Introducing Exciting New Creative Work Inspired by Material From the Books and Borrowing Project

In this week’s blog, we are happy to introduce the first of a new series of posts, which will introduce our readers to some of the Highly Commended entries in our Creative Writing competition. We enjoyed reading the entries for this competition so much that we have decided to share more of them than originally planned with readers of this blog, with the kind permission of their authors.

photograph of author Denni Turp

© Denni Turp

The first in our series is a poem is written by Denni Turp. Denni is a graduate and post-graduate of Bangor University, a Welsh-speaking Cockney living in rural north Wales, a dog-rescuer, and a green socialist, and is Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees for Disability Arts Cymru. She writes mostly in English though occasionally other languages, especially Welsh, appear in her work, and her poems have been published in a number of poetry magazines, webzines and anthologies. For six years running, she organised the north Wales session as part of the global 100 Thousand Poets for Change event.

In response to our Creative Writing Competition prompt, which asked entrants to engage with materials from our partner libraries’ borrowers registers, Denni submitted the following poem, which we felt encapsulates how so many people feel, and have felt, about books and stories.

Let us always have stories

With each new book, you open and begin,

start to rise, time-slipped, in another’s skin,

lost at first and exploring how the sky

is other, how the moon’s face blinks awry

and all the stars show different shapes and signs,

no bears or arrows where the light aligns.


You falter, follow words to move ahead,

then catch the rhythms, lose the fading sense

of who you were.  Immersed, become instead

that fleeting phantom in the tale’s pretence

who leads you to a strange and distant land

where real and possible and not collide

like multicoloured oceans now inside

your head, to deepen how you understand.

We hope readers of the blog will enjoy Denni’s work as much as our judging panel did, and continue to celebrate the importance of books with us. In the weeks that follow we will share more exciting new creative work inspired by the Books and Borrowing project, as well as our usual research news and updates on our plans and events.

Giuseppe Maria Crespi, Music Library. Oil on two panels, 1720. Biblioteca musicale ‘G.B. Martini’ di Bologna