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The Willesden Junction Poets to perform around the ‘bewildering’ station

PUBLISHED: 15:29 23 September 2020 | UPDATED: 15:54 24 September 2020

Willesden Junction Poets (L-R).Rose Rouse, Ian McLachlan, Elizabeth Uter, Nick Moss, Dee Warrington, Andrea Queens, Iman Hamid.

Willesden Junction Poets (L-R).Rose Rouse, Ian McLachlan, Elizabeth Uter, Nick Moss, Dee Warrington, Andrea Queens, Iman Hamid.

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An series of performances shining a light on Willesden Junction is to be aired by a group of poets.

Willesden Junction Station as seen by artist Keira Rathbone. Picture: Keira RathboneWillesden Junction Station as seen by artist Keira Rathbone. Picture: Keira Rathbone

Author Rose Rouse has gathered together the Willesden Junction Poets to perform their work around the station on October 3, starting at 2pm.

In November, Rose was awarded a grant by the Brent 2020 Culture Fund to create the Willesden Junction Poets and a book of poems with illustrations.

BeWILDering is in production and will be published at the end of September.

“The station was referred to as Bewildering Junction at the end of the 19th century because it was such a maze of platforms,” said Rose.

Birds around Willesden Junction Station as seen by artist Keira Rathbone. Picture: Keira RathboneBirds around Willesden Junction Station as seen by artist Keira Rathbone. Picture: Keira Rathbone

“My aim was to reframe Willesden Junction station for those who find it scary and also for us poets to bring all our different perspectives to the writing of the poems from historical to political to personal.

“But finally I wanted us to celebrate the station as a place where you can connect so easily to so many places and also its importance historically.”

She found poets through social media, word of mouth and during a presentation at the Brent Artists’ Network, whittling the applications from 30 poets down to nine.

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“I felt it was important that we represented Brent in as many different ways as possible, ie class, age and background.

“Finally I met them all for tea at Alma’s or the station itself so that we could start off with warmth and friendliness.”

Rose added: “The first visit to the station in March was a massive success. The poets all realised that there was so much more to know about the station, that there were hidden tunnels, a steel bridge at the back, a plum tree over from Platform 5, old roofs with valances that were original and stairs that seemed to lead nowhere.

“Not to mention the mysterious building on stilts near the Harrow Road entrance.”

From April to July, meetings and workshops took place on Zoom due to Covid-19.

Keira Rathbone, an artist who makes images with the keys of her old Imperial typewriter, did the illustrations.

There was also a visit with botanist John Wells, where they identified over 40 kinds of wild flowers.

“The poems flowed and so did the typics.”

Follow the Willesden Junction Poets on Instagram.


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