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Ivy House poet: Marlena

In 2012 I moved from North West London to Nunhead. It is a hidden gem. Zone 2, just 15 minutes from the centre, very strong community spirit, quiet, no parking problems, very green (40% of the area is covered by nature) and perfect for families. It is not surprising that the Ivy House - the first pub in the UK to be saved by the community under new legislation – is based here. I love it! The pub plays a big part in my life, adding new interests and activities and providing a beating heart for the community. Every Saturday at the Ivy House I learn how to swing dance – it’s one of the highlights of my week. I’ve also started to learn ukulele there and it’s at the Ivy House that I meet friends and neighbours while my son drinks babycinos.

Pubs can be life changing places.

I met my husband because of a conversation in a London pub that led to him taking a 2-year job in Warsaw, where I am from. As the result London has been my home since 2003 and my son was born here.

I got involved in the poetry project and the making of the Public House film, because I love the Ivy House, I love Nunhead, I love my local community and I love creative projects. Between the age of 10 and 17 I won prizes for my short films. I have been writing all my life. Since 2010 I have been creating poetro-mix texts in English. They do not follow any official structure for poems. They are just me. As a foreigner with an accent, spoken word on a stage in English is a big challenge, but sometimes in life we need to face our challenges.

Laurie is a fantastic poet and an inspirational and motivational teacher. Her creative writing workshops are simply fantastic!

It was extraordinary for me to be on the stage and read poetry in English.

It has been great to be involved in the making of the Public House film. Sarah Turner and the team are extremely professional and creative.

What I loved most about the project was getting to know people that I would probably never otherwise meet. It has strenghtened my links with the local community and helped me to feel more at home. Some of us from the poetry workshop have started to meet on a regular basis; Nunhead, the Ivy House and poetry are our common denominators.

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