Poetry Takeaway after the A.C.E. People Place Power conference

Robert Garnham of The Poetry Takeaway shared this poem at the end of the first day of the Arts Council of England’s three day online conference, People Place Power.

This urge to create, to make art, to fight back

When misfortune lumbers in like a disgruntled yak,

Comes from deep within, like a duck with its quack.

If art is rain then you’d better wear a Mack

Because the forecast says it’s gonna pour.

This is what living is for.


It comes from your heart, to take part and make art, 

Express yourself, get a grip, make a start,

Record your progress on a spreadsheet, on a graph, on a chart 

Like a spur of the moment bard with culture to impart

Hearing poetry sublime pound on their door.

This is what living is for.


Hooray for the facilitators, the makers, the risk takers.

Hooray for the timid reaching out with quivering fingertips.

Hooray for courtesy, diversity, a refusal to go into reversity.

Hooray for calls on zoom, connection chat rooms, Donna Walker-Kuhne.

Hooray for those who create bravely not telling a soul.

Hooray for refusing to part art in a box, withstanding knocks, Kate Fox.

Hooray for sharing ideas, dispelling fears, speeding up and changing gears.

Hooray for theatre goes, audience growers, feather boas.

Hooray for audience trails, occasional fails, increased ticket sales.

Hooray for feeling free, community, CPP, a mid afternoon cup of tea.

Hooray for roads with forks, champagne corks, a sudden mention of Chesney Hawkes.

Hooray for the thrill which comes when seeing the smile of someone who has danced for the very first time.

Hooray for happy faces, artistic spaces, Creative People and Places. 

Hooray for audience data, content creators, I got a chocolate biscuit for later. 

Hooray for the bravery of telling people for the first time,

I have made some art,

Hooray for taking part.


This gathering of souls devoted

To the furtherance of expression

Brings to light the human need to

Find freedom of thought

Through cultural practice,

Change through words, images, sounds,

Movement and joy,

Community togetherness and

Shared understanding.


Practitioners, producers, promoters, programmers, people of art.

Be a beacon for the possible.

Be a conduit for expression.

Be the curious, be the brave, be yourselves.

Be alive

And continue

To let art thrive.



  1. Thank you for publishing this! Glad you liked it.



    1. No, thank you Robert. It was great!


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