Gone word-fishing in Sheffield

Warda Yassin, Mariam Shah (1st and 2nd right) and poetry workshop participants on the canal – photo credit Vicky Morris’

They’re washing down the towpath walls in Sheffield, ready for the installation of a newly commissioned poem.

Poet Warda Yassin has created a crowd-sourced piece exploring the people and history of the Sheffield to Tinsley Canal as part of the Waterlines collaboration between The Poetry Society and the Canal & River Trust. Over the summer, Warda worked with young writers groups, collecting thoughts and impressions to gather into a poem. They found many of their best ideas on a word-fishing boat trip along the canal, where they were skippered by Mariam Shah – a Muslim woman from Rotherham who was inspired by her Pakistani sailor father to complete her narrowboat training.

The finished poem – in which the canal ‘is upside down sky’ and ‘flows with the grace of a new Eid dress’ – will be fully revealed in spring 2022 when it’s displayed along the walls by the Sheffield to Tinsley Canal. Meanwhile, you can read more about Warda’s on-board adventures here and here.

Waterlines is a collaboration between the Canal & River Trust and The Poetry Society, presenting new poetry inspired by our waterways. Poets are commissioned to share new perspectives on Britain’s historic canals and rivers, with regular blog updates, new canal poetry, and readings.

Read more about Waterlines and canal poetry

26 August 2021