Community Writing Projects - Writing & Health


Community Writing

Everyone who saw this performance was inspired, entertained, and moved …” Review of Transformations, a performance poetry commission. Sandpaper, Sandwell UK. Issue 9.

Dave works regularly on public writing projects where he creates a new work for a specific community or area. Involving local people in the process he has produced original celebratory texts that have been included in public art, digital publications, and books. He has vast experience of running writing workshops and has worked in a literature development capacity for a number of local authorities.


Writing in Healthcare

Dave was also one of the first writers in the UK to become involved in using writing in healthcare, undertaking a residency at the Withymoor Village Surgery, Brierley Hill. He later created The Casebook, a collection of creative responses to illness and healing. He has more recently worked with people in recovery and with people with disabilities helping them to articulate their frustrations and dreams. He has published an acclaimed book, Like I’m Running in a Hurdle Race, from his work with carers and has produced books and pamphlets with schoolchildren which includes a collection of writing on smoking (see Publications section). In 2007 he ran Chewing It Over, a writing project on healthy eating, with children and young people which resulted in two publications Yum and Chew on it. As a member of Lapidus (literary arts in personal development) he coordinated their quarterly journal from 2005 – 2007.


Projects include:

And The Dr Said… a writing and healthcare project for Staffordshire University and Keele University. Watch the video by scrolling down to Creative Writing Here
Othello: an audiolog following on from the printed Othello: a travelogue, this cd publication for Warwickshire Libraries follows a day’s journey on one of the authority’s mobile libraries (named Othello) and mixes recorded anecdotes from borrowers with original poems from Dave. The audio edit was by Vaughn Reeves.
Grounds for Improvement – a digital exhibition of voices talking about two mental institutions in Walsall. Now available in dvd format, it has a permanent home at Walsall local History Centre. Early sound files from the project can be heard at Radio Wildfire projects. Audio editing Vaughn Reeves.
Ballads for Bomere Heath – a pilot arts project placing an artist to work on a Parish Plan consultation process. A series of poems linking reminiscences, anecdotes and images of life in the parish of Bomere Heath, Shropshire, England. The website contains the ballads, and links them to the original anecdotes, comments and materials from the community residency that inspired the writing. Some of the poems can be listened to with musical accompaniment. The work is also available as a cd/cd-rom which can be explored offline or played as an ordinary audio cd. View Ballads for Bomere Heath at
Passion for Landscape – as lead artist on a multidisciplinary team in Craven Arms, Shropshire. View pictures of project and Dave performing at the opening here
Moving Mountains for the Rural Media Company and Rural Youth. The project on which Dave Reeves and Tom Cook first met. A national tour of rural youth groups resulted in a publication and touring display. Sample pages from the publication can be seen here

Other major projects include:
Beneath 4 Moons – a touring book and exhibition, and a winner of the Libraries Association/ Holt Jackson Prize for Community Initiative.
The Guardian – The Lunt, Bilston – Hewn, a poem commissioned for, and carved into The Guardian, a public art sculpture by John Vaughan.
A Chronicle of Nails – West Bromwich Bus Station – creation of text for 44 panes of the glazing of the new bus station, West Bromwich.

Books from community projects:
Dave has worked on and published over 30 books from community projects – details can be found under Publications.


writing in the community – writing with the community

Photograph of Passion For Landscape exhibition
at Craven Arms, Shropshire.