Poetry and Creativity in a Time of Crisis – Boudicca Woodland

Lockdown 3 seems to have been the toughest yet. Rainy, windy weather alongside home-schooling my primary school children has meant that I’ve felt that any space for me has dropped by the wayside. So, I began the search for something – just a little part of the week purely for my enjoyment. Scrolling through Facebook I noticed a free 6-week online course on the topic about how to write and perform spoken word poetry offered via Exeter Action for Women by Mama Tokus. I’ve come across Mama Tokus in various guises before and have enjoyed her performances, so I was really excited to get started. 

I signed up and logged on for the first session without knowing too much about the sessions or how they’d be led. Initially, I was incredibly happy to see some local faces that I recognised and after a few introductions, we dropped straight into writing freely for 5 minutes. It is a tool we’ve come back to a number of times and it’s been a really interesting way to get ideas down on the page. Mama Tokus also introduced us to her online Members Vault. The vault has been a great resource; not only as a reminder of the skills & tips to prompt poetry writing used during each session but it also includes a fantastic knowledge bank of spoken word/poetry concepts & artists. 

Each week we produce at least 2 or 3 poems during the session and have homework to produce more using the skills, tips and inspiration we explore each week. It’s been a fantastic way of igniting a bit of creativity and also to release some of those pent-up lockdown emotions! The current group that I am a part of are working towards recording performances of some of our favourite poems produced during the 6-week course. We’re hoping that we can share these performances on social media. So far, I’ve really enjoyed carving out a little bit of time each week for me and I’ve started writing poetry again for the first time in a very long time. Speaking to others that are part of my group they also feel the same.  

Exeter Action for Women, Exploring Exeter

Exeter Action for Women are able to offer this poetry course as part of a programme of free online drop-ins, courses and activities during lockdown with the help of funding. If you’re able to, please consider donating to support women and their families through lockdown here.

They are hoping to offer more events like this in the future so please do sign up to their mailing list via this link if you’d like to keep informed.

More about Exeter Action for Women

Exeter Action for Women started life in 2018 as a working group formed by local women in response to drastic cuts to funding for women’s services in the Exeter area. In October 2019 they became a community interest company, with the aim of supporting and connecting women in Exeter. They are currently fundraising to support, develop and facilitate a programme of women’s drop-in groups in the city, with a long-term plan to create a not-for-profit housing community, providing access to a network of permanent affordable housing for women.


About the author: Boudicca Woodland

Boudicca moved to Exeter in 2007 from London with her partner (now husband) after making a list of requirements – a theatre, a cinema, decent Sunday lunch pubs, excellent coffee shops, and access to good food. Exeter has not let her down in the slightest and in fact has encouraged her to explore lots of different food events and also locally sourced, seasonal, food more than ever before. 

Summer Holiday Staycation - a week of activities with kids in Exeter by boudicca woodland, Exploring Exeter 2019

Originally from an arts administration background, Boudicca now runs One Mile Bakery Exeter from her St Thomas home where she bakes bread for subscribers and hosts baking classes. 

She has two children who have given themselves the demanding role of Chief Tasters for the bakery!

Tags: , , ,