When I was seven I wrote a poem called, ‘How the Wind Blows’. It was pretty self-explanatory. It talked about how the wind blows, and how in its ‘blowing’ it was able to get everything moving. People walked to work faster, trees rattled excitedly like old bones or false teeth; when the wind blew the world seems to move in a pace of fast. And I remember thinking that by writing about something, I instantly understood it better. One morning, with a dry throat and shaking hands, I read the poem out loud in assembly. The round of applause after I finished the last sentence felt like being tucked up in bed by my mother, like a glass of cold milk on a July afternoon, like being held after falling over. It was comforting and it was confirming.

In the playground at lunch time, a group of year six girls approached me.  “I like what you said about the wind,” they chorused. I blushed, my stomach twisting in ridiculous knots, my head swelling with pride. “I think the wind is the best out of all the weathers,” one of them said, and I shyly agreed, “want to come and play with us?”

The year six’s and I headed out to the playground, breaking the rules of year groups and ages and playing kiss chase with the grown up boys until I felt like my heart would explode.

Eighteen years later I started up a poetry night. I had seen how much talent Bristol had to offer; heard poetry blurted out when drunkenly walking back from the pub and the mutterings of lyrics in the bathrooms of house parties. I knew that I wanted to create an environment where people could experiment with words, where first timers would feel safe enough to stand up, where old timers would feel inspired enough to speak again, where people could unite and share their love of poetry.

‘Shhh…it’s Sunday’ ran for three years and became so much more then that initial idea. It grew into a space of experimentation, promoting the value of bringing all types of people together within the diversity of a city. I soon found myself surrounded by those bold enough and brave enough to bring their weird and wonderful imaginations into being. People, just like those year sixes, who I may have never got to spend time with, if it wasn’t for our shared love of words.

Check out Rebecca’s words and blog.