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Image Anne E Cooper

FOR  DETAILS  OF  THE  BOOK  LAUNCH  GO  TO https://cressinghamvoices.wordpress.com/news/

Cressingham Voices is a resident led writing project taking place in the shifting landscape of inner city regeneration. Work produced by writer-in-residence Anne E Cooper and other residents of the Cressingham Gardens Estate in South London will be compiled in an illustrated book and serve as a record of and tribute to the ability of a community to continue to live and love under conditions of uncertainty and fear, a testament to the tenacity of a community driven to contemplate choices not of their own making.

Cressingham Voices aims to give residents the opportunity to explore their memories and feelings about home, community and belonging whether they are for or against the proposed regeneration, which will entail  demolition of the entire estate. We are still one community, a strong community, supportive and compassionate,  blossoming with creativity from the innovative rain garden to the plays, photography, art exhibitions and documentaries as creative makers within and from without the estate have responded in solidarity. Cressingham Voices will capture in words and images the experience of living in the precarious situation of regeneration that is becoming the zeitgeist in UK housing policy.

The role as a writer-in-residence will be to generate a series of writings that reflect the life of the community in the context of regeneration of the estate. Secondly the provision of a series of creative writing workshops open to residents. Thirdly it will involve compiling the book working with the talented artists illustrator Karrie Fransman photographer Sam Mellish. There will be a book launch in June, more details will be available soon.  Cressingham Voices is supported by the Cressingham Gardens Residents Association and Spread the Word and funded by the Arts Council of England and is part of the London Festival of Architecture 2017.

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Image Santi Gil

Writer-in-residence Anne E Cooper lives at Cressingham Gardens and is an activist, writer, photographer and poet with 15 years experience working on community writing projects. She is the author of Touched, a solo collection of poetry, editor of And Then There Was Light and Out is the Word. She is the founder of The Way of Words Creative Writing and Live Literature Events and has run poetry and creative writing classes and workshops at the V&A and for Survivors Poetry, Age Concern, Lambeth Mind, Camden Working Mens’ College, Cooltan Arts, The Social Hope and Recovery Project and St Mungos Broadway Recovery College.

For over a decade Anne performed with Poets Know it including a residency at The Fridge Bar. She took part in Lambeth Libraries Write Around Lambeth and the opening of the Norwood Library Poetry Garden with Lemn Sissay. She participated in the Poem-A-Thon for Refugees that raised over £20 000 for Médecins Sans Frontières and has appeared at The Bowery Poetry Club NYC, the Iraqi Cultural Centre, Loose Muse, Beyond Words, Lumen, Hearing Eye and Angel Poetry. Anne is passionate about finding new audiences for poetry and to that end has also performed at Subterfuge Cabaret, The Creative Swing, Madchicks, on picket lines and at a swimming pool.

She has had poetry broadcast on Resonance fm and her poem essay 21st Century Guernica about the massacre in Fallujah, Iraq in 2003 was published by the Stop the War Coalition and broadcast on the Islam Channel.  It was described by the late former MP Tony Benn as “Powerful and intensely moving.” Way back she worked as a reviewer for arts newspaper Create 24:7 and she has had flash fiction and poetry published in Leaf Books, Inner City Magazine, Proletarian Poetry, Atom Bomb Bubble Gum and the Loose Muse Anthologies.

Anne is a member of Malika’s Poetry Kitchen – a writers’ collective, has a Level 3 Award in Education and Training and a Certificate in Writers in the Community from The University of Sussex. She is a member of NAWE, the National Association of Writers in Education, and Unite Community, a branch of Unite the Union.

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