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Be inspired by poets and poetry

There is no border here

There is no border here (edition 3 of 5) 2006

Shilpa Gupta (b.1976)

Bristol Museums, Galleries & Archives

Explore and analyse poems, learn about the lives of great poets and find ideas for developing creative responses to poetry.

We have gathered together a range of resources from Art UK and our Partner Collections to inspire you. Some of the suggested resources are designed specifically for schools and teachers. Others are written for a general audience but could be used to provide ideas and contextual information for teaching, or might be useful for older students and lifelong learners.

Art UK: art and poetry resources

Ian Hamilton Finlay's visual poetry
(Primary students)

Learn about the visual poetry of Scottish artist and writer Ian Hamilton Finlay and then have a go at creating artworks inspired by poetry and wordplay.

Poetry, art and landscape
(Secondary students)

Explore poem objects located in the landscape and find ideas for developing a poem artwork for an outdoor setting.

How can poetry be used to inspire art?
(Secondary level students)

Find suggestions for analysing Dylan Thomas's poetry, discover how his words inspired Welsh painter Ceri Richards and explore activities for creating artworks inspired by poetry.

Use art to inspire poetry and creative writing
(Secondary level students)

Watch young poets reading their work and find ideas and guidance for using artworks to inspire poetry.

A Poet's Ciphers

A Poet's Ciphers 1954–1957

Ceri Giraldus Richards (1903–1971)

Aberystwyth University School of Art Museum and Galleries

Robert Burns and Kenny Hunter
(Secondary level)

This resource includes an exploration of Robert Burns' poem To a Mouse written in 1785 and the sculpture Monument to a Mouse by Scottish artist Kenny Hunter inspired by the poem.

Explore William Lamb's portrait of Hugh McDiarmid
(All ages)

Explore Scottish sculptor William Lamb's portrait of poet Hugh McDiarmid from all angles and close-up with this interactive 3D model resource.

Write a Haiku inspired by the seasons

(Suitable for all learners)

Be inspired by artworks depicting the seasons and write your own Haiku in response.


Explore artworks inspired by poetry on Art UK: 

Creative poetry ideas from our Partner Collections 

BBC: poetry teaching resources
(Primary and secondary students)

A collection of teaching resources for bringing poetry to life in the classroom.

Bradford Museums & Galleries
(Primary and Secondary students)

Bradford Museums & Galleries developed this resource in partnership with the National Literacy Trust Hub in Bradford, Bradford Council’s Music and Arts Service and the Bradford Literature Festival. It offers a wide range of stand-alone poetry activities for the classroom to encourage students to engage with creative writing and performance poetry.

IWM Refugees and Evacuees: Letters and Poetry
(Primary and secondary students)

Explore the rhythms of words with writer and performance poet Hafsah Aneela Bashir and create a poem based on thoughts of home, using the letters of a teenage refugee as inspiration.

Jupiter Artland: Puzzling Poems
(Families and all ages)

Discover how to create a poem with a difference with artist Alec Finlay.


Star/Steer 1966

Ian Hamilton Finlay (1925–2006) and Tarasque Press (active since 1964)

The Pier Arts Centre

Museum of London: Poetry resources to inspire creativity
(Secondary students)

A series of resources that use Museum of London objects to inspire poetry and creative writing projects.

National Museum of Wales: From the Sky, I can see…
(Primary students)

Use the story of amazing Welsh aeroplane pioneer Charles Horace Watkins and his plane Robin Goch as inspiration for a creative writing activity with this National Museum of Wales resource for primary students.

Oxford University: First World War Poetry Digital Archive

(All ages)

Discover the lives and work of the First World War poets and explore an online repository of over 7,000 items of text, images, audio, and video for teaching, learning, and research. The resource includes a series of specially developed educational resources.

The Blue Cloud

The Blue Cloud (polyptych, panel 1 of 15) 1996

John Walker (b.1939)

University of Birmingham

Science Museum Group: objects and poems
(All ages)

Read poetry inspired by some unexpected sources and use the Science Museum's random object generator to find inspiration for your own poem!

The British Library: poetry and performance
(Secondary students and 16+)

Listen to well-known figures read poetry by some of Britain and America’s most distinguished poets. Explore the connection between the poets' lives and their work, study interpretations of their poetry and access suggested classroom activities.

Explore Poetry & Performance 

Poets and their lives

The Robert Burns Birthplace Museum
(All ages)

The Robert Burns Birthplace Museum is dedicated to the life of the Scottish Bard. Visit the Museum's website and find out about his life and work. Although not specifically designed for schools as a learning resource it can be used to support lesson plans and study.

The life of Robert Burns resource

Robert Burns

Robert Burns (pub sign)

unknown artist

National Trust for Scotland, Robert Burns Birthplace Museum

The National Library of Wales: Dylan Thomas
(All ages)

This online exhibition celebrates the life and work of Dylan Thomas through archive materials from the National Library of Wales. The archive materials can be used to support lesson plans and study.

Explore the exhibition

National Portrait Gallery: Picture the Poet
(All ages)

See the faces of over 50 poets working in Britain today and explore accompanying resources that suggest ways in which photography and portraiture can support and shape creative poetry making.

Visit the Picture the Poet resource

Stevie Smith (1902–1971)

Stevie Smith (1902–1971) 1971

John Goldblatt (1930–2009)

National Portrait Gallery, London


Portraits of poets on Art UK

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