Planting Poetry


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 Supplies 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.