Rare Bee

Catalytic Poetry began as a collaborative project undertaken by Tony Ryan OBE, Professor of Physical Chemistry at the University of Sheffield, and poet Simon Armitage, who is Professor of Poetry at the University of Oxford and also Professor of Poetry at the University of Leeds. Our catalytic poem, 'A Rare Bee', is by the Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy, and has been hoisted at Norwood Bus Garage, overlooking the community-run Bzz Garage garden, on the corner of Ernest Avenue and Knight's Hill, SE27 OHN. The banner is coated with a 'magic potion' that reacts to light and converts the noxious nitrogen gases from exhaust pipes, turning them into water. More information and links can be found on the Catalytic Poetry page.

Catalytic Poetry

Catalytic Poetry
Photograph by Terka Acton

Mother Tongue Catalytic Poetry
The Gardener's Daughter

The writing is on the wall at Norwood Bus Garage, Knight's Hill, London SE27 0HN (at the corner of Knight's Hill and Rothschild Street). Read the background story online at

'Not wholly in the busy world, nor quite / Beyond it, blooms the garden that I love'.

From 'The Gardener's Daughter' by Alfred Lord Tennyson.

Photograph taken by Michael Newington Gray.
From left to right: Anthony Campling, technical adviser; Robert Dawson, designer (; Gordon Elliott, deputy operations manager; Wayne Trevor, of Norwood Bzz Garage; and Janet and John Haney, of PoetrySlabs.

With thanks to Peter Williams ( and Pete Owen for our signature photograph.