Poetry Postcards


Getting a letter or a postcard is on of the great joys in life but in today’s digital age, we just don’t send as much post as we used to. Part of growing up means most of the letters we receive are bills or junk mail. So we want to surprise and delight our Festival Friends with a beautiful, inspiring hand-written postcard that will drop through their letter box each month.

A Postcard for each month:

We are looking for design students to create 12 postcards – one inspired by each month of the year. Poets from our Rough Cut Collective will then design a short poem for each month in response to each of the selected designs. These can be written on the back, or if you prefer, can be overlaid on your design on the front. The poets can work independently, responding to your designs once they are complete or can come in and meet you to discuss the design and creative process.

Two designs will be chosen for each month of the year. One will be chosen to feature on our social media and newsletter and the other will be sent out as a postcard to our Festival Friends. Each month we will do a blog feature on the two artists whose work will go out that month – we will run a short interview with you that will go out on our newsletter and social media.

Christmas Card:

This brief is to create the Wise Words Christmas Card for this year. This will be sent to all our audience and our sponsors, funders and to the guests of our Christmas Dinner.

Christmas is a time for sharing and caring. We are creating a Christmas dinner for Care Leavers in Canterbury on Christmas Day.

Many care leavers are sat in flats, B&B’s, hostels, sofa surfing and indeed living on the streets on their own at Christmas. It can be a day to dread and then forget. Since 2013 this project, led by Lemn Sissay (a very famous poet and a careleaver himself who has gone on to become Chancellor of The University of Manchester) has started these Christmas Dinners in cities across the country. The idea is that the community come together to donate all the things needed and create a day that the our guests (20 care leavers) will never forget.

“I do this because I have overcome that loneliness and isolation always magnified on Christmas Day and simply wish to inspire a positive way forward for the community to support young people experiencing those tough first few years when you no longer receive support from the system”. Lemn Sissay

Who are our Festival Friends:

Like most not-for-profit arts organisations, we rely on funding and the generosity of our audience to keep us going. We have a very loyal audience who like to contribute and support us. What we haven’t done so well in the past, is to provide them with a way to do this. So, from January, we have decided to launch a Festival Friends Scheme through which people can donate a small amount each month and in return become part of our inner circle of friends and family – getting behind the scenes peaks of the festival, being invited to special events and most importantly, receiving a beautiful postcard designed by you, each month.  They tend to be between the ages of 30-60.

A little bit about Wise Words

Wise Words reawakens a sense of wonder and encourages people to be curious. We are an arts organisation that works through poetry and storytelling because we believe that everyone has a story to tell. Through telling our stories and  listening to the stories of other people, we break down cultural and social barriers and create a shared understanding.

Our work is often unexpected and takes place mainly outdoors. We like to place performances or installations in surprising places – to shake people out of the hum-drum of their everyday lives, encouraging them to notice the beauty of the world around them.

Our main work, for which we are best know, is the Wise Words Festival that takes place each spring, offering a programme of performance poetry, music, shows and talks about things that matter.

The heart of the Festival lies in Canterbury’s Secret Garden, belonging to the Franciscan monks – an unexpected haven just a stones throw from the hustle and bustle of the city centre. Events take place in a beautiful yurt, tents and in the ancient Franciscan Chapel.  From here activity spills out across the city – onto the streets, in gardens, in coffeehouses and even onto punts on the river.

Across the year we work with young people in care, young refugees, those at risk of homelessness and offer programmes that explore how poetry can support a greater sense of wellbeing.

Here are a couple of films that show some of our work:


Wise Words Festival

The Christmas Dinner

Warrior Poets