project poets, Kayo Chingonyi as part of the Great Exhibition of the North (2018). More recently (2019-20) we have been commissioned twice by New Writing North to deliver our project activities with schools in the North East.
Sector Creative Economy,Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections
Impact Types Cultural

 
Description Bishopsgarth School 
Organisation Outwood Academy Bishopsgarth
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution School was invited to the poetry day at Newcastle University, which was ran specially for the 100 children and associated teachers involved in the project. Poets involved included John Agard and Grace Nichols.
Collaborator Contribution Advised and helped us co-produce the materials from the project, including the project app
Impact The app is here: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/poetry-pick-n-mix/id1119623870?mt=8
Start Year 2015
 
Description Bloodaxe Books 
Organisation Bloodaxe Books
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Helping to raise the cultural profile of the publisher.
Collaborator Contribution Bloodaxe books are providing us with a web presence on their new website; and with archival film footage of key poets we've worked with for use on our own site.
Impact N/A
Start Year 2016
 
Description Bloodaxe Books 
Organisation Bloodaxe Books
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Helping to raise the cultural profile of the publisher.
Collaborator Contribution Bloodaxe books are providing us with a web presence on their new website; and with archival film footage of key poets we've worked with for use on our own site.
Impact N/A
Start Year 2016
 
Description British Library: Poetry reading event at the British Library, 'Beyond Bounds' - 26 Feb 2016 
Organisation The British Library
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution 'Beyond Bounds' builds on the anthology Out of Bounds (Bloodaxe, 2012) and launches the nationwide touring phase of a project hosted by the Universities of Newcastle and Stirling. It included readings by Anthony Joseph, Jay Bernard, Kayo Chingonyi and Vahni Capildeo and was attended by an audience of over 50. The project provided the poets, taken from the anthology, for the event. Materials developed from the project are being donated to the BL's sound archive.
Collaborator Contribution The British Library provided the central London poetry, and the publicity for the event: http://www.bl.uk/events/beyond-bounds-britain-re-presented-in-poetry
Impact N/A
Start Year 2015
 
Description British Library: Windrush Exhibition 
Organisation The British Library
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution The project was commissioned by the British Library to produce a series of 'on location' poetry readings based on the Out of Bounds poetry anthology to mark the 70th anniversary of the Windrush. They featured as film installations at the exhibition.
Collaborator Contribution The British Library helped commission the filmmaker to make the films in London, Scotland, Hull and Newcastle.
Impact The films are hosted on the British Library's website as part of their learning resources for schools: https://www.bl.uk/windrush/videos
Start Year 2018
 
Description Cramlington Learning Village 
Organisation Cramlington Learning Village
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution This School helped us co-produce our project app, and took part in our Poetry Day workshops.
Collaborator Contribution Cramlington Learning Village helped inform the development of our project app, and the other digital outputs designed for use in schools across the UK.
Impact The App is available here: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/poetry-pick-n-mix/id1119623870?mt=8
Start Year 2015
 
Description Dunblane High School 
Organisation Dunblane High School
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We provided a Poetry Day at the University of Stirling for 100 school children and their teachers. Poets attending included Jackie Kay and Kayo Chingonyi
Collaborator Contribution The students and teachers offered advice and feedback on the digital outputs of our Out of Bounds project.
Impact The App we developed in collaboration with the school is here: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/poetry-pick-n-mix/id1119623870?mt=8
Start Year 2015
 
Description Fictions of Reconciliation: Book Clubs and Australian Historical Fiction 
Organisation University of Tasmania
Country Australia 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Collaboration with Dr Robert Clarke (University of Tasmania) and Dr Maggie Nolan (Australian Catholic University) for Australian Research Council Funding (38months)
Collaborator Contribution Prof James Procter is a PI on this application
Impact No
Start Year 2017
 
Description Great North Museum: Great Exhibition of the North 
Organisation Great North Museum
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution We provided our project poet, Kayo Chingonyi, to work with schools in the North East. It was billed as the 'Great Atlas of the North', building on the themes of location in the Out of Bounds anthology. It involved workshop which lead to students writing poems based on the themes of identity and location.
Collaborator Contribution The Great North Museum liaised with the schools, bringing them into the museum, and taking our project poet out to the schools themselves.
Impact Poems by school children
Start Year 2018
 
Description Larbert High School 
Organisation Larbert High School
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution School was invited to the poetry day and provided with teaching materials generated through the project
Collaborator Contribution Helped us co-create the app and other teaching materials relating to the project
Impact https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/poetry-pick-n-mix/id1119623870?mt=8
Start Year 2015
 
Description Scottish Poetry Library 
Organisation Scottish Poetry Library
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Raising the profile of the Scottish Poetry Library with schools.
Collaborator Contribution Participated in School workshops; gave access to the SPL networks; to host poetry events connected to anthology
Impact N/A
Start Year 2015
 
Description Shawlands Learning Academy 
Organisation Shawlands Academy
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The School was invited to our Poetry Day at Stirling University, and supplied with other teaching materials and handouts generated through the project.
Collaborator Contribution Co-construction of the project app and other learning outputs
Impact https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/poetry-pick-n-mix/id1119623870?mt=8
Start Year 2015
 
Title 'Poetry Pick-n-Mix' app 
Description This app was co-produced with schools and allows users to share poetic responses to place through text, poetry and photographs. It is available free to download from Google Play. 
Type Of Technology Software 
Year Produced 2016 
Impact Used within Out of Bounds Poetry workshops involving around 500 teachers and students to date. 
URL https://outofbounds.digital/#/resources
 
Description In My Country: National Poetry Competition for 11-17 year olds 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact This National Poetry Competition closed in December 2019, and generated 200 poems from across England, Scotland and Wales. The competition judges are leading poets Malika Booker and Jackie Kay. The winners of the competition will be announced in April 2020. Partner organisations were Seven Stories, Great North Museum, Cultureword and Scottish Poetry Library.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://outofbounds.digital/#/competition
 
Description Out of Bounds Poetry Workshop (12 December 2019) commissioned by New Writing North and held at Kingsmeadow School with Year 7 and 8 students. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Leading Out of Bounds Poet, Malika Booker ran 3 sessions helping students conceive and generate poems around themes of place, identity and memory.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Twilight CPD at the Library: A Celebration of Black British Literature 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact On 28 June 2019, secondary English teachers were invited to join us at this twilight CPD event shining a spotlight on a wealth of contemporary and historic Black British literature. With inspirational sessions from writers, academics, poets and education practitioners the evening showcased a range of texts, approaches and practical resources and tickets included a free copy of the Out of Bounds classroom resource. The Out of Bounds workshop was run by Dr Gemma Robinson and Kayo Chingonyi (OOB Poet). In addition to the audience reporting changes in their views through questionnaires, an attendee from the AQA examination board has been following up with us about how we might work together in the future.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/twilight-cpd-at-the-library-a-celebration-of-black-british-literature...