Young Writers Brunch & Guerilla Poesi- Scribe Your Desire In The Street

Published Mon 30 Jul 2018 - By Dana Perry



Young Writers Lab (YWL) returned to At the Fringe for their third year of supporting, mentoring and inspiring young people through creative writing. The project is facilitated by Kultivera and delivered by a community of writers from Sweden, Wales, and Portugal. The aim is to encourage enthusiasm among children & young people in the Jönköping region for literature and creativity in their own writing, and to form international links with writing peers from the very beginning of their journey.

We met at Cafe Töwerland for the Young Writers Brunch where international co-producer of Young Writers Lab, and write4word’s Mel Perry introduced us to two local young writers, Joanna Hellström and Swedish National Poetry Slam finalist, Ullias Berglund. Following an introduction to Young Writers Lab in Sweden, Mel interviewed Joanna & Ullias, discussing their writing process, reasons for writing, and their residency inspired by the life & house of Fritiof Nilsson Piraten. They were joined by Swedish writer Freke Räihä, who also shared his experience of writing & offered guidance to the young writers. 

Embracing inclusion & creative spontaneity, Mel invited the listeners (including Ifor Ap Glyn, National Poet of Wales) to participate in a writing activity in which we listened to Joanna & Ullias share some of their work, making a note of one line & saving it as a writing prompt to be used later on in the session.

Joanna & Ullias connected via live steam with Geoff Haden from the Dylan Thomas Birthplace in Wales, and following an introduction to Wales from Geoff, they went on to discuss exciting new developments providing links between Sweden & Wales, involving Welsh writer Iqbal Malik. After a coffee break we took some time to write a short piece from our writing prompts & then shared our work. It was a joy to listen to the diversity in our responses, but nothing compared to witnessing the excitement in the young writers from hearing others interpretations of their work! At the end of the session, Joanna & Ullias were swept away for one of their many interviews with a Swedish radio station. 

Following the Young Writers Brunch we re-grouped for Guerrilla Poesi- Scribe your Desire in the Street.  Starting with a writing activity, Mel warmed us up by having us consider all that we love and desire, what it is that makes us the person we are, what we simply could not do without.  We shared our lists and expanded on each point, explaining why it was important to us. This highly personal exchange helped to break down barriers and bond the group as a whole, providing a safe, supportive space to write a short piece from the most significant point on our list.  Mel introduced the idea of connectivity and how we live our poetry in every aspect of our lives and selves, and how we can express this in our community and environment. The stimulating discussion led us to the workshop finale (and one of my favourite At the Fringe moments), forming a flash mob of guerrilla poets! Armed with chalk and inspiration, the feeling of excitement was clearly present in everyone, and the sense of togetherness was incredible as we took to the streets of Tranås to scribe our desires! Members of the public stopped to read and chat. With the smell of liberation in the air we took time to reflect as we admired our multi-lingual, collective creative expression in pavement graffiti!


Guerilla Poesi


Like a pack of wild animals contained in a literary cage

Writers seek sweet liberation from fine-lined ink-stained page

From creative paper-captivity

To free-range creatures roaming fearlessly

Armed with chalk & inspiration

To scribe their desires on dusty Tranas pavement

Iron bars turned into beats

A multi lingual collaborative graffiti

A collective creative communication

Spontaneous artistic expression

A baring of souls under fur-covered feet.

Fill up natural habitat slabs of canvass concrete

Transient tags, labels of love, letters left like scent

Paw prints remained, until the rain came, and the words went.

Literature Wales