Join the National Coal Mining Museum as they mark the 40th Anniversary year of the Miners’ Strike 1984-85, with an exciting poetry workshops.

The programme is organised by National Coal Mining Museum for England in collaboration with notable poetry publisher, The Poetry Business. A Coal Anthology will follow in the autumn, along with poetry readings during 2024-25.

Your poem, crafted in these workshops, has the potential to be chosen for inclusion in the Coal Anthology.

Sat 16 March 2024 – Women and the Strike | In person, suitable for ages 16+

Use photographs, objects, and poems from the time with poet Sarah Wimbush to create new writing about women’s roles during the strike.

Please note: You don’t have to identify as a woman to attend this workshop.

Sat 27 April – Community and Activism | In person, suitable for ages 16+

Explore the relationship between words and action, with author Helen Mort. Discover how coal mining communities fought to retain their industry, with the support of other marginalised groups.

Please note: This workshop will take place underground.

Sat 25 May – Youth Arts Festival | In person, suitable for ages 11+

Join Matt Abbott to create a poem in response to the 84/85 – The Longest Year exhibition. We’re looking for young people’s perspectives to be included in our Coal Anthology and Youth Arts Festival on 6 July titled ‘Coal Camaraderie’.

Sat 22 June – Conflict and Comradeship | In person, suitable for ages 16+

Apart from fake news and the conflict which tore communities apart, the strike was a time for solidarity and community, ‘days of laughter and days of pain’. In this workshop led by Ian Parks, unearth these twin themes using primary sources.

More details on the Coal Anthology:

The Poetry Business is looking for poems about coal mining communities before during and after the strike. These can be new or already-published. Please submit up to six poems to office@poetrybusiness.co.uk, with Coal Anthology in the subject box.

Venue opening hours

Monday : Closed

Tuesday : Closed

Wednesday : 9:45 am - 5:00 pm

Thursday : 9:45 am - 5:00 pm

Friday : 9:45 am - 5:00 pm

Saturday : 9:45 am - 5:00 pm

Sunday : 9:45 am - 5:00 pm

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  • Accessible Toilet
  • Assistance Dogs Welcome
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  • Guide Dogs Welcome
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Venue Details

Find us at

New Road, Wakefield, WF4 4RH