"Shedman on the Street in Limerick was able to engage and persuade citizens of Limerick to share stories and write poems in a very personal and rewarding way. John is one of the most captivating writers and skilled communicators that any festival, community or school could invite into their lives."
Sheila Deegan, Arts Officer, Limerick City and County Council, Ireland
"Shedman was the outstanding hit of the Festival; both the focal point of the street entertainment and a tangible manifestation of the festival's aims of connecting with all ages and all sections of the community in interesting and dynamic ways. He is also a PR dream – there isn't a Press Release in the world that can't be improved by adding ‘and a poet in a shed’ at the end!"
Lucy Flannery, Havant Literary Festival
"What Wordsworth did for daffodils, John Davies does for sheds."
Front Row, BBC Radio 4
"I invited Shedman to come to the little town of Herzele, where we organise every year the literary festival 'Lezen in de Lente' (Reading in Spring). Shedman made an intervention in English on the stage that surprised a lot of people. Afterwords, he interacted with the public and stimulated them to write their own poetry. That is the essential drive of Lezen in de Lente: quality and erudition, but close to the people."
Filip De Bodt, vzw 't Uilekot, Herzele, Belgium
"Shedman was both a sunny and totally professional presence throughout the week of high profile arts events. He became a familiar fond presence both on the street and inside the shed, working with 100s of people on their own poetry, reading his own, or chatting about poems and poetry. On the evening before Shedman’s arrival we found a group of young people cycling around the shed like wolves round a caribou, kicking the door in and/or hiding inside, spoiling for a fight. By the end of the week, these same young people were avid Shedman fans, writing their own poetry and trying to raise funds to buy the shed as a permanent fixture. That, to me, exemplified his patience, people skills and passion for poetry: an advocate for our times."
Sue Stewart, Organiser, Daventry Festival (Olympiad)
"The workshops were fantastic - I never imagined that anyone would get them writing poetry as enthusiastically as you did. It really did make a huge difference with the project, and I couldn't say anything that you could improve about your approach - you had them eating out of your hand!"
Rachel Merrington, Cambridge Regional College
"As part of our live art event at West Dean – FUSION, Shedman led our ‘Shed Trail’ – a group of sheds full of making, drama and collaborations. His enthusiasm and engagement with audiences of all ages ensured that the event was a great success - one we hope to repeat with Shedman in the lead."
Alison Baxter, Head of Creative Enterprise, West Dean College
Just wanted to say thank you for our brilliant workshop last month....I will definitely be recommending you."
Norah Carr, Brighton & Hove Jubilee Library
"The Our Storeys project at North Middlesex University Hospital could not have happened without Shedman and his shed. Questionnaires were filled in, stories unfolded and voices were writ large. The outcome was four storeys of social wallpaper combining poetry and images – a true collaboration of creativity. Our artist and poet collaborative work has now transformed into Shederama, a broader way of thinking about socially engaged practice."
Sue Ridge, Artist
"The LEA advisor asked me what I thought of Shedman. I explained to him that I knew him and suggested he ask the question of the next English teacher to come into the Office. Moments later, in came Sarah and when asked what she thought of Shedman, she said, 'Fantastic! Brilliant. One of the best writers we've ever had.'"
Bob Walton, Bristol
"A memorable mixed media installation with a very human face. He brought new visitors to the museum and struck a chord with people from many different backgrounds…His residency was a motivating and energising process for all involved... I can recommend him unhesitatingly to other organisations seeking a different approach to the integration of community, arts and cultural activities."
John Cooper, Booth Museum of Natural History, Brighton
"I very much enjoyed your creative writing ateliers at Much Ado Books. Without your encouragement I am sure that I wouldn't have achieved so much, and I will be following up some of your suggestions about further courses. I hope to be able to join more of your sessions in the future. Thank you John."
Christine P. Seaford