Refuge From the Ravens

The poet William Wordsworth wrote about encounters with people on the move, as he walked English roads and byways 200 years ago. These poems, and those of fellow poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge, were published as Lyrical Ballads in 1798. Our project is a reply, in poems and song, from people today who are affected by homelessness, or are vulnerable.

Imagine Wordsworth and Coleridge wandering the streets of Manchester and Lancaster in 2022. Whose voices would they hear on those streets? And what would they say?

Refuge From the Ravens rewrites some of Wordsworth’s classic poems into now, using poetry, songs and calligraphy. The project included workshops in Manchester and Cumbria, plus research trips to Grasmere to see the original manuscripts. Work from the project was exhibited at the Wordsworth Grasmere museum and Bury Art Gallery, and will be exhibited at the Houses of Parliament in May 2023.

The project is supported by the Heritage Fund. Our thanks to National Lottery Players.

Project Directors

Philip Davenport, Julia Grime 


Songwriter/musicians Matt Hill and Christine Johnson
Sound artist Sophie Cooper
Textual artist & Calligrapher Stephen Raw
Poets Philip Davenport and Scott Thurston
Film maker Harry Wheeler
Creative producer Julia Grime  


Wordsworth Grasmere
Lancaster & District Homeless Action Service (LDHAS)
Manna House, Kendal
Invisible (Manchester)
Back on Track, Manchester
Tom Harrison House, Liverpool
Bury Art Museum