Refugee Week Portraits


Quentin took these lovely Instagram portraits of some of the people who came on our workshop at Creator College for Refugee Week.

Click on an image to enlarge, and scroll through


Jack’s Poems

It was really good to meet and chat to Jack and to talk about guitars, poems, Creator College and the workshop. Here is Jack’s evocative poem…
Jack Beaumont

Rolling Colours
Forged by thought
Lordless lonely long nights

Mountain ancient lost
Keepers of the beautiful
Life stained, the eternal

Thunderous ink clouds
Smudged dirty impenetrable
Lovers of misery
Lingering over buildings

By Jack Beaumont

Alison’s Poems

Alison’s Refugee Week poems from the Creator College workshop.

Alison Lewis
Alison’s Poems


Leaving home
Family has gone
Where do I go?

Hard travel
Harsh people around
Wish I was home


Above the farmhouse
Shelter water and profile
Threatening and safe

Three Words

The Tree
Planted in spring
Water and sunshine
Thirty years on
Now in woodland

By Alison Lewis

Lilybeth’s Poems

Lily Writing

Goodbye Loved Ones

I’m leaving now
I’m going away
To my lovers
I can’t stay
It’s not you
It’s just me
A new country
That is me
A fresh start
A new life
A different culture
Will shine bright
Goodbye my friends
I’m going now
A new life
I start now


My name is Lily
I’m a flower
With flower power
With my personality
I shine bright
Share my story
It’s my life
In new places
I share life
What I have
Is my personality
I am polite
In new places
What I offer
It’s my name
Lily the flower

Lily's Poem in Colour

By Lilybeth Goodwillie

Sydell’s Poems in Golden Ink

Here are Sydell’s Poems, for our Hull Refugee week workshop, beautifully written in gold…


The Auricula Suite

I am drifting
I am following
Following the crowd
Crowds of leaves
Leaves are descending
Descending into fear
Fear of unknown
Unknown language spoken
Spoken broken words
Words of foreigners
Foreigners are scary
Scary foreign lands
Lands of people
People of England
England is beautiful
Beautiful green land
Land of unknown
Unknown foreign people

Shimmy, gallop
Bolt, shake, natter
Beauty, gentle, innocence, pride

Sweet, fruity
Velvety, soft, moist
Sweet, nature, touchable
Luxury, tempting
Edible, juicy


What would you take with you?
My Nanas necklace

Three Words
The dog slept
The dog woke
The dog cried
The dog barked
The dog wagged

The love lasts
The love eats
The love gives
The love grows

The chef baked
The chef cooked
The chef chopped
The chef fried
The chef tired
The chef rolled
The chef proved
By Sydell Faith

Anne’s Poem, Sink or Swim

Anne’s evocative poem from our Refugee Week workshop at Creator College spans a year in a life…

Sink or Swim

I’ve no choice
They are shooting
Jump in now
Water so cold
Border far away
I am frightened
Please save me
Here’s the shore
Gasping, moaning, exhausted
A new future
One of happiness?

Ann McNamara 1
One year later

No – I am hated
They despise me
Take their jobs?
Take their girls?
It’s not true
I need help
To feel safe
To learn English
Get a job
Bring my family
All I need –
A peaceful life.

By Anne MacNamara

Ann McNamara 2

Ilona’s Beautiful Poems

Ilona wrote and read these beautiful poems at the My Ancestors were French Refugee Week workshop at Creator College…

Emotional mirror
Squeezed so tight
Will it ever recover?

Forget your mother tongue
And accept strange sounds as yours
No choice left for you
Ilona in Green
Three Word Poem – The Air

The plain lands
And doors open
The air here
Smells so different

Vast flowery meadows
Lively smelly farms
Bread just baked
All is missing

Instead of all
Smog and dust
And fish shops…
So very strange

Why would you
Leave all this
And swap it
To such uncomfort?

“Some things happen
Time to go.
Try to find
Eager for experience”

Through the door
They pop inside
To make me
So very happy

“We send you
All our love
Just stay strong
‘Til the end”.

Every single postman
Bringing the letter
Made every morning
So much bearable.

Then the letters
Slowly got rarer
‘I’m still here!
I still remember!’

No more letters
To fill me
With home strength
For the end.

Yet, can’t stop
Thus I’m made
To find strength
Closer to me.

Ilona Urbikaite

Adam’s Poemed Illustration

We had a fabulous session at the My Ancestors Were French Exhibition, Workshop and Gig for Refugee Week on Wednesday. A big thanks to Alan, Mal and Sally at Hull’s Creator College for hosting the event.

There were some amazing and very evocative poems and art produced in the workshop that Louise & Amanda ran in the afternoon. Adam Wilson is the artist in residence at Creator College. His is not an illustrated poem, but a poemed illustration, ‘Stranger’.

Adam's Poemed Illustration
Adam’s Poemed Illustration

Strangeness made Stranger
Language gap broadened
Nuances subtly lost
Meaning crisply missed

Adam Drawing

Your Ancestors were…?

It’s a poem, set to music, have a listen…

My ancestors were French,
And, for what it’s worth, faith ruled their lives.

Me, I’ve never been to church, and I haven’t been good.
But I’ve made my mark,
And I got in trouble,
Listening to my devil in the dark.

Y’know I’ve always landed on my feet,
And I’ve got a sense of history.
Yeah I’ve always landed on my feet,
And those flowers take me back…

The devil inside, he’s sittin’ on my shoulder,
Pushin’ me out so I’m sittin’ on a boulder
In the middle of the lake.
And the devil can’t swim,
So I’m feelin’ brave and I’m gonna get him.

It’s gonna get colder, if he falls in the lake.
He’ll be off my shoulder, off my back.
There’ll be no more trouble,
Gonna make a fresh start.
Stop listenin’ to the devil…
Gonna listen to my heart.

Gonna listen

To my heart.

© 2012  L. Duffy-Howard, Corey Clough-Howard

Home - anon
Home – anon

Jordi Savall in Salisbury

Jordi Savall, master of the viola da gamba at St Thomas Church, for the Ageas Salisbury International Arts Festival June 7th 2013. A superb musician and utterly cool.

Loudhailer UK

We were lucky enough to meet the exceptional Jordi Savall once again this weekend at St Thomas Church, Salisbury, as part of the Ageas Salisbury International Arts Festival. Jordi played the most beautiful concert of Les Voix Humaines, mostly on his 17th century seven string English Barak Norman bass Viola da Gamba.

Jordi Savall at St Thomas Church
The programme was soulful and elegant.

He is also very cool and gave Dexter a wink at the end of his third encore.

Click on an image to enlarge, and scroll through.

Rich took these beautiful photos © Richard Duffy-Howard

Rich & Lou Duffy-Howard

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A Letter from New York

Look what arrived in the post this morning!  It’s a lovely letter from our project friends in Historic Huguenot Street, New Paltz, New York State.

Have a look at their interesting website to find out all about them. Wouldn’t it be great to go and visit them sometime!

HHS Thank You Card

You can also follow the 19th century day to day diaries of Julia Lawrence Hasbrouk on Susan Stessin’s blog. The Hasbrouk family were one of the original twelve Huguenot families who patented the village of New Paltz in 1677, and records can trace the prominent Lawrence family to Hertsfordshire, England as early as 1580.