Tuesday 8 March 2022

Fiona Linday (ed.), "Making Our World Better"


About Making Our World Better, ed. Fiona Linday

The Making Our World Better Project was launched in April 2021. Fiona Linday led this Arts Council England supported writing activity across the University of Leicester campus. The resulting collection presents the expressive writing of learners from the Attenborough Arts Centre. They were joined by many service users of Leicester Arts in Mental Health, Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust, and several Creative Writing students from Leicester’s Centre for New Writing

For a year, workshops prompted these three groups to respond to the title of Making Our World Better. Fiona helped develop these pieces of work, by encouraging wide engagement and collaboration. The contributors were inspired to write poetry and flash fiction reflecting on their wellbeing during lockdown while considering their future within our environment.

The anthology features work by Mark Gwynne Jones, the commissioned poet from the partner organisation Renaissance One and guest author Matthew Tett. Fiona also models her writing alongside sharing that of others, joining in this active learner challenge by contributing new poetry and stories. The anthology includes creative work by University of Leicester students Isobel Copley, Will Preston, Laura Besley, Tracey Foster and Sam Bouch. 

Below, you can read about the editor, and a sample from the Foreword to Making Our World Better. You can find more details about the anthology on the publisher's website here

About the editor

Fiona Linday’s background is in school learning support. She is a Creative Mentor with the Mighty Creatives. Fiona presents this second Leicester anthology collaboration extended to students. That project comes after a decade of the freelance facilitating of vocational creative writing to lifelong learners. In 2019, her first commissioned anthology, Family Matters, featured a dozen new Attenborough Arts Centre writers alongside established guest authors. The Arts Centre offers a diverse arts programme to inclusive learners. With the help of several partners and Dahlia books, during lockdown she adapted her practice to achieve comprehensive engagement through delivering blended workshops.

From Making Our World Better, ed. Fiona Linday

Foreword, by Michael Attenborough, CBE 

Amidst the widespread chaos and distressing scale of deaths, the current pandemic has coincidentally thrown up a number of valuable indicators for our collective future. The concern for people’s mental health; the thrilling revelation of a cleaner environment; the scale and sense of loss at the absence of the creative arts; the importance of an enriching education; a greater appreciation of the natural world.

Climate change has brought us to the brink of self destruction. We now need, as a matter of urgency, a creative response from humanity. Focused, articulate and passionate.

Creativity lies at the epicentre of that humanity. It nurtures the invisible part of our health; our emotional, psychological and spiritual health.

Our ability and freedom to express ourselves is a basic human right, one which feeds humanity’s understanding of itself and its relationship with the rest of the world. Cultural communication has the capacity to enlighten, challenge, excite and inspire. It expresses our individual and collective identities, needs and aspirations. A civilised society is one that is in constant dialogue with itself, one of evolutionary discovery and growth.

This exciting new anthology is one vital part of this creative movement.

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