The poetry of being an estate agent

The Walthamstow Poetry Trail shows that stanzas have their place in shop windows

It's not often that window-shopping at your local estate agent is likely to encourage you to buy a book of poetry. But the return of a successful literary project later this year will provide shoppers in E17 with the chance to mix words and house prices.

In 2011 The Walthamstow Poetry Trail featured 40 poets, 14 artists, two schools, 15 children under ten, a library exhibition and a printed anthology as well as nine estate agents as part of the E17 Arts Trail, an annual arts festival for artists and writers from E17 and Waltham Forest now in its 12th year.

Local poets and artists were specially commissioned to collaborate on a poetry trail celebrating the themes of 'Home' and 'Community' - this year the theme is 'Bestow'. The result was a unique collection of illlustrated poems from 40 poets of all ages and levels of experience which were on display in the windows of Walthamstow Library and nine estate agents along Hoe Street. 

"The estate agents really seem to welcome being invited to join in with a community-led arts event, something they rarely get asked to do and we've got even more estate agents signed up already this year. It's a fantastic project and really successful last year," says co-ordinator Penny Rutterford. "It provided a suprisingly display space and was visible to anyone wandering down the street who might not seek out a poetry event or poetry book."

Paekakariki Press, a traditional letterpress printers based in Walthamstow which created display prints and a successful printed anthology last year will be doing so again for 2012, with some of the costs cover by sponsorship from some of the participating estate agents.

The trail runs September 1-16.

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