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Flash Residencies/Videos and Poems

This is where you can see all the videos and poems that have been created as part of the one day Flash residencies, there will be ten over the Syntax Festival and in a number of different venues, from Fish and Chips shops, Cathedrals to Food banks. Please see below for the videos.

1. Becky Owen Fisher
Becky is a playwright, dramaturg, actor, writer, poet and she is the producer of Lamphouse Theatre who are based in Peterborough.
Becky chose Crowland Abbey for its beauty and its majestic setting in the Fens, which for Becky is a constant source of inspiration. Becky had a great Flash residency day on the 7th November, chatting to volunteers who diligently keep the Abbey open and looking spick and span, visitors and also the Vicar of the Abbey, collecting this incredible source of imagery that has filled her poem with swathes of historical, natural and social pictures that press themselves into your mind and just look at those arches for a performance back drop.
Please follow Becky at: @BeckyOwenFisher & Lamphouse Theatre: & if you have never been to Crowland Abbey then this is a stunning, part ruined Abbey Church that is gem of history.

2. Toby Wood
Toby Wood is a poet and performer. Toby was the first Peterborough Poet Laureate and he has also produced and hosted nights which have featured acts like John Hegley. Toby often writes with a real quick wit and brevity which pokes fun at both the everyday and extraordinary. And for his Flash residency on the 12th November, He penned an ode to the local Netherton Friendship group which is a social for people aged 40+ They play games, chat together, laugh and check in on friends.Toby performed poems and some of the group have written their own poems which will feature in a booklet, which is coming soon! This friendship group is organised by Marion Quinn who Toby describes as a human dynamo with a passion for people and that they should not be lonely. Toby’s poem is full of straight down the middle, glorious imagery that celebrates those people that we can overlook but would be nothing without!

3. Sandy Wardrop
Sandy Wardrop is a writer and stand-up poet who has lived in Peterborough since 2016. He is a former ‘Good Shout’ slam champion and was runner up for Peterborough Poet Laureate, 2020. His graphic poem ‘It’s Safe Here‘ went viral in 2019, gaining 14,000+ shares across the UK, USA, Australia and the Philippines.
Sandy gets dinner from Hampton’s Plaice nearly once a week (and sometimes even more than he wishes to admit). Having regularly relied on the place as a ‘quick-dinner-lifeline’ before gigs, workshops or family commitments, Sandy has seen the business transform from a run-of-the-mill, corporate owned franchise to a welcoming, community-focused, independent local eatery. This film was made for Syntax Poetry Festival’s flash residency programme, partly as a way to shine a light on a growing and little-known community hub in the city but also partly as a personal thank you from Sandy to the people that, in a pinch, have kept him and his family from going hungry more times than he can count.

4.Rob Harding

Rob is a poet and writer who also runs, Good Shout Poetry Slam which is based in Peterborough and has featured, Toby Campion and Leanne Moden. Rob became poet in residence at his son’s school, which is Castor Primary C of E on Friday the 22nd Nov and he wanted to ask a question about heroes and what they mean. This film and poem include those thoughts and also the hopes, dreams of the children he asked and in doing so, he learned that heroes are within us all and also within the walls of primary schools.Oh and there is a little cameo from SpiderMan himself at the end! Syntax hopes this poem gives you all a little soul boost for when the world feels as thought its full of villains and to remember to be wide eyed and hopeful.

5. Clare Currie

Clare Currie has just finished her tenure as Peterborough Poet Laureate and she has recently created a poem and film as part of We Love Peterbrough which has been viewed over 30,000 times! Clare also supports a regular scratch night for Poets in Peterborough too. For Clare’s Flash residency, where Clare has often wiled away the hours and Clare really did discover lots of interesting stories about the park and was surprised to meet Reg and his squirrels. The poem and film explore what is so important to us all, the restorative effect of nature, the need for play, meeting friends and bubble gum ice cream!

6. Rev. Helena Del Pino
Helena is the reverend of the Holy Spirit church in Bretton and till this residency she would not have considered herself a poet but she wanted test her creativity and feature a space that she feels very passionate about. So she chose to be in quiet residency at the Food bank at the Holy Spirit Church in Bretton and a youtube description will not do justice to the people and stories she encountered but this poem, Bread not Stone will do more than give justice, it will give you a sometimes uncomfortable yet true reflection of what Food banks are to those who use them and how their stories deserve and need to be shared. If you watch this and are touched by this then please do contact the local Foodbank if you can offer any help.

7. Amber Page
Amber is an educator and poet who has recently won the Hammer & Tongue slam in Cambridge and has just released her poetry collection, ‘Stream Speaking’.

When Amber applied for her Flash residency at Peterborough Cathedral, she talked of the time she first came to Peterborough and she visited the Cathedral and how it welcomed her and since then has become a home. During Amber’s residency She met so many others who also feel that this 900 year old ‘divine’ monolith belongs to them and they belong to it. This poem describes these stories and how it keeps making space for all and long may it do so!

8. Sophie O’Sullivan

Sophie Jade O’Sullivan portrays ‘Welcome home’ – a poem she wrote inspired by her travels and spending a day in residency at Peterborough central station.

Poem written and video captured all on the day of her visit.

Follow her Facebook page of poetry @passagesofsophie

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