On June 13th we held our first everyday creativity conference at the University of Brighton and it was an absolute corker. We will be sharing presentations and materials on this site soon, but in the meantime, here is a found poem, crafted by Helen Johnson with lines borrowed from some of our fantastic presenters on the day….

Found Poem for the Everyday Creativity Conference, University of Brighton, June 2022

Helen Johnson

With thanks to: Muna Al-Jawad, Gaurish Chawla, Neil Singh, Vanessa Marr, Afrodita Nikolova and Chantal Spencer for their words and work

I am here.

We are but dust and shadows,

accustomed to easy categories,

an alibi for not wasting time

in our nonchalance,

irritation, industry.

But I am here,

deserving to be alive,

rewriting the trauma

stitched to my bones.


If your normal is this,

then give me madness.

Enter the song,

the poems from liminal spaces,


piercing a hole from within myself.

I am here.


So the conversations start,

everyday conversations that entice change.

contribution without exclusion,

practice-based and collaborative,

at each corner a guardian angel.

I am here,

and I can’t stop waking up.


Here comes the rubber girl

erasing evil from the world,



What can the institution do?

Many wizards spend their lives

in pursuit of the true words for things,

a different kind of resistance,


fearful and hopeful.

We are here.


What do we want from each other

after we have told our stories,

of what we know or think we know?

slowing down time,

minimising the burden

on the shoulders of the oppressed.

The patriarchy’s got the clay,

but we’re here

And we’re taking it back.


There will be shouting.

There will be anger.

There will be pent up rage.

There will be poem as trace,

poem as evidence,

no longer simply embellishment,

but layers of meaning,

a conscious and unconscious knowing,

practice-based transformation.


We are here,


relational and performative,

talking about connection,

empowering through stories,

mundane and ignored,

unadorned, beautiful,



Research can be about the everyday,

round and bouncy,

not straight and narrow,

pleasure and power,

the subversive stitch.


We are here.

Our overlapping humanness,

a catalyst

messing with matter,

disrupting normal,

comes alive,

altering the shape of the things

we want to address,

becomes an artefact worthy of display,

embodying our relationship to power.


You can’t decolonise alone.

I am here.

This could feed me for a while.

I’m still playing and I’m not going to stop.

Can someone please

just give them a glass of water?