Bringing war voices to life

Award-Winning poet Jenny Hill.
Award-Winning poet Jenny Hill.

An award-winning poet will deliver a special reading at St Mary’s Church in Whitby.

Whitby resident Jenny Hill will be at the venue on Saturday 10 November at 11am.

Scarborough Mayor Joe Plant.

Scarborough Mayor Joe Plant.

Jenny grew up in the heady and creative cultural atmosphere of St Ives, Cornwall and trained as a singer specialising in Early Music.

Jenny moved to Whitby in 2014 and was inspired to write her 49 poem cycle Voices of the First World War after attending a project at Pannett Park Museum that commemorated the bombardment of Whitby, Scarborough and Hartlepool.

Her poems are based on first-hand memories contained in recordings held at the Imperial War Museum.

Jenny said: “In writing these poems I have attempted to let the voices speak for themselves.”

Since 2015 Jenny has given various readings, raising money for charity Help for Heroes.

She added: “What I hope the poems do, in addition to giving my perspective on the lives of the men and women I met in the recordings, and the tragedy of the years 1914-1918, is to speak into current world situations – the suffering, pain and plight of refugees that are still with us.”

Once active in the Cornish poetry scene, Jenny won several awards at the Gorsedh Kernow, performed her one-woman show at the St Ives Festival, and was commissioned to write a poem to mark the 2001 restoration of Tregaminion Holy Well at Morvah.

More recently, her poems have been published by Orbis, Blood, Ink and Tears and Strix.

In 2016 Jenny was joint poet-in-residence at York Explore on the International Day of People with Disabilities, and in 2017 was winner of the Poetry Society’s Members’ competition.