Caroline Bird & Selina Nwulu

The Water Replies

Adam Chodzko, Ash Walks, 2018. Photo: Rosie Lonsdale

Adam Chodzko, Ash Walks, 2018. Photo: Rosie Lonsdale

Photo: Jonathan Juniper

Led by acclaimed poets Caroline Bird and Selina Nwulu, The Water Replies invites people and communities across North Kent and South Essex to get involved in creating a collective response to life living and working by the Thames Estuary.

The resulting works will form a part of the Estuary 2021 festival programme through an exhibition/reading room, live events and posters across the region.


Between March and August 2020, hundreds of people living along both sides of the Estuary have kept creative journals, using words, photos, drawings, collage, poetry, and prose, to explore local relationships to the river and how the water impacts the rhythms of daily life. The completed journals are now being collected and will be presented as part of Estuary 2021 next Spring.


We are also producing a publication with poets, Caroline and Selina to help teachers and educators to become more confident in developing new approaches to teaching poetry in schools. 

This free resource will be available to all schools and colleges across North Kent and South Essex, and will feature ideas, suggestions and provocations that can be used to engage and inspire both young people and teachers with poetry.

The book will be complemented by an online teachers’ pack of practical creative writing exercises and workshop templates designed to bring the book to life in the classroom. These online resources have been devised by Caroline and Selina to work within the curriculum and support Ofsted requirements. 

If you would like to receive more information about the book and the teachers’ pack, please let us know at info@cementfields.org.


The Water Replies is an Estuary 2021 project, led by a partnership between Estuary-based arts organisations Metal, in South Essex, and Cement Fields, in North Kent and supported by Creative Estuary.


If you haven’t yet returned your journal, there is still time.

You can return your journal to us for free using our freepost address: FREEPOST – ESTUARY 2021 THE WATER REPLIES KENT.

Make sure you include a note with your name and email address on a separate piece of paper so we know it’s yours.

If you have any questions, or need some extra time to complete your journal, email us at info@cementfields.org.