This volunteer-led project explores the language and literature that has been inspired by coal mining and offers an opportunity for individuals to express themselves through creative writing.
Originally, Voices in the Coalshed (formerly known as the Coalshed Poets), primarily focussed on creative writing and poetry, with Dave Alton at the helm. A poet and writer for almost 5 decades, Dave has volunteered at the Museum for many years, establishing opportunities for creative writing and working closely with our visitors.
In 2020, the Voices in the Coalshed team expanded, with more volunteers joining and contributing on a weekly basis. In addition to our monthly poetry piece, the team explores the legacy of mining language and how written and oral history, from and about the industry, illuminates mining heritage. They find and share well-known and less familiar work inspired by the industry too. Our volunteers then use this research to create regular content for our website and social media, covering a range of topics.
Check out some of our recent Voices in the Coalshed entries on our blog.
As part of the project’s expansion, we also welcome contributions from external, established creative writing groups, which has been a fantastic way of showcasing voices from the community. Inspired by objects, images, and stories from the Museum’s collection, we invite writing groups to share their creative talents on our website and social media. We also welcome emerging writers and groups looking for a platform to showcase their work.
We recently worked with the Agbrigg Writers’ Group, who produced several fantastic poems, all inspired by artwork from our collection. To read some of the groups’ work, head to our blog.
Interested? If you or your group are interested in collaborating with us for Voices in the Coalshed, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.