Stourbridge glass

Over the Easter weekend, I was working with fellow pandemonialist Emma Purshouse over at the newly-opened Stourbridge Glass Museum, writing poems on demand for visitors. I know some poets who’d rather lose their eye teeth than have to write under this kind of time constraint, but I love the opportunity to chat to strangers, learn a little about them, and return twenty minutes later with a poem which (hopefully) reflects what they’ve told me.

We wrote for aspiring actors, tennis fans, children, folk who’d returned to the Black Country after living in Australia, families preparing to open their homes to Ukrainian refugees, retired teachers, and – my personal favourite – a woman who knits woollen prosthetic breasts for mastectomy patients (for a charity with the wonderful name of Knitted Knockers). Really. And we also wrote a poem for the museum itself, of course, which is a phenomenal place to spend an afternoon.

If you’re in or around Stourbridge, or you’ve as much as a passing interest in glass, pay the Glass Museum a visit. I could have happily watched the glassmakers working in their studio all day – it’s utterly compelling. Here’s a piece I wrote for glassmaker Allister Malcolm, after being entranced by his creation of a glass butterfly for a client. I hope you enjoy it.