Illustration for Social Change: Postal Poetry, Covid Haikus and Black Lives Matter

Illustrated poems, collaboratively created.


  • Education

We’re used to bands, orchestras, theatre troupes, artists’ collectives – why not groups of poets?

For Word2020, we joined forces with All Change Arts who bring artists and communities together to use art for social change.

Associate Artists Cecilia Knapp and Sarah Blanc worked with their Inspire! group of young parents while Francesca Beard worked with older people to produce a series of group poems tackling two of the biggest issues of the day: the coronavirus pandemic and the Black Lives Matter campaign.

Illustrating the Black Lives Matter poem was the perfect commission for mentees on Pathways, a training and mentoring programme that aims to address underrepresentation of BAME author/illustrators in children’s publishing.

Meanwhile the illustrator-educators behind our family learning resources and online courses and masterclasses illustrated the Covid Haikus and other poems.

Printed copies were distributed in local care homes, and we’re delighted to be able to share the work here as well.

Click on the images below to read the poems and view the illustrations:

Postal Poetry

Written by Inspire! and illustrated by Toya Walker and Sion Ap Tomos.

Covid Haikus

Written by older people working with All Change Arts and illustrated by Merlin Evans. 

Black Lives Matter

Written by Inspire! and illustrated by Pathways mentees.

Word2020 was brought to you by The Word Association – All Change, Key Changes, House of Illustration, Lyrix Organix and Islington Library & Heritage Services – a collective of arts organisations and libraries working in partnership with local communities to celebrate original voices, share stories and connect communities.

Word2020 was supported by Islington Council through the Community Festivals Fund and Islington Public Health.

Feeling inspired? Download our creative activities and resources and share your work using the hashtag #IllustrationInHouse and tagging us @illustrationHQ.