I usually think it’s unnecessary to stipulate what age reader a poem (or any piece of writing) is for. I usually write for adults but I don’t consciously consider what age they might be. In any case, I started reading books “for adults” when I wasn’t even ten years old – as I’m sure is the case for many children with older brothers and sisters. And my own children have always been curious about whatever book my husband and I have been reading.
Anyway, all of this is a long-winded introduction to a poem I wrote last year when I was Poet in Residence at Trowbridge Town Hall.
It was originally called ‘Dear Trowbridge Town Hall’ as it was written for National Poetry Day (when the theme was ‘messages’) and I modeled the poem in workshops I ran for local schoolchildren (aged 8 – 13) who visited the town hall for a poetry workshop.
I’ve changed it slightly to make it less specific to Trowbridge and more about town halls in general (although I’m not sure how many had prison cells in their cellar, as Trowbridge had?). I’m extremely lucky that one of my great-nieces, Hannah, has done me the honour of recording the poem on SoundCloud. I think it needed a younger voice so I’m very grateful to Hannah for helping me out!
Have a listen!