Published Wednesday, 09 December 2020
A poem written especially for the Upper Precinct by local poet, Kim Hackleman, will feature as part of the water rills which will run throughout the Precinct as part of its new refurbishment.
The rills, which are small decorative channels carrying water, will run alongside the planters on their inner sides, and the words of the new poem will be engraved in the granite cladding the water rills.
The past 12 months have seen the Upper Precinct undergo dramatic changes, including the demolition of the green escalator, a new escalator installed, new paving, an underground water treatment plant room built which will support the new water features, and the installation of the planting areas for greenery, which has already begun.
Councillor Jim O’Boyle, Cabinet Member for Jobs and Regeneration, said: “The poem will start from the planters nearest Broadgate, weaving between the planters and the water features, before coming to an end near the fountain.
“Our goal for the city centre has been to make the best of the old and the best of the new, creating a more artistic, brighter and greener space that local people can visit and enjoy. I’m really excited to see this finished.”
Kim Hackleman, who moved to Coventry from the USA in 2001, is a writer, director, actor, producer, and mother and is currently the Embedded Community Producer at the Belgrade Theatre. She responded to an artist call-out from Coventry City Council and was commissioned to write a poem specifically to suit the new design of the Upper Precinct public space. Her poem “Weaving Coventry” is the result.
Kim commented: “I was inspired by Mel Chantrey’s design and the resilience of the people of Coventry, evidenced not only in dramatic acts such as the rebuilding of the city but also in the work that we all do together daily. I am grateful for the creative support of Theatre Absolute and Liz Mytton and thankful to the Coventry City Council for commissioning local artists and for this amazing opportunity.”
Councillor David Welsh, Cabinet Member for Housing and Communities, said: “Particularly ahead of Coventry being UK City of Culture 2021, we are keen to work with local artists to really demonstrate the talent we have in the city, whether that’s graffiti art, music, sculptures or poetry. Kim wrote such a beautiful poem and it’s perfect for the space too.”
Councillor Patricia Hetherton, Cabinet Member for City Services, added: “This is a very beautiful poem and it will complement Upper Precinct and its new design perfectly. There is a lot of disruption at the moment so thank you for your patience while we are cracking on with the work.”
The poem is set to be installed in spring 2021. For more information on all of the work in Upper Precinct, as well as elsewhere in the city centre, please go to www.coventry.gov.uk/2020citycentredevelopments
The poem is as follows:
The threads of Coventry
are woven together daily
by all of us who
call this city home.
Let us sit
side by side
at the loom.
By Kim Hackleman