• TTDA - Poetry People - True Grit

Poetry People

Poetry People brings poetry to people and people to poetry, often for the first time. Projects reach out to the wider community through competitions, poem posters, workshops and live events.

Poetry People is a Community Interest Company established in 2017 by co-directors Dean Parkin and Naomi Jaffa, with support from Michael Laskey and Jeni Smith. In March 2019 Poetry People won a national Creative Learning Award in the Literature & Creative Writing category for The Grit Project. Judge Melvyn Burgess, a Carnegie Medal winning author said, 'The Grit was a highly imaginative project, reaching right across the community and connecting the generations in a variety of different ways to bring the past to life in a part of the world where it had been all but forgotten.'

Dean and Naomi have over two decades of unique experience devising and delivering outstanding poetry activities in print, online and on stage, writer development programmes, and community residencies. These include Aldeburgh Poetry Festival, Poetry Prom, The Poetry Paper, The Poetry Channel and the Aldeburgh Eight Seminar. 

Dean is a full-time writer, poet and workshop leader, creating his own residences, projects and workshops. In the 1990s he co-wrote, edited and published many local interest books, including 'The Grit' with Jack Rose. His first book of poems, The Swan Machine, was published in 2015. His first collection for children, The Bubble Wrap, was published autumn 2017. His two Lowestoft video poems were published in a collection, Right Up Your Street and Spread a Little Kirkleyness (Corner Street, 2021). To find out more, go to his website.

Naomi began in music management before becoming Suffolk's first literature development officer. She started work for the Aldeburgh Poetry Festival in 1993 and was its Director 1999-2014. Her second pamphlet collection, Driver, was published in 2017.