Wednesday 27 February 2019

Award-winning poet Vahni Capildeo hosted a poetic rhyme-and-ride as our poetry buskers made the trip on Leeds’ buses one to remember.

Departing from the Leeds Central Bus Station and running all the way down to Dewsbury Road Library, Capildeo and supporting poets encouraged passengers to re-examine the ‘journeys’ we take every day. We followed them to the library to travel through a visual display of postcards collected from the local community, displayed alongside Capildeo’s new poem exploring internal migration in the British Empire.

As one of three locally commissioned poets for Collections in Verse, Capildeo chose to investigate migration and the meaning of home in the context of Windrush. Working with South Leeds residents at Dewsbury Road Library and inspired by histories of migration explored in the British Library’s Windrush: Songs in a Strange Land exhibition, Capildeo asked what the ‘hidden migrations’, relocations and movements are that make up the story of our lives – from moving house or school to moving class – and where the paths of these stories cross with those of the Windrush generation.

Pulling together postcard stories from Leeds residents, including Windrush descendants, with their own research and poetry, Capildeo’s visual display at Dewsbury Road Library created a living map of paths travelled, highlighting the multiple intersections where our journeys connect.