Beyond The Library Door

Beyond The Library Door - By The Paper Crane Poets, image is surrounded with illustrations of a treasure chest of books, trumpet player and oak tree with books as leaves

Every year we celebrate our Annual General Meeting by commissioning a special plenary poem . We have worked with Michael Rosen, Ben  Norris and Panya Banjoko to name but a few!

This year the Paper Crane Poets Collective have collaborated to create Beyond the Library Door for our AGM 2022. 

The poem focuses on what happens within our libraries and its contribution to our communities. Inspire is excited to celebrate  the many amazing projects, courses, events and more in this year's poem, supporting our vision to inspire people across Nottinghamshire to read, learn and enjoy culture. 

Read the poem below :

Beyond the library door  Some come taking shelter from the rain and find a treasure-trove of innovation,  association, relaxation. Solid spines to grip  when their own feel like they’re crumbling.   We all find portals to new worlds here.  Whatever shape we’re in – imagination breaks  the rules, and we wrap ourselves in capes  of curated stories and warm conversations.   This wardrobe has an outfit for any occasion;  patchwork shirts stitched by many hands.  A reading shirt, an art shirt, a study shirt,  a brew-us-another-cup-of-tea shirt.  In this place, we are best dressed,  best kept, best in show because we know  this is a public private world, a space to breathe  deeply. The outside kerfuffle expertly muffled,   while our spirits are amplified, fortified, satisfied  by each new adventure we find between these  pages, and within these walls, grateful to  compassionate staff who give it their all.   In the beginning, there was the word, and the word was  Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!   Now, collaborative noise buzzes on every floor. Think trombones on a Tuesday morning, toddlers  story time on a Friday afternoon. Think puppets  and paragraphs, narratives, and cushions to sit on   while we laugh. We could go to the North Pole today.  We could go to Egypt – 2000 years ago. We could go  anywhere, meet anyone, communicate in whatever  language feels right. We could find fossil shell spirals   pressed between pages, and be unfurled, unwound,  never lost, only found. This space expands to fit us all.  It is ethereal magic. We have travelled and it shows in  the warmth of our eyes. We are acting out old stories,   telling new tales. Tales of things forgotten and things  half-remembered, capturing memories in movement,  music, and song. We gather in circles, point our toes  alongside strangers; we are oak trees, or elephants,   dragonflies or friends. We share sounds, make music, create joy, dancing past our limitations, singing away  our troubles. We are never alone with empty hearts  or fogged up minds. We never lost the courage to try   something new, never lost the wonder of pop-up tales and  scribbled escapes. Never lost the library card, always kept that  key. And now, we’re dancing, singing, playing, reading, being.  Feeling all together better: better all together.

Written by The Paper Crane Poets

Illustrated by Kerry Wilson

Watch the poem recited by Leanne Moden here:

 "Paper Cranes is an inclusive poetry collective, based at Beeston Library, and we were delighted to write a collaborative poem for Inspire's 2022 AGM. We spent two months working together on the poem, which includes contributions from 19 poets from the collective.
The poem was inspired by our individual experiences in local libraries, and we
also talked about all the brilliant projects that Inspire provide to local people too. It was a joy to work on this project, and I'm so proud of the finished poem." 

Leanne Moden, Paper Cranes 

Beyond the Library Door was commissioned and premiered on the occasion of our Annual General Meeting 2022 at Beeston Library, where we also launched our Annual Review 2021-22