Book launch: Unexpected Poetry

Posted by theministry on 5th August 2021

We gathered together in Hoxton Community Gardens to unite our Unexpected Poetry books with their authors.


This spring we released our young writers work out into the world, hanging their words in trees, projecting them on walls and tying them to Cotton the dog’s collar.

These brief moments of poetry were captured by our excellent photographers Tom Oldham, Naomi Woddis and Rob Harris and compiled into a brand new book by our Art Director Ed Cornish with illustrations by Peony Gent.

Launching Unexpected PoetryLaunching Unexpected Poetry 2 Launching Unexpected Poetry 3


This weekend, we brought the books to Hoxton Trust Garden to unite them with their authors. Each of our young writers had a custom book, with their poem printed on the cover.  After the book launch, we celebrated their excellent work by creating poems together with friends and families whilst enjoying a Party Rings biscuit (or two…).


A young writer proudly holds up a sheet showing his poetry written that morning in the garden

‘I have a whole page just for me! Wow!’ Marcel
‘It’s really cool I have my poem on the front!’ Sabine
‘It’s so nice. It now has pictures as well as words.’ Heja


Rob Smith, Ministry of Stories Director says: “It was a brilliant day and excellent to see the books in the hands of our young writers, who were particularly excited to see their personalised covers.”


Thank you to everyone who supported Unexpected Poetry and made the project possible by donating, buying a book or volunteering.


Thank you to all our funders: Shoreditch & Hoxton Art Fund; Arts Council England; The Mayor of London’s Young Londoners’ Fund; The Cockayne Foundation and The London Community Foundation.


NEXT PAGE: Rob Biddulph visits the Ministry