Planting Poetry

Ministry of Stories

A mesostic poetry project for the Ministry of
Stories, a charity that aims to inspire young
people through creative writing. Founded by
Nick Hornby, Lucy Macnab & Ben Payne,
and operating out of the Hoxton Street Monster
shop, they run workshops and provide
one to one mentoring to local children.


Mesostic poems have one word running
downwards, usually the title of the poem,
and each line has to intersect it. They are
surprisingly hard to write. During a week long
workshop in St Mary’s Secret Garden in East
London, the children devised their mesostic
poems, with some help from professional
writers and poets. Once complete, the poems
were submitted to us for installation in the
garden a week later. We were clear that we
didn’t want to make anything that looked too
much like a sign. Signs in gardens are normally
negative – keep off the grass, no ball games.
So, no rectangles. Also something that
expressed the specific nature of a mesostic
poem – that the lines extend out unevenly from
either side of the vertical title, (they are not
aligned or centred) and that everything
revolves around that title.


Our thanks to Zone Creations for providing
the laser-etching.