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Alumno Joins Forces with Norwich, UNESCO City of Literature to find a Benedicts Gate Poet

Continuing our strategy of celebrating the rich cultural history of the cities and towns we have developments in, Alumno has launched a search for a poet to write the public poem that will appear on the entrance of our Benedict’s Gate scheme in Norwich.

Reflecting Norwich’s status as the first English UNESCO City of Literature, Alumno has teamed up with the National Centre for Writing based in Norwich to find an emerging local poet to carry out the commission. The poem will explore the history of Norwich’s 12 medieval gates within the Old City Wall, and will be incorporated into 12 specially designed panels showcasing the entrance of the building, creating a striking arts feature for residents and the general public to enjoy.

The deadline for poet applications is Friday 20 December 2019. Follow the link for more details.


National Writing Centre’s Twitter Post

“Alumno has a fantastic track record of working with artists, designers and poets within its projects across the UK,” said Matthew Jarratt, Arts Curator for Alumno. “In Norwich, we are planning to build on the success of the large scale poetry commission at our Pablo Fanque House student residence in 2018 by working with Norwich UNESCO City of Literature on this new poetry project.”

The National Centre of Writing will also provide expert guidance in the search for the Benedict’s Gate poet, with the organisations Programme Director Peggy Hughes saying: “We’re pleased to support a project that brings alive what it means to be England’s first UNESCO City of Literature: to share and celebrate our rich literary tradition with the people who live, work and visit Norwich, to nurture our huge and talented ecology of emerging writers, and to ensure those new voices have the opportunity to thrive.”

Sketch of the Building

Alumno Managing Director David Campbell said: “We always strive to ensure a lasting legacy for the communities adjacent to our developments through striking public art that promotes the heritage and history of the area. We are keen to offer this opportunity to a poet based in East Anglia who is in the early stage of their writing career. The successful applicant will receive support from our curator Matthew Jarratt and Norwich UNESCO City of Literature.”

Matthew Jarratt’s Post


St Benedict’s Gate is Alumno’s third development in Norwich, following the successful completion of an award-winning development called All Saints Green next to the city centre bus station for NUA, and the second scheme, Pablo Fanque House for UEA located opposite John Lewis, which was successfully completed in September 2018 and included a large scale poetry commission by Ira Lightman.

Follow Benedicts Gate on Twitter and Instagram with the handle @benedictsgate