Playing With Words

Presented by Julie Boden, Town Hall and Symphony Hall?s Poet in Residence.

Julie Boden is a poet with a meticulous eye and an ear for the mellifluous. Her work is always musical, ambitious and worth reading. (Jane Holland, Editor of Horizon Review)

It is a delight to find a poet of this quality who is also blessed with a flexible and expressive voice (Don Barnard, The Raw Edge Magazine)

Julie Boden, a Birmingham Poet Laureate, began her residency at Symphony Hall in January 2005 as part of the Poetry Central project, supported by the Arts Council of England. During her time here she has created new work for performance and for concert programmes; collaborated with musicians and organised exhibitions, publications and live events. Her tenure here has afforded many opportunities for other poets and for members of the public to platform their work. Julie?s sensitivity, warmth and humour have endeared her to a wide audience at THSH and her outreach work, inspired by her desire to explore the bones and the boundaries of collaboration between poetry and music, both at home and abroad, has resulted in the creation of a number of exciting new collaborative pieces. Much of the new work Julie has created over the last four and a half years has sprung from her residency here and from her love of poetry and music.

At the beginning of her residency Julie was awarded an Hawthornden Fellowship which enabled her to develop her first two commissioned pieces, The Amorous Organ and Bluebeard?s Wife while on retreat at this castle in Scotland. More recently, in July 2009, as a member of the Ladies Salon and supported by a support stipend from Can Serrat and by funding from Arts Council, England, she was able to take up residence at the artists? retreat near Barcelona where she worked in collaboration with other artists and where she visited the Palau de la Musica Catalana

Most recently, supported by the National Lottery through Arts Council England, Julie has been awarded a grant which enables her to work on the Piano Room project with Steve Tromans (composer) and Vanessa Oakes (dramaturg). This latest project began with an event at Ledbury Poetry Festival in July 09:
‘The audience were entranced, moved, provoked and inspired! A powerful performance. And a rare and precious opportunity to experience an exciting new collaboration in progress.’ (Chloe Garner, Festival Director, Ledbury Poetry Festival)

If you’d like to read some poetry please click on the links below or visit the Playing with Words poster site at Symphony Hall by Door 2.

Poet in Residence Julie Boden will accept poetry submissions on themes relating to Town Hall and Symphony Hall. If you would like to submit your work to Julie, please email her at