We welcomed Rick into the fold – the weather outside was dark and cold,

Happy aye we to listen to this man, who was going to tell us how it all began

Poetry and Art and a wonderful collaboration, bringing together the Black Country nation

But the gremlins had other ideas with their sending strange noises down into our ears

Dismayed we couldn’t see Rick’s prepared presentation, but we managed with chat and a little imagination.

Unfortunately, the evening was fraught with internet connection problems, but it was still lovely to meet Rick. There was enough of an opportunity though, in between the lost connections, to learn about the fabulous platform which is PoArtry.  Rick, himself a poet and artist, had an idea back in 2017 to bring the art community together with a project that would involve a wide variety of talents. So PoArtry was born with the first collaborations taking place in Stourbridge. Since the start the project has gathered momentum with PoArtry events happening across the Midlands which has gained increasing audiences. When it was announced that the NAC was going to host a PoArtry exhibition in 2020 it was very quickly sold out.

The concept is a relatively simple one. Names of participating artists are placed into a hat and names of participating poets are put into a different hat. The names of artists and poets are then paired by drawing the names out of the hats and these pairs spend the next three months collaborating together on a new poem/artwork. The final work is then available for sale in a recognised gallery space. Anyone can join in and lots of wonderful relationships and collaborations have been formed over time. Rick is hoping to launch PoArtry 2021 in the coming months with a virtual galley for exhibiting the results. We have asked Rick to keep us informed of developments.

Rick’s poetry is both funny and poignant and even some of our members were able to add a few poetic lines of their own, which was good fun. We look forward to seeing Rick again and working with him collaboratively in the near future.

Rick can be found at:  Facebook: PoArtry – General office

Webpage: willisthepoet.wordpress.com